Registered Members Login:
   
Forgotten Your Details? Click Here To Recover +
Welcome To The ShareCafe Community - Talk Shares And Take Stock With Smart Investors - New Here? Click To Register >

19 Pages (Click to Jump) V   1 2 3 4 > » 

triage
Posted on: Feb 13 2019, 10:35 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 9 2019, 07:25 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Feb 7 2019, 07:01 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Feb 6 2019, 12:16 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Feb 6 2019, 10:46 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 5 2019, 10:57 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 4 2019, 10:21 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Feb 4 2019, 06:50 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Feb 1 2019, 08:47 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 1 2019, 08:36 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Any experts on body language out there?

https://www.theguardian.com/global/video/20...ergs-hand-video
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 24 2019, 05:28 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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?
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Jan 21 2019, 10:49 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 19 2019, 06:59 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Jan 18 2019, 06:36 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 18 2019, 02:26 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Jan 18 2019, 10:42 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 12 2019, 12:16 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Jan 10 2019, 08:40 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

"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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 10 2019, 06:14 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 9 2019, 10:34 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

J, Don't forget your baseball mitt as the bash brothers seem to be hitting some form. smile.gif
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Jan 7 2019, 11:55 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Jan 1 2019, 11:25 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Dec 30 2018, 05:52 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 27 2018, 07:20 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Dec 20 2018, 09:04 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

sad.gif

(but in good news Australian Super has taken a 5% holding in Orocobre).
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Dec 20 2018, 09:48 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

"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).
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 18 2018, 03:42 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Yep, agree. I hope Gary got man of the match.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 17 2018, 06:26 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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).


  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Dec 17 2018, 12:55 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Dec 15 2018, 11:31 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Dec 13 2018, 06:08 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 13 2018, 12:46 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 13 2018, 07:10 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.


  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 11 2018, 10:12 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Dec 8 2018, 01:48 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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 ...).
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 7 2018, 04:39 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Dec 6 2018, 05:34 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 5 2018, 09:20 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Dec 5 2018, 09:05 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

"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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 4 2018, 07:30 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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".
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Dec 1 2018, 10:19 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Mags - it gets worse - Ken Henry is on the board of dirctors of the ASX. Gamekeeper or poacher?
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Nov 30 2018, 05:59 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Nov 28 2018, 11:56 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Nov 27 2018, 03:05 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Nov 22 2018, 09:47 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

... in a trumpian way, j, in that they scored more runs than we did but we clearly won. rolleyes.gif
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 18 2018, 09:07 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 17 2018, 08:04 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Nov 16 2018, 04:48 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Nov 13 2018, 07:21 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Nov 11 2018, 09:25 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Close but no cigar ... I thought the Stoinis wicket was the turning point...
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 11 2018, 06:03 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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...
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 6 2018, 07:05 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 6 2018, 10:50 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 6 2018, 10:44 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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).
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 4 2018, 07:30 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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 ...
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 4 2018, 04:50 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 4 2018, 03:49 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 2 2018, 07:03 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Nov 1 2018, 06:47 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Oct 25 2018, 09:39 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Oct 24 2018, 02:05 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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 )
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Oct 19 2018, 09:11 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Oct 19 2018, 06:15 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Oct 18 2018, 09:14 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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?
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Oct 17 2018, 09:41 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Oct 16 2018, 10:08 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Oct 16 2018, 06:01 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Oct 14 2018, 01:23 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

"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).
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Oct 12 2018, 06:56 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Oct 11 2018, 08:35 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Oct 10 2018, 10:59 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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/
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Oct 6 2018, 04:21 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

" 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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Oct 4 2018, 07:42 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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/
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Sep 29 2018, 05:39 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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?
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Sep 29 2018, 03:45 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Sep 28 2018, 03:31 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Sep 28 2018, 02:18 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Sep 27 2018, 07:43 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Sep 26 2018, 12:40 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Sep 21 2018, 06:21 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Sep 21 2018, 08:28 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 18 2018, 05:17 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 18 2018, 01:15 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 18 2018, 11:55 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 17 2018, 08:16 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 17 2018, 12:24 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 16 2018, 10:29 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 15 2018, 12:09 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 14 2018, 03:45 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 13 2018, 11:14 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 13 2018, 08:18 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 11 2018, 08:36 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 10 2018, 09:27 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Sep 9 2018, 03:13 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 25 2018, 08:05 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 24 2018, 08:41 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 24 2018, 07:19 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 24 2018, 01:39 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 22 2018, 08:35 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 19 2018, 09:24 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 18 2018, 02:06 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 18 2018, 09:15 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 17 2018, 04:56 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 15 2018, 07:47 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 15 2018, 05:32 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 11 2018, 02:44 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 9 2018, 07:57 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 9 2018, 08:34 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

double post
  Forum: Macro Factors

triage
Posted on: Aug 9 2018, 08:31 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Aug 7 2018, 04:51 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

... 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

triage
Posted on: Aug 7 2018, 09:45 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jul 22 2018, 10:36 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jul 20 2018, 05:03 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jul 19 2018, 12:01 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jul 11 2018, 05:05 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

It's soccer time ...

https://imgur.com/gallery/uY6KpjL

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

triage
Posted on: Jul 7 2018, 08:28 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jul 5 2018, 08:04 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jul 2 2018, 07:31 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jul 1 2018, 08:40 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jul 1 2018, 08:19 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 29 2018, 07:36 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 22 2018, 08:06 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 16 2018, 09:36 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 14 2018, 12:17 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 14 2018, 10:25 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 13 2018, 07:46 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 13 2018, 12:47 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 13 2018, 08:43 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 12 2018, 11:43 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 8 2018, 06:23 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 5 2018, 06:26 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Jun 3 2018, 11:12 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: May 31 2018, 02:18 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: May 27 2018, 07:03 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: May 19 2018, 07:35 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: May 14 2018, 12:41 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: May 9 2018, 07:06 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: May 3 2018, 01:30 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: May 3 2018, 11:27 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: May 2 2018, 06:37 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Apr 24 2018, 08:02 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Apr 23 2018, 09:50 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Apr 20 2018, 05:20 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Apr 12 2018, 08:50 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

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

triage
Posted on: Apr 11 2018, 06:21 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

nip, thanks for the link.

Just so you know, the China Daily lists the Lowy Institute as a sort of partner.

If the China Daily reprints articles from the Lowy Institute and discloses that the articles are from the Lowy Institute then that is one thing (last time I looked the Fin Review had heaps of old FT articles filling their pages but it was clear the articles originated from the FT). But I'm not entirely sure that that is what they are saying in this attached piece. (by the same measure, I'm not sure that they are admitting to using the Lowy Institute for astroturfing)

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/04/ch...lowy-institute/
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Apr 6 2018, 11:59 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Yeah an absolute shocker of an update. Actually much worse than how it is being treated by most posters on hc and of course much worse than how the MD Richard Seville has worded it. I coined the phrase, sleight of tongue, to describe Mr Seville's usual disclosure efforts and once again he has delivered a confused and misleading statement imo.

The update notes that production for the March quarter were 29% lower than the previous quarter and that the problems began towards the end of February. What no-one on hc has picked up on is that if you believe that timing then production in the last 6 weeks or so of the quarter must have been about 80% lower than expected. That sort of production failure suggests something other than a couple of weeks of overcast weather. I suspect that there were production issues that started much earlier than the end of February and that Mr Seville chose not to disclose those serious production problems in the update he gave on 23 February.

Also in yesterday's update Mr Seville changed the guidance for the fiscal year to be about 10% lower than the previous guidance of 14000t ie about 12600 tonnes. But seeing they produced about 6000 tonnes in the first six months and then about 2800 tonnes in the March quarter that would mean that in the revised guidance they are assuming production of about 3800 tonnes in the June quarter. 3800 tonnes for the June quarter is actually not much less than the previous guidance for the June quarter and not that much lower than a record quarterly production. The problem with that is that during a conference call yesterday Mr Seville said that the problems caused by the adverse weather in Febuary will be carried forward into the production levels in April, May and June. I suspect that towards the end of the June quarter Mr Seville will come out with another guidance for production for the year ending 30 June that will be substantially less than the 12600 tonne guidance he gave yesterday.

Also in the conference call yesterday Mr Seville explicitly confirmed that the final investment decision on phase 2 and on the LiOH plant will still be made by 30 June. I think that that is rubbish given that the FID has been delayed to allow phase 1 to get to nameplate production and clearly Mr Seville and his team will not deliver nameplate in the June quarter.

Anyway whilst it is true that Orocobre is in a strong market segment and it has a tier one project in Olaroz the brutal truth seems to be that it has crap management. How does the saying go? it is better to have top class management running a mediocre company than have medicore management running a high quality company. Unfortunately it looks like that with Orocobre we have the latter situation.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Apr 6 2018, 01:37 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

I see the ACT is to get a new federal electorate named after the historian Charles Bean.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-06/fede...ria-act/9626486

And already there is an early favourite to win the seat. Apparently ex-senator Sam Dastyari is considered to be a shoo-in.

https://twitter.com/samdastyari/status/841265241128239104
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Apr 5 2018, 08:57 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

... they've done a Dave Warner, although so far the Chinese have been more chivalrous than Quiton de Kock and some of the South African fans were. So far the Chinese are treating the spat with kid gloves.

Trump apparently thinks that because the trade balance is heavily in China's favour winning any trade tussle with the Chinese will be easy. His press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said overnight that the fallout for American exporters will only be "short-term pain". Maybe, but history shows that China's leaders have been far more willing to inflict pain on their people than American leaders and that the Chinese people have a far higher pain threshold than Americans.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Apr 1 2018, 11:26 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

I gave up reading The Australian a decade ago when they started embedding their political spin into the business and sports pages, I can't remember reading any disclaimers there. These days, pretty much I rely on sites like ss to inform me of articles and news that I need to know about.

I wish Michael West and his ilk every success, and if he has to pick up some odd jobs here and there to keep the lights on then as long as he is open and upfront about it then fair enough. In the US they are a big enough market for some investigative journalists to remain employed by fringe MSM operators like Propublica but here in Oz they are left to fend for themselves. I see even someone who is as conventional as Michael Pascoe has lost his job, apparently for not delivering the message Fairfax wants him to.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Mar 28 2018, 07:48 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

You beauty! Qld wins the Sheffield Shield again ... I'm old enough to remember when saying that would have been the first line in a joke.

Good to see Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns get rewarded for their efforts - under terrible circumstances admittedly. Also the Big Show gets his chance. Hopefully they put Shaun Marsh up as opener with Renshaw and allow Burns to settle in lower down the order.

Lucky that three batters got kicked out and no bowlers. Burns would have been picked in the original touring party but for injury and Renshaw and Maxwell pretty much demanded their call-up. And neither Smith nor Warner were having a particularly good tour. When it comes to bowlers however I'm not sure we have ready replacements for Starc or Gary (who were both in the leadership group but apparently not involved in deciding to tamper with the ball). Hazlewood is just doing enough though Pat Cummins is proving to be up to the task but you can't base a bowling attack on one wicket-taker (as the saffas are showing perfectly).
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Mar 25 2018, 08:57 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Geez, what a debacle! grrr.gif (remember how the Indians accused us of cheating last year too). But the mindset of the cricketers is not that different to what is being exposed in the banking royal commission and the various labour hire and visa rorts. We have become a morally bankrupt society where getting ahead is the only thing that matters. Sad!
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Mar 23 2018, 06:39 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

eb - Donny Two Scoops has threatened to put import restrictions on German cars. From memory I think Germany has the biggest trade surpluses of any European country so I guess it is in their own interests for the Germans to give moral support to another trade surplus economy.

Just on quantifying the size of China's trade surplus with the US here is a snippit from a link that Tyler Cowen posted:

QUOTE
But because of the way trade deficits are measured, almost all the value of those components is attributed to China, which exports the final product. Reuters reports that 61 million iPhones were shipped from China to the US in 2017 and suggests that just a single phone—the iPhone 7 model, released in 2016 and on sale for all of last year—accounted for $15.7 billion of the trade deficit, or 4.4%. Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics research at Oxford Economics, told Reuters if trade deficits were measured to account for the complex nature of global supply chains like the ones used by sophisticated consumer products like smartphones, the US-China trade deficit would be about 36% lower, or $239 billion.


http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevo...timate-day.html
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Mar 21 2018, 07:36 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Steyn still not fit, Starc looks to have broken down again, Rabada pulls a lazarus, possible massive turnaround in fortunes for the third test. The only thing perhaps in Australia's favour is that apparently the Cape Town pitch helps the fast bowlers. It is almost a given that Rabada would have performed no matter what the conditions were but a favourable pitch may allow Cummins and particularly Hazlewood to step up and cover for Starc. Would love to see Steve Smith respond to all the kerfuffle with a big ton.

Re Rabada recall, yeah looks as dodgey as but as a contest it still better imo that the two teams can pick their best players.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Mar 16 2018, 01:21 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

alonso - that appears to be their issue, that the supermarket division has not sufficient potential for growth given the capital invested. No doubt an implied acceptance of the new entrants coming into the grocery market.

Have to say though that like Woolies Coles has an enormous advantage over the newcomers in that they have tied up just about every key location to operate a supermarket in. I'm not convinced that delivery services will reduce the importance of postion position position when it comes to grocery sales: already we are seeing that a lot of these food delivery services only exist by paying the delivery guys below the minimum wage and by not looking after super and leave arrangements. I suspect that the likes of Aldi and Costco are knocking off growth prospects for Coles supermarkets but Coles will retain a substantial franchise that should be able to provide reliable dividends.

Also, I would be interested in standalone Coles over Woolies for the simple fact that Woolies is the biggest operator of poker machines in Australia. I saw someone describe the gaming lobby as Australia's NRA. Sure both Coles and Woolies sell alcohol and alcohol also does tremendous damage to our community but you could argue that there are mitigating factors with Australia's national abuse of alcohol. I think there are no such mitigating factors for pouring their money into poker machines, and as such I see standalone Coles as a better option than Woolies if I had to have a blue chip grocer in my portfolio.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Mar 16 2018, 12:57 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

I could of course post every day about the shenanigans that is Season 2, Donald Trump POTUS, but then again I don't watch any of the reality or cooking shows on free to air tv and for the most part I am totally "over" the soap opera that is US politics.

But this one is just a classic. Yesterday an audio recording was released of a presentation Mr Trump gave over the weekend to a group of financial donors. In that presentation Mr Trump boasts about how he bullshitted the Prime Minister of Canada that the US has a trade deficit with Canada (in fact like Australia Canada runs a trade deficit with the US). Mr Trump said he actually had no idea what the facts were but tried it on anyway. Mr Trump said when the Canadian PM disputed this they sent two underlings out of the meeting room to get the information and when they came back reported that indeed the US does have a trade deficit with Canada. Okay so that's level one of Trump bullshitting, that of the Canadians.

Level Two of Trump's bullshitting was to the donors because of course the underlings did not have to leave the meeting room - that information would be in the briefing papers that both Trudeau and Trump would have had - and what they would have reported was that it was Canada not the US that has the trade deficit. Trump apparently tried on the same bullshit line with the group of donors as he tried on with Justin Trudeau: that in his eyes Canada is exploiting its trade with the US by running a trade surplus with the US (which is stupid economics anyway)

And now we have level three of Trump's bullshit. Apparently Trump invented the meeting - according to the Canandians no such discussion took place at any of the meetings between Trump and Trudeau. The best fit they can come up with is perhaps one specific telephone conversation where the trade balance was touched on but what appears to have happened is that Trump mashed various snippits from various conversations together to give a germ of truth to a totally fabricated anecdote.

It amazes me the number of people who still give Donald Trump the benefit of doubt everytime he asks them to pull his finger, I've not experienced such mass gullibility before.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/trump-appa...anadas-trudeau/
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Mar 13 2018, 07:40 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

In a way it is a shame that Kagiso Rabada is going to miss the last two test matches. I'd much rather see a contest where both sides get to field their best combinations (but yeah dropping the shoulder should not become okay in cricket). Fantastic effort from him in the second test and from Abraham de Villiers as well - had to google the spelling so why not use his given name instead of his initials. I read where ABdV was smacking our fast bowlers around even when they were getting a lot of reverse swing which just underscores how he has been the dominant batter so far this series.

So much more cricket in this series than in the Ashes series just disappointed in all the rubbish that has also been going on.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Mar 8 2018, 01:46 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

is it roofs or rooves?

Also, why do thugs in Australia use baseball bats and not cricket bats? Either a high percentage of local baseball players are violent miscreants or the local ruffians watch too many US crime movies (I saw an interview of a real life New York mafioso and he readily admitted that much of the time he and his mates were mimicking what they saw in movies like The Godfather, not the other way round).
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Mar 8 2018, 12:04 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

eb

The other day I happened upon Stan Grant on ABC tv interviewing the China correspondent for the FT. Grant used to work for a cable network based in HK (CNN?) for some time and apparently the two journalists each had been reporting on China for over a decade. Anyway Grant asked the FT dude why Xi Jinping was grabbing power for life. The FT journo said that two possibilities are that Xi could have some sort of masterplan to "return" China to its central place in the world or alternatively Xi knows he has p!ssed off so many senior cadres with his corruption purge that as soon as he steps down he and his family and allies will be dealt with harshly. The FT journo said it is just as likely the latter as the former.

With Mao it was a bit of both: he starved millions of Chinese so that he could pay the USSR with food for weapons and eventually nukes as he had a vision of China as being the dominant power but he also backstabbed and persecuted lots of friends and foes in his paranoia that everyone was his enemy. The thing is with Mao it took several decades for his batshit craziness to fully blossom.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Mar 6 2018, 08:15 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

J - apparently on Fox it was reported that Warner started things off by making comments about the wife and mother of one of the Saffa's which brought a rejoinder about Warner's missus (she of the toilet tryst with Sonny Bill Williams). All tacky stuff which should have no place in professional sport. Reminds me of the incident where Glenn McGrath reportedly made personal sledges in a test match then got upset when the other player returned fire (not knowing that McGrath's wife had cancer). Some of the Aussies like to dish it up but carry on like snowflakes themselves.

Anyway back to the cricket: very impressive win, Starc did wonderfully well but for me it was the innings by Mitchell Marsh that turned the fortunes in favour of the Australian team.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Feb 27 2018, 07:25 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

But then you have an announcement like this about one of WA's hardrock (soon-to-be) producers and a Korean steelmaker (of all things).

https://www.reuters.com/article/posco-pilba...a-idUSL4N1QH2ZM

(hat-tip: finnigan86 at hc)

Surely the Koreans are concerned that the Chinese might mis-use their domination of downstream processing of lithium concentrate to squeeze out competition in battery production. If they want to stay in the game they just have to buy a seat at the table. So we have a number of endusers of lithium providing longterm contracts and equity injections for lithium miners as a way of staying in any battery / EV competition.

But as we have seen with LNG just because some big players buy into longterm supply contracts the commodity price may still crash when all the potential producers get going. Although Australia is now about the biggest exporter of LNG many of our LNG projects are high cost hence their massive writedowns and operating losses. Likewise I suggest that the lithium producers that are most likely to survive any price crash are the ones with the lowest operating costs (which historically at least has been the brine operators).
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Feb 27 2018, 09:45 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

This might have something to do with their decision ...

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australi...SKCN1GA2WK?il=0

So Amazon is relying on Australia Post for fast cheap delivery. Here's the thing I don't get about the cost of delivery for Amazon and its likes. For me to send even a smallish present by Australia Post's retail service cost me about $45 - the cost of posting the present was not much less than the present itself. So how can Amazon and Book Depository (which of course is Amazon) convince Australia Post to deliver stuff for free? Even Donny Two Scoops pointed out that US Mail must be losing a fortune by delivering stuff for Amazon at below cost. If Amazon squeezes a better deal out of Australia Post than what Kogan can get then it's game over for Kogan imo.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Feb 23 2018, 07:30 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

So what I can work out Anbang was not so much a ponzi scheme as a classic case of duration mismatch: it was borrowing on the short term by offering high yields and it was investing in relative low yield long term assets such as hotel buildings. It seems to me that what the Chinese government did was act as backstop for Anbang to stop a run on it, assuring those who lent the company money that their money is good and assuring all those who had insurance policies through the company that they are still covered. The authorities have stated that they intend to fix the company's balance sheet and then return it to private hands, possibly within a year.

It seems to me that this is pretty much what the Australian government promises to do under its explicit bank deposit guarantee (?). In isolation if Anbang was a one-off this action by the Chinese authorities is prudent and stabilising. The trouble is there is never just one cockroach and the question is how many other Chinese financial entities have similar exposure.

Here is Shenzhen based academic, Christopher Balding, from a couple of days ago mulling about deleveraging in China.

http://www.baldingsworld.com/2018/02/20/is...ging-revisited/
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 22 2018, 04:29 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Back to eb's comment that the Chinese government is starting to tighten money supply Zerohedge has this piece that claims that as a result of tightening of shadow banking some Chinese listed companies are having to suspend trade in their stocks.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-21/c...an-margin-calls

Yeah I know it's Zerohedge but for every 99 things they distort, overhype or simply make up every so often they are onto a big topic earlier and more accurately than just about anywhere else. Much of the info about China's mini-recession in 2015 that I posted on ss came from ZH and only ZH. Hardly anyone else was even talking about it at the time (but now it seems a given that yes in 2015 China went a bit close to the edge).

What has happened in the past that if things started to get the wobbles the Chinese government backed off until it settled down. But sooner or later China just has to address the oceans of easy money that is distorting their economy.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 21 2018, 11:06 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

eb - I feel your pain mate.

Hey with his maths and physics your son should have a look at medical engineering. Someone mentioned to me that the ANU has a 5 year bachelors degree in medical engineering, I don't know any details but the ANU has a kick-arse reputation, you would think that medical engineering offers lots of career opportunities, and Canberra is less than 4 hours by bus or train from the Sydney CBD. Anyway I hope your son finds something that gets his juices flowing.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 20 2018, 10:04 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

eb - that's really disappointing for your son after the fantastic HSC result he got. I don't know the NSW system but surely your son would not have been knocked back on his ethnicity (?). Is James Ruse a selective (?) school, I thought that they do much better than the private schools anyway? Could he apply to do medicine at other unis? Anyway with maths and physics scores like that I am sure he will make a success of just about anything he decides to take on. And maybe he could transfer across into medicine later on if he was still keen (?).

But I know it rips your guts when things don't quite fall into place for your children. Life rarely goes to plan though I suppose.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 20 2018, 06:11 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

No, no, eb, I was not wanting to egg you into a debate, I was mainly trying to work out my own thinking (still got some way to go rereading what I wrote). I appreciate your take on things though. I think we in Oz need to have a discussion about this stuff but hopefully there will not be an over-reaction.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 19 2018, 08:43 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

The FBI boss, Christopher Wray, said at a recent US Senate hearing: "One of the things we're trying to do is to view the Chinese threat as not just a whole of government threat, but a whole-of-society threat, on their end."

https://medium.com/shanghaiist/fbi-director...us-135d4bd0768a

I am wary of local companies that jump into bed with Chinese investors, mainly because I think Chinese companies often have a reverse Midas touch in that everything they touch turns to shite (not intentionally, it's just they've gotten too much money too easily and get too ambitious and sloppy). But I am also aware that some of these Chinese operations are in cahoots with Chinese authorities. For instance the Chinese company that got the 50 year lease on Darwin Harbour may have done so in hope of making a quid, but it also follows a pattern in Central America and South Asia of Chinese entities acquiring influence over strategically important ports.

I would be interested what the Chinese government is doing in Guyana as the yanks have noted there seems to be a concerted push by China to gain influence in Central and South America as they have done in parts of Africa and in the South West Pacific. The Tongan Parliament House that was destroyed in a recent cyclone was a gift from the Chinese government. Congo, which looks to be sliding back into anarchy, also has a grandiose parliament house provided by the Chinese.

The shame of it is that many mainland Chinese people who are arriving in Australia simply want what most everyone wants: a decent future for their kids, and it seems grossly unfair to tar those who are positively contributing to Australia with the same brush as those whose intent is less benign. I really enjoyed my years living in mainland China and have lots of admiration for the transformation that they have come through but I do believe that there is a worrying level of niavete amongst our leadership regarding eb's commies.
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 18 2018, 08:49 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

And a great reply from young Will Pucovski, 188 in only his third or fourth Shield game. His run rate was nothing like Renshaw's but that he was so steady given the circumstances is a plus.

Listened to a bit of cricket commentary on ABC radio yesterday and I found it interesting that in discussion about two of the games specific mention was made of how the Duke ball was moving around. Tis a shame some of the test players are not having to bat against Duke balls every weekend.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Feb 17 2018, 06:53 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

J - it was not only the weight of runs but the rate of runs that is impressive: 170 at a strike rate of 77.98, those are Matty Hayden like figures. When an opening batter can make that sort of contribution on Day One, it totally changes the complexion of the game, it allows the middle order batters to go hard as well and leaves the opposition with only one option, that is to try and save the game.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Feb 17 2018, 08:48 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

How the Chinese are infiltrating the US, one Pacific island at a time, though this appears to be a private venture not a government approved one.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/201...iece-of-america

  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Feb 8 2018, 11:20 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

I love a good nickname. Three oldies that come to mind

. the rugby player, John Eales, who was a towering second rower but also a fantastic place kicker, very unusual for a rugby "tight" forwad to be a match winner but Eales often was. His nickname was "nobody" as in nobody's perfect.

. then there were two other rugby players who played rep footy together and were good mates, Michael O'Connor and Chris Roche. Apparently neither were sparkling conversationalists which came across as them both being not the sharpest tools in the shed. Their nickname was "null" and "void".

. Aaron Baddeley is an Australian golfer who used to cop a ribbing from fellow players for his poor dress sense on the course. His nickname is "dresses" as in dresses badly.

. but the latest that I reckon is an absolute corker is for Bernard Tomic, who has been fined and heavily criticised for not trying his hardest all the time, to put it mildly. His nickname is funny but also spot on: Tomic the Tank Engine.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Feb 5 2018, 03:12 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Joe's just talking his book again, I suspect. I wonder how many of these proposed Aussie hard rock miners have paid fees to access the wisdom of one Joseph Lowry. Maybe he's pumping their prospects purely out of altruism but if he is it is rare for a hired gun to be handing out pro bonos.

And as for his enthusiasm for downstream processing of lithium in Australia.... yeah right ... our secondary industries are fading to nothing and he thinks we can take on the might of China as it keeps pushing to dominate the lithium sector. The fact is that China has a squirrel's grip on the downstream processing of lithium and if needs be they'll run their plants at a loss to ensure they maintain that control. And Joe thinks Aussie independents can compete with that? Why do you think Toyota Tsusho just bought 15% of Orocobre so as to secure exlusive marketing rights to Orocobre's battery grade products? Why is Rio Tinto again sniffing around a minority holding in SQM?

I think more to the point is that the margins for miners of hard rock lithium are not as generous as those of the brine operators like SQM and Orocobre) and are likely to be squeezed by China's dominance of downstream processing. It will be the margins of junior hardrock miners rather than that of the brine operators that will be hurting if the market tightens significantly and I suspect that Joe is merely putting up some smoke to obscure that likelihood.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Jan 31 2018, 05:34 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

I'm old enough to remember when Woolies moved their fruit and vege section in all of their stores to just inside the entrance and started using the "Fresh Food People" slogan. Stunning move, blew Coles out of the water. Strangely they seem to have moved away from that, in my local Woolies you walk into an area that leads into the dairy section. Zero impact.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Jan 30 2018, 06:41 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Wow, seems that the Australian industry has been taking notes from Bolivia of all places (just shows how far down the banana republic slippery slope we've travelled). Let's face it, when it comes to value adding from lithium and batteries Australia is just a hole in the ground.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Jan 24 2018, 09:20 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Looks like South Africa has got themselves another impressive fast bowler: last week 21 year old Lungi Ngidi debuted with 6 for 39 in the 2nd innings of the second test to help wrap up the 3 test series against the number one ranked India. So even with Dale Steyn out injured they still have four quality fast bowlers, led by the top ranked Kagiso Rabada who is also but a pup, at 22 years of age.

The third test has started, be interesting to see if Ngidi can maintain the form.


  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Jan 18 2018, 11:52 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

blacksheep - according to their announcement earlier this week Orocobre intends to expand its production by 25k tonnes per year starting late next year. They explicitly said that they and their big buddy, Tsusho Toyota, are fast-tracking and upsizing this expansion on the very basis that projected market conditions indicate that there will be a shortfall of supply.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Jan 18 2018, 08:05 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Orocobre is relatively protected from lithium price variations (the stress being on relatively).

Whilst the capital cost of recovering lithium from brine is higher than from hardrock mining the operating costs of brine are generally lower, and also brine operation like Orocobre's Olaroz project produce battery grade lithium carbonate that can be shipped directly to the battery manufacturers whereas the product from hardrock miners needs to sold to processors and the Chinese have that part of the production chain fairly tightly tied up. Never a good thing when the Chinese control a market in my view. Olaroz's production is at the low end of operating expenses so using the bygone rule it should be able to see out any price slump better than most.

With Toyota Tsusho putting US$287m (?) into Orocobre in equity it means that the proposed phase 2 development at Olaroz and LiOH processing facility in Japan will mean that Orocobre will only need to borrow US$100m, the rest coming from the cap raising and the ongoing cash flows from the phase one of Olaroz. As was shown with the recent collapse of Caollion in the UK if a company is overextended and conditions tighten they quickly run out of options. After this cap raising Orocobre will be sitting on something like $180m in cash equivalents plus the steady free cashflow from Olaroz phase one. So a spike in interest rates or a collapse in lithium prices should not scuttle Orocobre.

However the rising risk for Orocobre is that it has all of its eggs in the one basket - Olaroz - and as that projects reaches maturity I would like to see Orocobre spread its geograhpical / country risk around a bit.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Jan 16 2018, 09:26 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Major ructions happening with this company as we speak, lots to digest. Basically Toyota Tsusho is to own 15% of Orocobre, buying in at $7.50 a pop (Totota Tsusho is the sole general trading arm of the Toyota Group), there is an entitlement offer for existing shareholders at $6.55, phase 2 is being fast tracked and will produce 25k tonne pa (up from the previously touted 17.5k tonne a year), the LiOH plant is also moving ahead.

I can only imagine that the Japanese have bought in to secure their influence on Orocobre, a 15% shareholding is an effective block on Orocobre being taken over, was there another major sniffing around Orocobre or is this a preemptive move?

My next-to-first reaction is that with these announcements and with phase 2 being progressed the market will rerate ORE quite materially. A couple of things, not only will production more than double, not only will costs per tonne go down, but chemicals companies generally work on a much higher pe ratio than mining companies and if the market starts to perceive Orocobre as a chemicals company rather than a mining company then the current share price looks low.

But my first reaction was .... you told us time and again that there would not be a capital raising to fund phase 2 and the LiOH but now you're announcing a capital raising .... once again it seems that your words carry no weight and you will say anything that sounds good at the time.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Jan 16 2018, 07:45 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Well it seems that Amazon's pre-Christmas Australian launch was an anti-climax, a fizzer. However their Prime service, which the majority of Amazon users in the US go with, is yet to be offered here - coming in the middle of the year - so calling Amazon's assault on the Australian retail market a failure may yet be premature.

http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/re...ee7ca7b805570bb

Here is a short video on how Amazon is attempting to expand in multiple markets around the world, with India looking like an early success, and China, well an American operator was never going to be allowed to prosper in China.

http://ritholtz.com/2018/01/amazons-aggres...seas-expansion/

I know Amazon has for a long time ploughed any cash it can scrape together back into expansion and has managed to pull off this strategy so far - its founder, Jeff Bezos, is described as the richest person in the world - but I do wonder if they are overstretched and will crack at some stage. I see a major UK construction / services company, Carllion, just went broke. It appears that it agressively moved into the space left as government services were contracted out and in the haste to take as much work as it could it became overstretched. For me, that appears the obvious risk for Amazon and its agressive global expansion.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/j...ped-in-48-hours

And on a different issue, I find it totally amazing that Costco, which devotes a fair chunk of its floorspace to clothing, has no fitting rooms. For me it resulted in three trips to buy one shirt (never again). Asked a staff member why and was told that the company simply refuses to give customers access to enclosed areas. Their vigour in preventing shoplifting is most unusual - no toilets in the shopping area, no entry without identity, supervisors closely monitoring check-out workers, compulsory bag checks on the way out. In contrast, I was talking to a Myer sales assistant and they said it was obvious that leading up to Christmas the area where they were working was getting massively hit by shoplifters but the store management did not see particularly bothered (must have a good insurance policy I suppose). The self-service check-outs at Coles and Woolies are so badly being exploited by shoplifters that I think it was Coles wanted to have police officers acting as security guards. It seems that Costco uses quite a different approach towards customers.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Jan 15 2018, 11:52 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Now Ford joins the ev party. Half a year after installing a new CEO Ford has just announced that it is stepping up its R&D of ev and hybrid cars. They claim their intention is to put US$11b into developing 40 models by 2022. And rather than develop entirely new models that run on batteries they want to convert existing ICE models. So it seems that their cars will be EV or hybrid and their current version of yank tank, ie small trucks / pickups, will remain ICE.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autoshow...2-idUSKBN1F30YZ
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 15 2018, 07:24 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

This article in The Economist looks at the increasing competition that bitcoin is facing of its preeminent position in the world of cryptocurrency: referred to as the "flippening" (sigh).

https://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-...tcoin-no-longer
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 15 2018, 07:12 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

I remain largely clueless about blockchain - par for the course unfortunately - but this article is the best I've read at explaining bitcoin and blockchain's basis and future.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/01/18/bitcoin-mania/

(yeah I get that there can only ever be 21 million bitcoin but bitcoin is not the entirety of the blockchain universe and other newer better cryptocurrencies will surely make bitcoin redundant over time (??)).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 14 2018, 07:18 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Skase, Tinkler, if not Birch then someone using a similar rationale about debt ... for each bubble there is a shooting star ...

This is a useful update of things to do with the property market in Oz (not the slickest presentation but who cares).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyZzbRzxVBE

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

triage
Posted on: Jan 12 2018, 07:04 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Australia has two of the busiest domestic air routes in the world (Sydney - Melbourne is number 2 and Brisbane - Sydney is number 8) but the reality is that high speed rail links for those routes are not even on the drawing board. The dudes that have the Sydney airport monopoly must be pinching themselves with how that arrangement just fell into their laps.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/lists/bu...nd-south-korea/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/201...y-global-routes

maybe our leaders are showing great foresight in waiting for maglev or even Elon to come to our aid...
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Jan 8 2018, 02:04 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

nip - just out of interest (so to speak) did you copy and paste that quote or did you have to type it in yourself?

In an article that appears to be describing a group that may have urged thousands of people to leap into the financial unknown I would have thought there would be no room for the word "principle". If they are talking about paying back a loan then I think the word they should have used was "principal". wink.gif (but yeah always lots of typos from me when I cannot copy and paste).

If there are indeed 20k "investors" impacted from the one scheme it is big enough to warrant the government arranging a bail-out (because you know they were only being prudent in leveraging their life savings into a financial bubble...).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 8 2018, 06:57 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

nip - yep, there are many complicated no-win siuations in life but for most people this really is something that is not complicated or difficult: get your eating under control. At the gym I go to I frequently see people who must be 30-40 kg and more overweight struggling through a couple of sessions and then disappear, either due to injury or lack of motivation. If I tried to do my program loading an extra 40 kg onto each exercise I'd quickly give up too. Why health professionals do not insist people with weight problems do something like the 8 week low carb diet and then slowing build into an exercise program is beyond me. I found it very hard to lose weight just through a sustainable exercise program but I find exercising helpful in controlling my weight (and mood).

Also something I saw this morning, I'm kicking a few tyres in the health / medical sector at the moment but this graphic suggests that if I'm only looking at ASX listed stocks I may be restricted to a very small pond.

http://ritholtz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/exports.jpg
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 7 2018, 01:59 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

The Aussies have shown that they are good tarmac batters but how will they go when there is some movement of the ball to be had.

Here are the highlights of day one of the first test between South Africa and India in South Africa. Just going on that I know which series I would prefer to be watching. Be interesting to see what the South African bowlers make of it in this test (update: India is 2 for 65) and it will be fascinating to see how the Australian batters go in South Africa (you can be sure the groundsmen there will not be road engineers).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gDVbuYBWRY
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Jan 7 2018, 08:05 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Here's a decent read of an American journalist's take of China's take on Donald Trump. I could well imagine that many Chinese analysts are seeing in Donald Trump certain echos of Mikhail Gorbachev, and in a derogatory sense. The thing perhaps they cannot get their heads around is how flexible and adjustable the yanks can often be. In the Chinese universe they perservered with Mao for many years even after it was clear that he was doing great damage to their country. It took Mao's death for the Chinese leadership to have the opportunity to clean house and make changes. The same went with the USSR with the lunacy of Stalin and then the USSR perservered with an unsustainable model until Gorbachev finally called time. Even if Trump survives this year and the Republicans continue to duck leadership there will most likely be major changes to the US political landscape come the mid-term elections at the end of this year.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/...ina-great-again
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 3 2018, 02:53 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

"Once you've got type 2 diabetes, it's with you for life," Greg Johnson, the CEO of Diabetes Australia, said. So is that sound medical advice or just some dude talking his book?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-03/type...r-peril/9203076

But is diabetes type 2 really a life sentence? Well perhaps, except for many of those who have undergone bariatric surgery. And except for many of those that are being guided by the research of Roy Taylor and others. It turns out that for lots of people with diabetes type 2 all that is required is that they drop enough weight to clean up their fatty pancreas, and then change their lifestyle. Either that or stay on the medication. Here's a write-up of some of Prof Taylor's recent work.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/a...3102-1/fulltext

If you check out Diabetes Australia's website they list a number of "corporate partners", a number of whom are drug companies that I guess would be quite content to have increasing numbers of people resigned to the idea of themselves to taking diabetes medication for the rest of their lives. It's not surprising but it is disappointing that Mr Johnson did not qualify such a bald statement to recognise the tremendous advances in diabetes type 2 research in the last decade.

(I also posted a shortened version on this on macrobusiness).
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Jan 3 2018, 07:10 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Running through my morning reading list I found the juxtaposition of these two articles quite striking.

First off, we have a world leader who at least likes to give the impression that he is well-read, that he attempts to put current events into some sort of historical context. This is a bloke who is the son of one of the original leaders [edit: sorry not one of the eight immortals] of Communist China and who has devoted his whole life towards developing the skills and mindset required to provide leadership to a large chunk of humanity.

https://medium.com/shanghaiist/whats-new-on...ar-8d913dcc261f

Then we have a youngish New York real estate developer who brags about his lack of regard for what from the past has shaped what is happening now. He is the son of a felon jailed for back-stabbing his own family, someone who is devoted to getting ahead by whatever means he can, and who stumbled into a position of power through the woman he married.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/01/jared-kush...about-the-past/

I don't buy the view that we are seeing the rise of China and the demise of the USA - I think the yanks will reinvent themselves - but we are certainly living through a period when the Americans are being shaded by China.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Jan 2 2018, 04:40 PM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

What does that sentiment remind me of unsure.gif ... maybe this ...

"Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau". Irving Fisher

That's the problem with straight line extrapolations: the trend is your friend until the end when it bends.

Thomas Malthus has copped heaps of stick over the last couple of centuries for his finite commodities theory but I remember reading somewhere that he was not totally convinced about the theory himself and his writing in part was an attempt to get some balance to economic debate which at the time was being dominated by rabid panglossians - but a bit like in footy it was the reaction rather than the initial action that ended up getting all the attention.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 31 2017, 08:24 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Did Mitchell Starc dodge a bullet not playing on such a rubbish dead pitch or would his presence have made a difference? Jackson Bird must consider himself a bit unlucky as his one shot at the Test side this season and he gets only one go at bowling on said pitch. Still, surely there must be a bowler playing first class cricket in Australia who did not come up through the NSW system who is worth a go at test level? I don't follow the Sheffield Shield much but are there any games played where at least one of the sides take 20 wickets? Must be lots of run-outs and hit wickets I suppose as apparently the only decent bowlers come from NSW.

I think the poms have convinced themselves that Steve Smith only performs on tarmacs but the fact that he has averaged over 70 in each of the last four calendar years suggests he is a bit more versatile than that. Funny comment he made about how he prefers being out in the centre batting as he does not enjoy watching cricket.
  Forum: Off Topic Chat

triage
Posted on: Dec 30 2017, 07:47 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Here's a short interview of Harry Markowitz, apparently still going strong at 90. He's made a long career promoting a simple investment recipe: divsersify and rebalance (which does have some solid maths behind it). Mix it in with some of Jack Bogle's index funds and there really is not too much to this investing game is there? I should know better but too much patience and discipline required for me unfortunately...

http://www.evidenceinvestor.co.uk/harry-ma...nvestors-today/
  Forum: Investment Discussion

triage
Posted on: Dec 29 2017, 06:30 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Perhaps Woolies needs to keep a close eye on the Chinese as much as on Amazon. I've seen several articles that suggest parts of China are now virtually cash free, with even street beggers owning tap and go machines. Not sure how keen the Chinese are on developing english language versions of their software and not sure how us locals would take to retailers using face recognition software. But if one of the German infiltrators to Australian grocery shopping went with such a system it would surely cause a rethink of the cost structures in supermarkets (???).

https://qz.com/1157653/jd-com-will-open-hun...enience-stores/

The move by Coles towards self-service check-outs hit a wall when the rates of shoplifting skyrocketed. My local Woolies has been saying for over a year now - it suffers from the typcial long queues that Woolworths management seem to tolerate - that they would install more self-service check-outs but nothing has happened, suggesting to me that all is not well for Woolies in that regard.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Dec 28 2017, 06:26 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

I've not heard much in recent times about how Bolivia is going with developing its lithium industry. A few years back Bolivia and its potential to produce massive amounts of lithium was seen as a direct risk to the prospects of Orocobre successfully developing its Olaroz brine project in Argentina. At the time, Orocobre was using a lithium price of US$6500 per tonne in its modelling. The difference between Argentina and Olaroz, and the Bolivian government's plans was that Argentina seemed content to allow lithium carbonate to be exported to be further refined and then used in the production of battery cathodes elsewhere whilst the Bolivian government was demanding that to get approval to mine the lithium resource companies must also develop in Bolivia a battery production industry. I remember there was a South Korean outfit that was attempting to use the carrot of a novel extraction process to gain access to Bolivia's salt lake(s).

These days Orocobre is there or thereabouts with having its stage one facility producing at nameplate of 17,500 tonnes a year, it is consistently receiving more than US$12,000 per tonne and it has indicated that they expect to receive more than US$14,000 a tonne in the March 2018 quarter and the expectation is that they will soon confirm plans to double production at Olaroz in the next couple of years. Meanwhile Bolivia apparently has seen US$450m sunk into their industry in recent years but only produce 10 tonnes of lithium (carbonate I'm guessing) per month and are still insisting that any development of their brine resources be linked with the development of a battery production industry in Bolivia. They talk of announcing new partnerships next month with up to US$750m to be invested. Let's see how that goes but the reality is that the Orocobre is now an established producer and the lithium market is now so much bigger than what it was back in 2011.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bolivia-...t-idUSKBN1EL1JB
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Dec 27 2017, 07:36 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Yesterday for a lark (after the harking) I spent a few hours kicking the tyres of Clean Teq. It certainly is a weird one, not least because of how its board is set up. Yeah I get that it is all about colbalt and nickel and it is effectively being driven by Mr Friedland. If you've invested in it then I wish you every success. For me though it is too closely bound up with China Inc: a Chinese real estate developer holds about 16% of the stock and has a proxy on the board, a major Chinese industry player appears likely to acquire a 25% interest in the project (and already has a rep on the board), and a Chinese bank has been added to the group of bankers providing finance for the project (to the tune of US$125m). That to me reads as the Chinese having taken control of the project.

One query I have is how much electricity will be needed to drive the processing facility. NSW has chosen to forego cheap gas powered electricity and I guess they will reap what they have sown. Clean Teq's blurb is that their project should be in the lowest quartile for costs but given how electricity prices have shot up in NSW in recent months I wonder if that claim still holds. Of course with colbalt and nickel being boom elements lots of sins and weaknesses will be covered over so it will probably not be a factor in greenlighting the project. Its just a question I have.
  Forum: By Share Code

triage
Posted on: Dec 27 2017, 06:50 AM


Group: Member
Posts: 3,681

Here's a striking chart of how the market cycles. Its visual impact is due I think to half the action being left out leaving a silhouette effect (?). Not sure it tells us much we didn't already know: markets go up, markets go down, but it's a mug's game trying to time the tops and bottoms.

http://ritholtz.com/2017/12/edelman-import...nvesting-chart/
  Forum: Investment Discussion

19 Pages (Click to Jump) V   1 2 3 4 > » 

Cant find what you are looking for? Show all active topics from the last 3 months


New Posts  New Replies
No New Posts  No New Replies
Hot topic  Hot Topic (New)
No new  Hot Topic (No New)



TERMS OF USE  -  CONTACT ADMIN  -  ADVERTISING