Home > Boneheaded stupidity, Economic policy > Nationalising privatisation

Nationalising privatisation

October 27th, 2010

I discovered this too late to put it in Zombie Economics, but it has to be the sharpest irony of the Queensland privatisation debate. The sale of our public assets is being managed, in part, by the Royal Bank of Scotland which, thanks to the gross incompetence of its private managers, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the British government.

  1. David Peetz
    October 27th, 2010 at 23:43 | #1

    If this was for a novel, the publisher would say ‘come on, you’ve got to make it appear at least a bit believable …’

  2. John S Cook
    October 28th, 2010 at 01:58 | #2

    We ought to be impressed by just how unimpressive the Queensland Government has been on this issue.

  3. Ikonoclast
    October 28th, 2010 at 09:54 | #3

    There’s something rotten in the state of Queensland.

  4. Chris Warren
    October 28th, 2010 at 13:02 | #4

    And I suppose, when the next crisis hits, the Singaporean government will end up owning the Australian stock exchange ????

  5. gregh
    October 28th, 2010 at 14:00 | #5

    @Chris Warren
    what’s that line about selling the rope to hang themselves.
    In the end though these decisions will work well for those who partake in them. Not so good for everyone else.

  6. October 29th, 2010 at 11:39 | #6

    This was not the first. The same thing
    happened in Mexico. In the early 90s,
    two banks that handled the privatization
    in Mexico were rescued by the Mexican
    Government (read taxpayers) in 1995.
    Royal Bank of Scotland was not rescued
    by Queensland Government.


  7. Alice
    October 29th, 2010 at 17:34 | #7

    Ikono – there is something rotten in the state of QLD and in the state of NSW and in the Governments of Australia. They have been dancing the cha cha with so much privatisation with the private sector now that they no longer know the difference between public accountability in their positions and their own private self interest.

    The State Governments in QLD and NSW are standouts for this. Just finished a book by Humphrey McQueen (2000 or so) where he laments the loss of archival material and research assistance from the National Library, since 1991, to be replaced with “technological gadgets that they “cant get to work”, so that in his approx words “we got told the greatest lie of all time throughout the 1990s – “its on the net”.
    He makes a special thankyou to three people from the National Library offered him the sort of assistance “that used to be normal.”
    Idiots who have blindly followed the line that “its on the net” and eg reduced library services and collections are going to decimate universities the way disposable equipment and increasing technology in this area decimated hospitals after the 1970s by placing dependence on foreign pharmaceutical companies with their “specialties”. Ah but it was supposed to save costs because disposables were so much cheaper…….but only to start with and only until all local competition had been eradicated.

    Our university libraries are going the same way – privatised journal access to be later fleeced by foreign database publishers.

    The jnl databases dont even work sometimes Ive noticed now, and it will end up like foxtel (want to see a decent movie? You need to pay a higher payment level. Want the most recent research – oh that will cost the uni more…only it will creep up and up over time as it has already)

    This is so predictable. Why not open the door and say “its a great big globalised world – come in and take over the unis completely and while you are at it – can you run the National Library badly for us?!”

  8. Bob Flarganwurther
    October 30th, 2010 at 03:27 | #8

    Please post more i am doing this for a school project

  9. BilB
    October 30th, 2010 at 08:10 | #9

    Oh, Alice,

    “can you run the National Library badly for us”

    what a scary thought. I can just see how the asset stripping disposed private industries could operate national libraries and historical archives.

  10. Alice
    October 30th, 2010 at 18:20 | #10

    as Galbraith once famously said “private affluence produces public squalor”.

  11. Alice
    October 30th, 2010 at 18:23 | #11

    Now I know what it means

  12. paul walter
    October 31st, 2010 at 02:51 | #12

    The Royal Bank of Scotland?
    Am sure that copped a right flaying on a public broadcasting ( ABC, from memory ) doco series identifying the factors and causes leading up to the GFM of 2007, maybe six months back.

  13. Alice
    November 5th, 2010 at 19:39 | #13

    How could the private sector run national libraries and historical archives? Im sure Rupert mudoch would have plenty of “Rupert right wing archived media pieces” he could replace real history with.

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