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Monday Message Board

May 30th, 2011

It’s time again for the Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language. Lengthy side discussions to the sandpits, please.

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  1. Very Frank Sources
    May 30th, 2011 at 13:56 | #1


    The above article about Malcolm Turnbull on the ABC website says

    “You’ve got the likes of leading centre-left economist, Professor John Quiggin, plugging him for Prime Minister. ”

    Are you plugging Malcolm Turnbull for Prime Minister?
    I must say I am surprised.

  2. Chris Warren
    May 30th, 2011 at 14:17 | #2

    I suppose most of the commentariat is aware that capitalism in Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Greece, Japan and Iceland has now collapsed in a Marxist crisis. Of course some cover-up is apace as the rest of Europe frantically tries to stave of the inevitable for the pigs. We should send them a copy of th story of King Canute. Japan’s slump has been extraordinary long and slow moving.

    Of course those capitalist economists in the rest of OECD economies are still gritting their teeth in hope and fear, that thier own debt does not expose capitalism in Germany, France, UK, and USA. Unfortunately here too the writing is on the wall. It has been covered in various issues of The Economist but now in the Business Section of NYT as America prepares to inject more heroin into its economic lifestream.

    This is an excellent read particularly as these spin doctors prattle on about some supposed “new element at work in the global economy”. Naturally anyone with an ounce of commonsense would be rolling-on-the-floor over that:

    The simultaneous buildup of very large public deficits and debt positions in virtually all of the advanced high-income countries “is a new element at work in the global economy,” the report says.

    “It is unique in peacetime for so many countries to have so much debt,” Mr. Gagnon said in an interview last week. But he added that global capital markets, and the access to lenders that these markets provide, probably mute the ill effects of this simultaneous borrowing binge.

    Of course they are shitting themselves …

    The paper assesses the potential consequences of a more pervasive debt crisis, one involving a number of countries in the same perilous position at the same time. The authors also consider the impact that future interest rate increases may have on these debt loads and provide separate estimates of how debt levels would grow under differing circumstances. They incorporate into these estimates expected growth rates in various regions as well as rising health care costs and retirement obligations. The analysis uses figures from the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.


    You sitting down?

    Under a best-case outlook, according to the authors, the nation’s net federal debt will rise to 155 percent of gross domestic product in 2035, more than double the current levels. (Net debt is defined as the government’s financial liabilities minus its financial assets.)

    Under a more pessimistic view on growth rates, that load ratchets up to 302 percent of G.D.P. that year. As the paper notes, “debt ratios of around 200 percent of gross domestic product are at the extreme limit of what advanced economies can experience without becoming destabilized.”

    But our capo’s remain happy that they have 5 years at least to solve the problem (huh?)

    HAPPILY, Mr. Gagnon and Mr. Hinterschweiger do not believe a Greek-style crisis is in the cards for the United States. They say that we have some time to start addressing our debt problems — five years at least. But given how our debt is growing, a fiscal crisis looms if policy makers do nothing.

    “There may never be a single defining moment of crisis,” the authors write, “but rather a drift into ever-higher inflation and interest rates, ever-lower growth or deeper recession, and eventually hyperinflation along with rapid currency depreciation. Most economists would view such a prospect as a progressive strangulation of a nation’s well-being.”

    Original at:


  3. plaasmatron
    May 30th, 2011 at 17:50 | #3

    Makes me cry when I see images of the riot cops breaking up the peaceful demonstration in Barcelona. Apparently 37 police were injured in the “clashes”. Take a look at these and find some police being injured.



    I fear Chris Warren is right and Spain has definitely reached a Marxist crisis, and sadly is headed back toward a Franco style disintegration

  4. Alice
    May 30th, 2011 at 19:14 | #4

    @Chris Warren
    says “Japan’s slump has been extraordinary long and slow moving. ”

    Hey guess what? Welcome to the USA.

  5. Ikonoclast
    May 30th, 2011 at 20:09 | #5

    There are many crises arriving at once. We are indeed in deep trouble.

    1. Capitalist Crisis. (As Marx predicted).
    2. Limits to Growth Crisis (As Meadows et al predicted.)
    3. Climate Crisis (worse than IPCC predicted)
    4. Environmental Crisis.
    5. Extinction Crisis.
    6. Denialism Crisis.

    Have I missed any out? (Resources crisis is part of Limits to Growth crisis.)

  6. Alice
    May 30th, 2011 at 20:19 | #6

    Yes Ikono – you have missed something big out – crisis in economics that they cant see it.

  7. TerjeP
    May 30th, 2011 at 21:36 | #7

    Nice of Cate Blanchett to jet in and inject some humor into the policy debate by taking all that black carbon out of the air and stopping all that black chimney carbon spewing forth from long closed British power stations by getting us to vote Yes in some sort of non existent ballot for a tax most people don’t want. Lucky for her she has a well paid day job. LOL.

  8. Ikonoclast
    May 30th, 2011 at 22:28 | #8



  9. Jill Rush
    May 31st, 2011 at 00:13 | #9

    Now why would NewsLtd want to have a go at Cate Blanchett – blonde woman who has made good using her talent. Too clever by half.

  10. Catching up
    May 31st, 2011 at 02:57 | #10

    The only reason they are having ago, is because she is an easy target and they are afraid she could be effective.

  11. Tim Macknay
    May 31st, 2011 at 13:48 | #11

    Have I missed any out? (Resources crisis is part of Limits to Growth crisis.)

    End-of-the-world crisis (as Nostradamus predicted)
    Rapture crisis (as John the Evangelist predicted)
    Caliphate crisis (as Dick Cheney predicted)
    Royal family crisis (as Lyndon laRouche predicted)
    Total-toxic-overload crisis (as Ben Elton predicted)
    Mining tax crisis (as Gina Reinhart predicted)
    Great-big-new-tax-crisis (as Tony Abbott predicted)
    Multiculturalism crisis (as Jack Strocchi predicted)
    Foreigner crisis (as Pauline Hanson predicted)
    Big government crisis (as Terje Petersen predicted)
    Fiat money crisis (as various gold-bugs predicted)
    Inflation crisis (as predicted by some economists)
    Deflation crisis (as predicted by some other economists)
    Planking crisis (as Julia Gillard predicted)
    Jeggings crisis


  12. Alice
    May 31st, 2011 at 19:16 | #12

    @Tim Macknay
    LOL Tim – I think thats a pretty comprehensive list but what on earth is Jeggings crisis?

  13. Alice
    May 31st, 2011 at 19:33 | #13

    Oh I think Ive worked it out…according to google.

    At a certain time in imminent motherhood, when jeans no long fit and leggings just lose all holding power over various parts of the anatomy which stretches the leggings into complete elasticity loss threatening imminent collapse…thus the jeggings crisis appears solved by a cross between jeans and leggings!!

  14. Tim Macknay
    May 31st, 2011 at 22:12 | #14

    That’s actually better than what I had in mind, Alice.

  15. Fran Barlow
    May 31st, 2011 at 23:05 | #15

    @Jill Rush

    Not rich enough; only had one parent from 10 years old, not ripping off the country’s resources; not a complete boofhead, likes “the arts” … really, if you’re from the Murdochracy, there’s really nothing to like and plenty to resent.

  16. Chris Warren
    May 31st, 2011 at 23:11 | #16

    So how does $26 per tonne (1,000kg) play out?

    Using the emission factor of 0.527 kg/kwh

    see: http://www.carbonindependent.org/sources_home_energy.htm

    this only amounts to around 1.4 cents per kwh.

    So what cuts will people make in electricity usage if the price goes up around $1.50 per week? (assume usage of 100 kwh per week). Less if there is compensation.

    Or is there a different basis to working this out?

  17. sam
    May 31st, 2011 at 23:25 | #17

    I agree the Murdoch confected “outrage” against Blanchett appearing in the carbon tax ad is disgusting. Having said that, I was very disappointed to learn she had signed a petition complaining about the arrest of Roman Polanski. It really demonstrated a very sinister in-group mentality on her part . Apparently children should only be protected from people who don’t work in the creative arts.

  18. TerjeP
    May 31st, 2011 at 23:27 | #18

    At a guess the major incentive shift will be via producers. Consumers will sign up for the power that is cheapest and then just use what suits them. If a producer can be cheaper with gas instead of coal then that is what they will do. Allowing of course for an investment lag.

  19. Donald Oats
    May 31st, 2011 at 23:36 | #19

    @Fran Barlow
    @Jill Rush

    Of course, the National broadsheet (especially the Business Section) and MSM should appreciate that she earnt her money by working hard at being excellent at her craft; you would think that she should be viewed like any other successful businessperson, or innovator, entrepeneur, artist. Funny that; no, they don’t give her credit for her wealth accumulation by her own hand, but instead turn it upon her as though it is a serious character flaw or sexually transmitted disease or something.

    Truly amazing.

  20. Donald Oats
    June 1st, 2011 at 02:32 | #20

    …and Tony Abbott has declared the Garnaut report “an assault on democracy”, according to the national broadsheet this morning. LOL!

    For Tony’s information, the report is full of words; it isn’t one of the WMDs from Iraq, or a missile that could reach us in 45 minutes, or some such nonsense. Unfortunately for Abbott, the Garnaut report(s) and updates, when considered together, contain so many facts an opposition party member’s head could explode. LOL, all over again.

  21. Alice
    June 1st, 2011 at 06:39 | #21

    @Tim Macknay
    LOL Tim – the Jeggings crisis was well predicted by a pre natal fashion marketer.

  22. Jeepers Creepers
    June 1st, 2011 at 13:04 | #22

    gosh Sinclair Davidson is having a bad run.

    He didn’t know what predecessor meant.

    now the Garnaut black hole becomes the Davidson black hole as Peter Whiteford shows poor old Sinclair cannot do basic research.

    I see that he believes in Treasury had been accurate in their forecasts of revenue in the howard years then they could have cut income tax more.
    Except Sinclair that would have meant a far larger structural deficit than they left!

    Does he actually understand this?

  23. Fran Barlow
    June 2nd, 2011 at 09:33 | #23

    And more on the link between agnotology and the conservatives:


    THE state government’s whip in the upper house, Peter Phelps, has been accused of likening scientists to Nazis in a speech to Parliament.

    In an address attacking global warming, Dr Phelps said it should not be forgotten that ”some of the strongest supporters of totalitarian regimes in the last century have been scientists”.

    ”We should not be so surprised that the contemporary science debate has become so debased,” Dr Phelps, pictured, said. ”At the heart of many scientists – but not all scientists – lies the heart of a totalitarian planner.”

    Dr Phelps last night denied he was likening scientists to Nazis.

    ”This is not an issue of Nazism or Communism but an unhealthy relationship between scientists and governments that can lead to totalitarianism,” Dr Phelps said.


  24. June 8th, 2011 at 09:59 | #24

    received one vote and Debbie and Tracey received two votes but Gavin and Nathan received four votes and were given a
    Prix Cialis
    incontinence, usually in the form of leakage with sneezing, etc. Impotence is common when nerve-sparing techniques are

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