Turmoil-enomics II

Here is our thread for Thursday (a bit early, but the Eyes on Lateline scared me).

John Mc emailed me this link which has a pretty cool interactive webpage on the meltdown. Have a look – it’s very informative.

Now – I just watched the Lateline interview with Julie Bishop and so the transcript is not available yet, but at the start of the interview she seemed to say that Rudd did not understand what CDS’s were (Credit Default Swap) when she asked a question in QT. But then later in the interview she admitted to Tony Jones that she did not know what CDS’s were…. now isn’t admitting that she did not understand her question, which means – how could she understand the answer?

Anyway – this is the thread for Thursday.

(Oh – and I closed comments on the previous thread, so if you want to comment put it in this thread)

Comments now closed – please use thread III

Latest Newspoll results

I think this slipped under the radar yesterday – what with all of the other things that are happening – but Newpoll released their latest federal voting intentions. The honeymoon (TM Dennis Shanahan 2006/2007/2008) is still over, nearly over, about to be over, is on the horizon or something.

Anyway – the TPP figures are Labor 55 Coalition 45 (they were 52.7/47.3 at the election).

After all of the noise from the media regarding Rudd’s overseas travel, his non-action, his meeting with celebrities, his involvement in the Heiner affair (TM Piers Akerman 2006/2007/2008) etc, the figures for the ALP are still staying extremely high. And it does not seem that Turnbull has made that much of an impression on the voters – although the voters are more satisfied with Turnbull (50%) than Nelson (35%).

Midweek Mayhem..!!

It’s that time of week again where we all get to talk about anything and everything – except politics!!

And what a wild week it’s been!!

I guess the Australian Psychic that predicted aliens would be arriving yesterday has ‘gone to ground’ seeing as it hasn’t eventuated according to plan. Personally, I’m disappointed. I’d like to know what they like to eat for one thing. As long as it’s not peoples…

 Also, it appears that the global economic crisis is having drastic effects in the UK:

Would one be wanting fries with that?

Would one be wanting fries with that?


The floor is open…

Senate Watch: Opportunist U-Turn for Fielding

So Steve Fielding is no longer holding the government to ransom. His cave-in over blocking changes to the Medicare surcharge and the alcopops tax is both welcome and instructive. As Brendan Nelson and more recently Malcolm Turnbull discovered, populist politics are a two-edged cliché.

In his own word, Fielding is going to deliver “stability” to help fight the financial crisis. One part of this is right. His obstructionism has been destabilising, crises aside. His search for votes and publicity has been at the expense of good government. His arguments against these measures were hardly compelling reasons for blocking major budgetary items. Plus he has received considerable criticism.

There is no doubt that his compromise with the government over the luxury car tax is little understood. Any real analysis passed me by, as more pressing economic events overwhelmed it. The murky backroom dealing is easy to imagine and may even extend to this latest reversal by Fielding. Who knows what his going rate is at the moment.

I am reminded of another time but a similar issue. I was driving taxis in May 1974. This was an honourable profession for Arts graduates. Recently retired ALP Senator Robert Ray and one time Defence Minister also started this way, as well as spending a short stint as a teacher.

One afternoon I picked up a fare at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Spring Street, Melbourne and took them to Liberal Party headquarters in South Melbourne. There were three politicians including Tony Staley, the Member for Chisholm. They had just had a meeting with representatives of the private health insurance industry about how to oppose the Medibank double dissolution bill that was one of the triggers for the 1974 election. Receiving their riding instructions so to speak.

Now every cabbie knows that people in suits think that you can’t speak the lingo. Even if you could you’d never understand a conversation about the politics of health insurance. How wrong can they be! Staley and Co. spoke openly for twenty minutes about their likely strategy in the coming weeks.

After my shift finished, I went to my unpaid work at the time, as a campaign volunteer in the ALP office. No doubt there were ethical issues about a cabbie’s confidentiality. It still brings a smile.

Medibank was established after a joint sitting following Gough Whitlam’s re-election. Malcolm Fraser’s government effectively destroyed it as a public, universal health insurance system until it was reinstated as Medicare by the Hawke government.

There are a few morals to this tale. Senator Fielding chose to align himself with not only Coalition obstructionism but also with th big end of town: big booze and the private health insurance industry. They are dangerous bed-fellows. No wonder he has decided to take this opportunity for a somewhat graceful backdown. Need to look up a thesaurus: backdown, flip-flop, reversal, cave-in, retreat, u-turn, back-flip.

For those who know little about double dissolutions and joint sitting of parliament, now may be the right time to fill that gap. The irony for Fielding is that he would only need half the normal proportion to be re-elected in a double dissolution.

Kevin Rennie
Labor View from Bayside

Original post at GetUp’s Project Democracy

Turmoil-enomics I

This will be the thread for all discussions today for matters economic – each day a new thread will go up until we return to some sort of normality in the markets.

And we see that overnight the US markets fell, including a 3.54% decline on the Nasdaq.

Update: As at 1040am, the ASX is down 1.3%

This thread is now closed for comments – please use the Thursday thread.

Some Housekeeping

With the continuing turmoil and changes in the economy and markets in the world at the moment, I propose that we have a single thread each day where we can post all our comments on the economy/markets. Everyone can then make comments (and post links) in a single place. If someone feels that a link is vitally important, reb and/or myself will then update the thread header to include the link.

I think this way, we will be able to open the blog up to the other issues that we want to discuss.