It's the economy, stupid!

 
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
Hard-workingman, I wasn't aware of the changes to breaking term deposits. It used to be the case that breaking was an easy matter that cost you an interest penalty. But a months notice? That's outrageous.

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  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
The Jesuit is at it again:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-slams-pensions-for-people-with-bad-backs-a-bit-of-depression-20161214-gtasat.html

Look, I get the whole populism of railing against all the dsps out there and the large number of long term unemployed. Its an easy mark because many of us are familiar with someone who has exploited the system, or been unable to reskill and compete effectively for jobs. For older men it might be the dreaded soft tissue injury saga, like a torn Achilles, that can leave people in uncomfortable positions.

After the recent 457 discussion, a rather unhappy thought came to me whilst reading the above link. It's all well and good to call out bludgers, but what if the fake skills shortages are just encouraging learned helplessness in those left behind, willing and able to work or not? Why would you even bother trying to compete with imported workers on cheaper rates? Given how politicised workplaces are, anyone with unaddressed grievances and feeling hard done by would be strongly tempted to go off on stress, even without being physically injured. I've seen it myself.

As discussed before, many older workers are always in danger of being prematurely kicked out of work. In regional areas it's harder to run viable businesses, and jobs aren't as easy to pick up.

Id better stop, I'm sounding like a delegate and it's slightly concerning...
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The Jesuit is at it again:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-slams-pensions-for-people-with-bad-backs-a-bit-of-depression-20161214-gtasat.html
locojoe67
I really wish he would fade into obscurity and leave for that nice lobbying job that's waiting for him outside of politics (probably in the coal industry) but I think it's pretty obvious he still wants the big chair. I think he's just picking up on what Morrison said the other day and it's always popular to blame the lowest common denominator for our woes because they're the least able to fight back.
As discussed before, many older workers are always in danger of being prematurely kicked out of work. In regional areas it's harder to run viable businesses, and jobs aren't as easy to pick up.
locojoe67
It's incredibly difficult to get an employer - any employer - to take on someone with multiple disabilities who is a bit older and might have been out of the workforce for a while. Usually they just don't want a bar of them.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Maurice Blackburn has announced it is investigating a shareholder action against Bellamy's because of the collapse in the share price earlier this month (Motley Fool). Is there ANY situation in which a business on the down-slide is not liable to be sued by disgruntled shareholders?

And I really don't understand the basis of the litigation - that Bellamy's didn't notify the market fast enough of potential adverse trading conditions in the last few months. Whatever happened to doing your own research as a buyer of shares - or are you always supposed to make big $$$ every single time you buy something on the ASX...?
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
I wonder if the Directors of Bellamy's tried to obtain loans to fund share Buybacks? That's usually how they are managed these days. Management remuneration is often tied to constantly rising share prices too.

It reminds me that after the gfc, some loopy academic had the enlightened idea of legislating against short sellers, on the basis that falling share prices were detrimental to superannuation funds.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I wonder if the Directors of Bellamy's tried to obtain loans to fund share Buybacks?
locojoe67
The fact that they apparently didn't try and protect the share price from that large drop would suggest not.

Meanwhile Scott Morrison shows how ignorant he really is by telling a banking and finance conference yesterday that there was no problem with a continuing rise in household debt because house prices are continuing to rise to compensate (ABC). Several of the observers at the conference later condemned him for those remarks:

Investment expert Roger Montgomery, who manages more than $1 billion worth of funds, did not hold back in his criticism.

"I think that is one of the most inane and stupid things I have ever heard," he said. Mr Montgomery argued the very reason for the rise in asset prices is due to the debt used to buy it.

He said it would not take much for highly indebted Australians to be caught out, unable to service their financial commitments.

"The reality is that firstly, if house prices are elevated because of debt, there should be no comfort in the price of a house — it's elevated simply because of the debt," he said. "When interest rates start going up — and they will as soon as, in some cases February for some of the banks — investors are going to find they won't have a tenant, or they won't have a tenant and they'll have higher interest rates to pay, and that debt will come home to roost."

I think Morrison has a job to do - to keep talking up the economy - and he's just trying to do it. But dismissing our increasing debt load as a good thing is probably not wise. We spend $1.50 for every dollar we earn as a nation - there's no doubt that the debt accumulation of households will have to wind down at some stage.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
We, the banks and our financial system will experience significant distress if, or is it when, house prices drop. Those inflated valuations are for the 'assets' underwriting all that issued credit. All that mortgage backed credit, created by selling houses to each other at progressively higher prices, funds our lifestyle.

Maybe the new goal will be to go backwards slower than the Jones's.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
One company sent me to Bendigo for a job estimated to take 4 hours.  It took 45 minutes so that is what they paid me for- it didn't even cover petrol and parking - it seems that a lot of people expect others to work for nothing so they can make more money.

When you are on a client site being the local eyes and ears for a technology upgrade where the main control is done from a capital city it is hard to fudge for extra time and I don't try as I think that behaviour is unethical. Didn't stop the company who I subcontracted to claiming the full 4 hours to the client though.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
One company sent me to Bendigo for a job estimated to take 4 hours.  It took 45 minutes so that is what they paid me for- it didn't even cover petrol and parking.
HardWorkingMan
As a sub-contractor you must have agreed to a contract that says this is what they must pay you. You need to make sure that your contract ensures that you to receive appropriate remuneration for your work and reimbursement for any costs incurred with oncosts. If it doesn't then your solicitor isn't doing his job.
  jibbonpoint Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
We received a 'phone call last night from Malcolm.( http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-16/prime-minister-malcolm-turnbull-joins-war-over-pension-changes/8126546 ). We were sitting down to tea so I let the 'phone go to message bank but he left a message.

Frankly, I don't care. I hadn't budgeted for one one anyway so it was a bonus but I did budget for a 5% return. I've forgotten about that.

Anyway, the point is that previous generations were able to be given a pension due to Old Age and it was regarded, not so much as an entitlement, but a sense of pride that the Country recognised the input from those new pensioners and the contribution that they had made over their working life.

So, no Super was required. It was voluntary.

And about 20 years ago, we were told that the Country couldn't support these "handout's" much longer and so it has come to pass.

We're also told that we needed (need) the population to increase by migration for growth and prosperity, and so it has. Exponentially.

What happened? I can't just be the Baby Boomer Bump.(Can it??)  

It is obvious that the Old Age Pension will be phased out and it will be left to the devices of individuals to fund their own retirement. Fine for me but there are going to be a lot of people that are not able to work and, for one reason or another, are going to be underfunded approaching 70+ years of age. I haven't met too many over 60 Carpet Layers still laying carpets.

There's a whole raft of things that we, as citizens, really need to get across to politicians that are going to listen as well as demonstrate an ability to understand what's going on and communicate same rather than waffle on. I'm still baffled by Morrison's speech the other day (which has been well reported) to the Bankers. I'm still clinging to some faint belief that Turnbull knows what he is doing.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
We, the banks and our financial system will experience significant distress if, or is it when, house prices drop.
locojoe67
But they're going to do everything in their power to ensure that housing keeps going at the expense of anything and everything else - Fairfax is reporting today that the stacking of the Reserve Bank Board with property people continues apace:

Carol Schwartz, a high-profile business woman involved in retail, property and philanthropy, will replace Heather Ridout on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s nine-member board.

Ms Schwartz, who sits on the board of property group Stocklands and has held a directorship at Bank of Melbourne and been national president of the Property Council of Australia, will join the RBA board for five years starting on February 14.

Ms Schwartz is also a staunch advocate of allowing foreign nationals to 'invest' in Aussie residential property, having been involved with a business start-up specifically involved in funding that type of 'investment'. So as we can all see quite clearly from this new appointment - property is going to continue to be the only game in town, bugger trying to manufacture or create something of value in this country.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
One company sent me to Bendigo for a job estimated to take 4 hours.  It took 45 minutes so that is what they paid me for- it didn't even cover petrol and parking.
As a sub-contractor you must have agreed to a contract that says this is what they must pay you. You need to make sure that your contract ensures that you to receive appropriate remuneration for your work and reimbursement for any costs incurred with oncosts. If it doesn't then your solicitor isn't doing his job.
Graham4405
Officially I am a 'Casual Employee' for 5 different companies at the moment.  The local manufacturer is good and tries to find me as much work as possible.

One of the 4 it companies is good and treats it's employees with respect - they even cover travel time.  The other 3 compete against each other for support work for the likes of HP and Dell. They use the cheapest labour they can find and have no problem threatening people to get it done. They often ring with an emergency break/fix and want you to take off immediately 'and we will do the paperwork when you get back' but if you do take off and they don't get the contract they don't ring you back.  They wait until you ring in to get the final address and contact name and then say "we can't pay you as we didn't get the contract" so now I don't move until the paperwork is approved.  I can't afford to travel Echuca - NUmurkah for no money!
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Officially I am a 'Casual Employee' for 5 different companies at the moment.
HardWorkingMan
Then they must pay you award rates, including travel time/km.

I'm not sure what your skills might be, but I worked in IT for 27 years (officially, and probably another 5 unofficially) and there should be no shortage of work for a skilled IT person. My former employer is currently offering two full-time positions. For about 10 seconds I almost considered coming out of retirement...
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
ABS house prices released the other day show that Perth and Darwin continue their slide backwards (Perth by 4% and Darwin by 7% while Melbourne and Sydney have cooled off considerably (ABS); perhaps its time for our Reserve Bank (now stacked to the brim with property people) to cut interest rates again when they meet in February?

Incidentally it's interesting to see that crayfish tail might be off the menu for many Aussies at Xmas with Chinese demand extremely high right now - Aussie crays are getting $100+ a kilo (ABC) and I've heard from some local seafood aficionados that $200+ is the norm for the very best quality tail meat... wow. Must be a good time to own a cray license.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Incidentally it's interesting to see that crayfish tail might be off the menu for many Aussies at Xmas with Chinese demand extremely high right now - Aussie crays are getting $100+ a kilo (ABC) and I've heard from some local seafood aficionados that $200+ is the norm for the very best quality tail meat... wow. Must be a good time to own a cray license.
don_dunstan
I wanted to eat some local crayfish when we visited Tasmania in 2010. It was $85/kg then, with a crayfish salad at Mures restaurant on Constitution Dock, Hobart being $140! A seafood vendor that runs a van out here each Friday was telling me recently that mudcrabs are at about $79/kg. I did manage to buy 2kg of prawns from him for $30 though!
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
Officially I am a 'Casual Employee' for 5 different companies at the moment.
Then they must pay you award rates, including travel time/km.

I'm not sure what your skills might be, but I worked in IT for 27 years (officially, and probably another 5 unofficially) and there should be no shortage of work for a skilled IT person. My former employer is currently offering two full-time positions. For about 10 seconds I almost considered coming out of retirement...
Graham4405
That is what I insist on but as other people are willing to work for less than the minimum wage I only get work when none of them are available.

Country towns can also be a bit funny - they can't comprehend that I can drive to Bendigo, Shepparton or Deniliquin faster than it took me to get from Glen Waverley to St. Kilda Road in Melbourne by either car or public transport. They seem to think people won't travel that far for work
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
That is what I insist on but as other people are willing to work for less than the minimum wage I only get work when none of them are available.
HardWorkingMan
It seems like we're all in a race to the bottom; when you tell other people about the undercutting of awards that occur they simply don't believe you but it's rampant in Australia now.

Meanwhile the jobs continue to evaporate: The Australian is reporting that Portland Alcoa workers have been told to take leave until Friday when an announcement about the plant's future is expected - it's not looking good. Apparently it has been losing a million dollars a day since the power outage a few weeks ago halted production.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
I heard that when the power went out the aluminium cooled in the pots and pipes meaning lots of work to repair or replace them.  Of course workers still need to be paid but as it isn't currently producing anything there is no money coming in the door to pay the bills
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
RBA minutes. Yeah Laughing
Groundrelay
They need to keep the spigots on the (private) debt taps at full bore because if ScoMo has his way they will slash very, very hard. The only thing keeping a lid on their agenda right now is the senate but perhaps they might actually do enough horse-trading next year to get their cuts though. It's also extremely likely that we will actually slip into recession soon with the final closure of the car industry - but I think reading the statement they will sheet that home to 'external forces'.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Good news, Perth real estate has definitely bottomed out according to (who else but) real estate group Raine and Horne - as has the Aussie dollar and the mining slump (Broker News). There's nothing but good news for the west from here on in -

“Economic reports in January and February will set the tone for a 2017 rebound,” said Craig Abbott, general manager for Western Australia at Raine & Horne.

“The key factors we’ll be looking for in WA will be the performance of the retail sector over the Christmas period, the local unemployment rate and inflation. The February meeting of the Reserve Bank will also be monitored closely.”

I thought the bottom was supposed to be six months ago? You should never pick bottoms, there's always the risk you'll be wrong later on... not to mention its very unhygienic Wink
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Good news, Perth real estate has definitely bottomed out according to (who else but) real estate group Raine and Horne - as has the Aussie dollar and the mining slump (Broker News). There's nothing but good news for the west from here on in -

“Economic reports in January and February will set the tone for a 2017 rebound,” said Craig Abbott, general manager for Western Australia at Raine & Horne.

“The key factors we’ll be looking for in WA will be the performance of the retail sector over the Christmas period, the local unemployment rate and inflation. The February meeting of the Reserve Bank will also be monitored closely.”

I thought the bottom was supposed to be six months ago? You should never pick bottoms, there's always the risk you'll be wrong later on... not to mention its very unhygienic Wink
don_dunstan
The real estate market in Adelaide is still bonkers.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The real estate market in Adelaide is still bonkers.
bingley hall
I don't understand it either, it's not like we have a really good job market underpinning residential property here although anecdotally I have heard that we are a very attractive 'investment' destination from people in Sydney and Melbourne who who are looking to build their multi-million dollar property empires like these clever Sydney-based property millionaires, so that might explain why conditions are still strong.

South Australia is quite appealing to these 'professional investors' because yields in places like Salisbury, Elizabeth and Munno Para can be as high on paper as 7-8% (huge returns in our ultra-low interest rate environment) and you don't need to borrow much money to buy in - whereas Sydney and Melbourne yields are substantially lower and you need much, much bigger loans to buy in. However I did read the other day that median rents in Adelaide have shrunk by 1.5% in the last 12 months so as an investor I'd probably be a bit concerned about that - it points to the fact that the market for good tenants is starting to get harder here as it has been in Perth in the last two years.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Uh oh - infant formula maker Bellamy's has asked the ASX for an even longer extension of its trading halt though to 13/1/17 - as in the Financial Review (paywall). They have not been giving anything away with no press release or statement to explain why.

Could be the end of the "dining boom" before it even really started?
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
"the debt accumulation of households will have to wind down at some stage."

It will probably be a very involuntary process. The work colleagues have this week had several, protracted conversations centred on 'what-if' property speculation. I listened but didn't say much. What struck me was the total acceptance of high debt loads and risks tolerance in order to speculate.

'external forces'

The government will never accept liability for stoking a largely avoidable, two-decade long speculative boom in residential property. There will not be any one factor,  but an unexpected combination that will be labelled as 'freak' that finally upsets the speculative gravy train of 'housing always goes up'.

There are people out there forecasting schaudenfreude and relief when it all turns to *+#*. I'm not one of them. I totally get that poeple are priced out of housing, but that a monetary policy issue, not a demand issue. There will be strife and unpleasantness, and what empathic being could possibly take joy from that? Unless perhaps you run a central bank, write RBA policy releases or shorted the housing reits (no, no and no...).

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