Surge-enomics? XI

Overnight Wall St surged 11% – so it seems that the Australian markets are in for a good day.

On Lateline last night, Chris Bowen highlighted something I was not aware of. So far there have been around 20 investment funds that have frozen their redemptions, of which 10 of them were close before the bank guarantee that has supposedly rooned them all (according to the opposition). So did the bank guarantee cause the others to close, or would they have closed anyway along with a run on the bank deposits?

(previous economy thread now closed)

52 Responses

  1. Following on from previous thread …

    Adrian, I also heard the report on AM this morning. I presume it is the same group that came up with the report we discussed last year.

    I found the report last year somewhat selective. You might recall that Tim Dunlop had one of the authors visit the blog for a few hours to discuss the findings.

    One of the most amazing revelations to me was her admission about some of the unpublished data. I can’t recall all of it, but one was that people on AWAs had a greater level of trust in their employer. So while providing provocative information/findings, they deemed it unnecessary to publish various pieces of information such as this.

    In view of this (and other similar omissions) I decided that report did warrant significant criticism.

    I’ll look forward to having a look at this one.

  2. Yah

    I might make back 1 grand of the 102 grand lost so far 🙂

  3. Shane, have you checked the neighbourhood for cats?

  4. Shane @8:51am….OUCH!!!

  5. Yes TB

    Bouncing everywhere.

  6. LOL Human

    I have many years to retirement yet so optomistic and will still be looking for value purchases in December and January. Just not enough dividend income in the CMT cash account to jump in at the moment.

  7. Yes Tom it was the surprising thing to came out, that a majority of those on AWAs had a greater level of trust in their employers whilst being screwed by their employers, but if that would have been well founded in the long run is anyone’s guess. The full report was available at the time to anyone who went to the University site, nothing was held back. It was what the media reported, the opposition of the time selectively used and what the government selectively used that was publicised.

    This is why I’m seeking the full report for this second and final part, and Steven Ciobo didn’t dispute a single fact raised in the final findings, only that is was yesterday’s news and we should look at what’s happening to workers now.

    And taking up Steven’s point about looking ahead, I’d hate to imagine what the workers situation would have been like if WorkChoices had of remained in placed or strengthened. March on the army of working poor, but as Bishop said in 1997 (paraphrased) it is better to have a job no matter how low the pay or how bad the conditions than to not have a job.

  8. adrian

    Like I have said before. If you want to see what Workchoices would have been like then look no further than New Zealand. Even with workchoices and a deregulated labour market their wages have plummeted, they are leaving to work over here for a respectable wage and their economy is in a worse position than ours.

    So all the waffle about workchoices being good does not stand up to the simple test of looking at a country that has had it for over 10 years.

  9. Adrain – the point is that only the report was available. The was a huge amount of unreported data collected.

    It seemed that data that did not prove AWAs were a crock missed out on being published.

    To any reasonable, unbiased observer (such as me), it tainted the report findings.

  10. The CEOs of super funds and institutional investors need to get some balls and join this revolt instead of siding with their own fat cats, for the benfit of their investors and not their own filthy gold lined pockets.

  11. “…a majority of those on AWAs had a greater level of trust in their employers whilst being screwed by their employers…”

    Stockholm Syndrome?

  12. “To any reasonable, unbiased observer (such as me), it tainted the report findings.”

    It tainted the REPORT findings? How? The information was in the report, it wasn’t suppressed so how were the report’s findings tainted?

    Surely you should be berating the media for the manner of their selective reporting rather than dismissing the report itself and its findings when it was available for all to those prepared to be bothered reading instead of simply relying on media reporting.

  13. On the freezing of redemptions. I’d be interested to know if any of the “20 funds” were cash funds, as this is the critical comparison. Mortgage Trusts, Fixed income funds are NOT cash funds, and some of these have been in strife for up to 18 months. They don’t count. It’s the cash management trusts that compete with bank deposits. There are broadly 4 market sectors, Shares, Property, Fixed Interest, and Cash. How many Cash funds were closed to redemptions prior to the deposit guarantee?

    As the Rudd’s “solution”? “Let’s just make them all banks”! Come on, someone starting calling these blokes on this policy on the run bullshit.

  14. James

    Very good point. But the thing about Cash Funds is that they provide a potentially higher rate of return because of the risk involved.

    Remember the wording in the PDS, that your capital investment is NOT guaranteed, and that the of your investment can go down as well as up.

    If the investor did not like the risk, then they should not have been invested in the fund in the first place.

    But I do agree that the guarantee has distorted the market – and that should have been a consequence that was forseen.

  15. Just had a look at the Lateline thing, and Steve Ciobo has no idea either. This whole thing is an absolute mess. Bowen made no effort to answer questions, although it’s nice to know that he’s meeting with people around the world and they are “interested in what’s happening in Australia”. Give me strength!

  16. James @ 15

    I agree with the assessment of the guys on Lateline. Both were pathetic and did not answer any questions. They both just kept repeating their talking points for the day.

    For once it would be nice to have a politician say “you know what – this is unprecidented times, and we just do not know what to do – so please bear with us as we try to sort out the mess together”.

  17. Joni, I entirely agree, and the Cash Funds SHOULD NOT be govt guaranteed. Which is why I have said, over and over, that the solution is to go back and fix the initial decision. But most punters are in the cash funds for structural reasons more than the interest rates being attractive. Investment funds use these cash funds as vehicles to purchase investments or receive deposits. It’s not so much a greed thing as a convenience thing.

  18. James,

    The solution isn’t to make them all banks – it’s to differentiate who gets the guarantee and who doesn’t. If they wan’t the guarantee, they have to get a banking licence and come under the purview of APRA. While they remain outside APRA scrutiny, they don’t get it.

    As you correctly point our, these types of funds are different and it is only the cash management funds that really compete with the banks. The problem isn’t with the safety of the funds but rather the liquidity and this is something that banks must be able to provide. The money in the funds is safe but these funds are having problems getting the cash to pay out redemptions. This is unfortunate if you need the cash quickly but this is always a risk with these types of funds and prudent investors will pull their cash out of these funds and put them into an easily accessible account if they know they will need the funds quickly. It is only a desire for an extra few % interest that people have been caught out – up until the last month, you could easily get 7% interest for an on call savings account at a bank.

  19. James

    Many of the CMTs are not true cash investments at all. Rather they have a portion of their cash invested in shares and other investments. How on earth they can call them cash accounts is beyond me. If they were pure cash then redemption should not be a problem as they would have cash holdings. This is also listed in the PDS.

    In addition this is 10% of the cash market. So 90% are protected.

    I have a CMT and are aware of the risk. I accept that risk as I expected to receive better returns than a Bank Term Deposit. Accept the risk. Same as Shares accept the risk and don’t expect a bailout.

    The cash in Banks is different as it is used to finance lending to businesses. CMTs do not. This is why the guarantee on Bank deposits was required to ensure those funds remained in Banks so Banks could continue lending. The whole economy would have ground to a halt if lending ceased instead of just tightening up.

    I will not comment on this again as I seem to be going around in circles.

    If your money was not in an APRA controlled institution accept the risk and move on. You were aware it was not governed by a commonwealth body and as such you put return before risk. End of story.

  20. joni

    But I do agree that the guarantee has distorted the market – and that should have been a consequence that was forseen

    The reality is that the market was already distorted before the guarantee had been given. All governments know that their banks are the cornerstone of the economic health of their country – if banks start failing because of bad debts or a run on them, Countries have to make a decision about whether or not it needs to intervene and save the bank (probably by nationalising it- Northern Rock in the UK being the first case in point). In effect, money in banks is already covered by an implicit guarantee by Government, the question is only which banks and how much. Following the UK intervention in Northern Rock, the US bailout and the EU governments guaranteeing their banks, our Government was forced to explicitly state the extent of the guarantee to avoid money moving off O/S and provide market certainty. But to say that money wan’t already flowing into banks from stocks and market based funds prior to the actual announcement is ridiculous – the evidence is there to show that this was already occurring.

    The cap is another thing that amuses me. Any cap would have resulted in market distortions. People under that cap would have considered moving their money and people over may have considered depositing their money in different banks to get the benefit of the cap.

    The true market distortion occurred when Turnbull and the Australia started to put the fear of god into people in these funds by saying they weren’t covered and suggested they needed to be. This is what started the rush to remove money which had previously been a trickle but enough to worry the funds with liquidity probs. The reality si that these funds were solid and their higher returns were based on higher risk exposure. The Government, Treasury and RBA and many economists stated this repeatedly and asserted that the funds were solid but this didn’t get the popular media coverage that Turnbull’s comments did.

  21. I think my point was missed. If Bowen is referring to CASH funds that had been frozen prior to the deposit guarantee, then I am not aware of them (although Macquarie had to be getting close, for seperate reasons). If he was referring to mortgage or income trusts being frozen, then he is guilty of a gross deception of the Australian public which should have been called by Ciobo or Jones and they are either not across the subject (Ciobo) or a party to the deception.

    Shane, I absolutely agree with you, but I would add that “market” risk is a seperate risk to “political” risk. Investors (mostly) are prepared to sign up for market risk, and have some capacity to anticipate it. Political risk is another tiger altogether.

  22. ASX up 4% this morning…

  23. Some transcripts from AM:

    I want to note how they are framing this and attempting to make the situation out to be far worse than it is, and blaming the government for it, as James is.

    National Seniors Australia has just under 300,000 members over the age of 50; pensioners, self-funded retires and mature-age workers.

    Well yes it has 300,000 members over 50 but what has that to do with the situation? There are around 250,000 all up in managed funds and it is estimated that around 190,000 are affected to some degree with only a small amount actually suffering genuine hardship (and Milne’s business mate is not one of them), which are the ones the government is working on helping in conjunction with the management funds.

    So you see how the rhetoric is being framed to paint the absolute worse case, and this is being stoked by the opposition who are preaching roonation and starvation forever and a day until they are allowed to become the government or allowed to act like they are the government.

    A transcript from a LIndsay Tanner interview:

    Still nothing on this morning’s AM piece.

  24. James

    I find no political risk in the decision other than Mr Turnbull and his party and their media supporters putting the fear of god into an area of financial investment which was already seeing redemptions before the guarantee as clients were already moving to what they considered a safer risk. This means they already knew their funds were at a higher risk than an APRA governed institution.This scare mongering to gain political points is a disgrace.

  25. Dave, come on, even the ALP acknowledge that the deposit guarantee had the “unintended consequence” of distorting the financial market. And the distortion is between “cash” investments, not between different market sectors, and the problem created as a result has been one of liquidity. A cap would have differentiated between smaller (and generally less sophisticated) investors feeling more comfortable and the larger (generally more sophisticated) investors who have run to banks because of the risk/return distortion created by the unlimited guarantee. It would be nice if the opposition and/or the media were able to articulate this really not-very-complicated point.

  26. Shane:

    “This scare mongering to gain political points is a disgrace”

    I agree. Talcum initially offered bi-partisan support for the government’s “fast and decisive” action and is now lambasting them at every opportunity.

    It is pathetic and irresponsible conduct as far as I’m concerned.

  27. Another economist is predicting unemployment to reach one million next year.

    JP Morgan Australia chief economist Stephen Walters:

    “We forecast that the jobless rate will reach 9 per cent by the end of 2010 when, on our forecasts, more than one million Australians will be out of work,” he said.,27753,24569872-31037,00.html

  28. Something I always knew except for bosses who claim we are a lazy country with lazy workers.

    Maybe they will stop their accusations of a country full of bums.

  29. My posts with links are sometimes taking a long time to be moderated, which means they are shoved down the queue and miss the response they were intended for.

    Is anyone else having to wait for posts to be moderated?

    REB: They’re not being moderated. The spam filter sometimes picks up legitimate comments. It just means me or joni have to go in and unspaminate them. Sorry for the hassle…

  30. Dave, come on, even the ALP acknowledge that the deposit guarantee had the “unintended consequence” of distorting the financial market. And the distortion is between “cash” investments, not between different market sectors, and the problem created as a result has been one of liquidity.

    It clearly had that consequence and of course it was unintentional but that doesn’t mean it was foreseeable or consequential. The extent of the effect was questionable and had the Libs and the Australian not made a big deal about it, the issue probably wouldn’t have been as severe. The political reality is that they have to say it was an unintended consequence, they couldn’t say that it was intentional now could they. The practical reality is that in the current state of financial turmoil people don’t behave rationally. To predict how (the extent to which) the funds would have been affected would have been damn near impossible. The job was to protect the banks and shore up the economy – the bank guarantee did this and was necessary.

    A cap would have differentiated between smaller (and generally less sophisticated) investors feeling more comfortable and the larger (generally more sophisticated) investors who have run to banks because of the risk/return distortion created by the unlimited guarantee.

    James, that is a load of crap. The more sophisticated investors should have known that their money was safe in the funds and would have kept them there – it is the unsophisticated investors who have no real idea about the risks that are moving their funds. The only sophisticated investors that would have moved their funds are those that needed to ensure they had greater liquidity in their investment. Most of these funds have exit fees which operate as a defacto levy/ cap at any rate.

  31. James,

    Serious question to help me understand a little further (which is probably an acknowledgement that my above posts have been made without complete info and I reserve the right to retract those comments):
    Do you have a list of the cash funds that have been frozen and when? And a comparison with the Mortgage funds etc?

    I’m finding it hard to get a clear picture of what happened when and how many funds there are and how many are now frozen.

  32. Pollytickedoff & Adrian – On this occasion you’re incorrect. I did in fact read the the report fully. The data was available but NOT put in. The authors decided that it was not particularly relevant!!!

    One of the authors owned up to it following some of my persistent questioning when she was on Tim Dunlop’s Blog and elsewhere.

    I asked a range of questions, including information about aggregation of data by the age of the workforce, the industry sector, gender, level of experience & qualification etc. These questions were/are as relevant to remuneration as questions of whether the employee is on an AWA or not. Some information was in the report a lot was left out.

    I offered to have a look at the unpublished data and see what alternative findings I could come up with. I followed this up personally – politely declined.

    It is the fact that the authors did not publish some of the very interesting data that I think tainted the report.

    I could speculate as to why this information may have not been regarded as relevant, but I think you need look no further than the sponsors of it.

  33. Dave, I don’t know the answer to that, and reserve the same rights. Being an amateur blogger, I really don’t have the time to search. Anecdotally, I am aware of some mortgage and fixed interest trusts that have been frozen for some time, Basis Capital caused me some grief last year, but I was not aware of any cash trusts prior to the Deposit Guarantee. I’d suggest that most of the frozen funds even since are probably mortgage type trusts so the run is not as big as reported insofar as cash trusts are concerned. But it remains significant, and the structural workings of many of these managed funds have been affected without good cause.

  34. By the way, doesn’t anyone think that it is quite amazing that people on AWAs had more trust in their employer than any other group? Particularly after the non stop campaign to undermine their confidence in AWAs!!!

    The authors were aware of this data and the correlation , but chose NOT to include it in their report!!

    Any reasonable person would agree that this omission on its own must call the report into question.

  35. Tom

    Regarding AWAs

    Who did they interview ?
    What Management Level were they ?
    What Industries were they in ?
    What was the total numbers ?
    What was the exact question asked and what response options were available.?

    Only then could you make an educated decision of whether the information should be included in a report.

    We all know that polls can be construed any way you like providing you word the questions in a manner to achieve your own outcome.

    The only poeple I know who were happy were in management. Not one person at the coal face was happy because in my industry it took away overtime to start with and we worked many hours of overtime to meet deadlines. I speak from experience. I was virtually badgered into taking an AWA at which my boos received a cash bonus for everyone he converted to AWA. He phoned EVERY DAY for 2 weeks wanting to know why I would not sign. In the end I signed being aware of career and other ramifications if I didn’t. This is denied by big business yet I can categorically state it happened as it happened to me. the intimidation factor was amazing only it was done within certain parameters so they could deny it. People do not complain for fear of their employment especially in big business, as who can take on a billion dollar company.

    If this does not show who AWAs benefited most then people are blind.

    As a result I would be very interested to know the breakdown of those interviewed and at what level of employment they represented plus the exact questions and response options before I would comment.

  36. James,

    Thanks, I was only asking you because I knew you worked in financial advice and might have had access to this data.

  37. D55 and James,

    I was actually trying to find over the weekend whether any other countries have had funds that have been frozen, but there is so much noise out there (on the web) that it is hard to find the true answers.


  38. Tom
    By the way, doesn’t anyone think that it is quite amazing that people on AWAs had more trust in their employer than any other group

    Not really – one of the key reasons for people unionising is that they don’t trust their employers – Awards etc operate as a protection from employers not the other way.

    I realise you don’t have the actual stats and are only going off a report that people on AWAs have more trust in the employers but again, it doesn’t surprise me that many people on AWAs had this trust. There were definately people who received a good deal on AWAs and people with skills in high demand could do well under an AWA but risked the usual EBA rate otherwise. This is why I don’t oppose Labor’s policy of AWA type contracts for people earning over $100k. The problem I had with AWAs is that they had the potential to drive down wages and conditions in less sought after jobs – with the economy doing pretty well, these fearsdidn’t really have a chance to manifest but examples such as Spotlight etc showed that the fears were very real.

    Another possible reason why people on AWAs may have had trust in their employer was that they could rely on the AWA to guarantee their rights against the employer.

    There is a risk here that you could take the comment: that people on AWAs had a greater level of trust in their employer as saying that all or a lot employees on AWAs has such trust. However without the actual figures or stats, I don’t see how you could safely assert this to be the case. As you have put it the comment suggests that more people on AWAs as a % of the total on AWAs trusted their employer than the % on EBA or Awards that trusted their employer. I don’t know whether this is the case, nor does this surprise me for the reasons stated above – it does make me curious about what the stats are.

    As an aside, I agree with you that the positives for AWAs should have been reported as well as the negatives, but I don’t think that that means the negative findings against AWAs are in any way discredited. Not sure how they would have reported the trust thing anyway – “employees on AWAs duped into signing up for lower wages and condition in the belief that they could trust their employer”?

  39. joni

    I was wondering about that as well. You’d have thought that someone in Aus would have thought to ask that question as well.

  40. Dave55 & Shane – my basic point is that so called academic studies aren’t always what they seem. One of the authors of the report said that judgement always has to be exercised in deciding what to include, what to exclude.

    That’s fine, as long as there is public access to the raw data that is left out, people can then test, use for further study and public information.

    On this occasion the authors exercised their judgment to leave out some material that reflected favourably on AWAs. Why?

    I think people on AWAs often (not always, as outlined by Shane), have a closer relationship with their employer because they are not some minor part of a chanting, one size fits all, homogenous, mass.

    Unions do find people easier to deal with when they conform to “the one size fits all” outcome.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never advocated the Workchoices style AWAs, but those that operated in WA since the early 90s and the federal ones from 1996/7 seemed reasonable. When unions represent only 14% of the private sector workforce, people need an easily enforceable employment instrument, and common law contracts aren’t this.

    Obviously the ALP/unions don’t agree with this point, and now we are seeing the re-emergence of union militancy in WA. Watch with interest.

  41. 40. Tom of Melbourne | October 29, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    I think people on AWAs often (not always, as outlined by Shane), have a closer relationship with their employer because they are not some minor part of a chanting, one size fits all, homogenous, mass.

    That’s not entirely true Tom, which was one of the major problems with AWAs, they were one size fits all, usually drawn up from a template made by HR or a company lawyer. This thing about individual was crap. They were individual in so far as each employee got one but in most cases each one given out was the same as the previous one with a different name on the top and employee signature at the bottom.

  42. Adrian, don’t you think common law letters of appointment are cut from a template?

    The difference is that they are often underpinned by an award or agreement, but try to have a common law agreement enforced against an employer that is playing hard. It is basically impossible for an individual.

    In circumstances where only about 1 in 7 people are in a union in the private sector, people are entitled to easy, effective and accessible remedies for breach of an employment agreement. The overwhelming majority cannot use a union to achieve a remedy, and I think individuals deserve a access to this where an agreement in breached.

    As I’ve said (to the point that I’m almost tired of hearing myself!), AWAs are appropriate if supported by a safety net that incorporates fair standards. These standards have traditionally been contained in awards.

    Try to have a common law employment agreement enforced without a lawyer or a union! It is not possible.

  43. Tom

    If an AWA is promoted by a big business it is for one reason. To cut costs to the employer. When my boss was getting a cash bonus to convince staff to shift from the EBA to an AWA that we were unaware of mind you, it shows the lengths employers will go to de unionise their workforce and cut costs. It was never of any benefit to the employee. Problem was if you did not sign an AWA you were not considered for promotion.

    You can have all the safety nets you like but people still sign under duress and to keep their job. Spotlight wanted to put all their staff onto AWAs with no penalty rates and no overtime for 2c an hour more. Wow 80c a week to lose penalty rates and overtime. They only backed down when the media got hold of it and it looked like labor would win the election.

    Now we have Telstra flouting the boundaries of legality and morality in pushing AWAs onto their staff. Especially since labor won the election on removing AWAs. Once again big business laughs in contempt.

  44. “…a majority of those on AWAs had a greater level of trust in their employers whilst being screwed by their employers…”

    Maybe that’s what they trusted their employers to do, sans and adrian.

  45. So Shane, during a time of uncertainty, your solution is to have people employed on a basic award and a common law employment contract?

    In organisations such as Telstra, unions have acted as a handbrake on some of the necessary reform. It is hardly surprising that management seek to sidestep them.

    But the key question is – when union membership is in freefall, how do you provide employees with legal certainty for their agreed pay and conditions?

  46. Tom of Melbourne

    Do you mean to tell me that Telstra is a much better organisation now than it was ?. Like all government departments disposed of it became a cash cow for executives while staff numbers were slashed and service destroyed.

    Try getting Telstra to connect your phone on time, or your internet, or telephone their call centre. Everything is outsourced with blame being thrown at anyone and everyone.

    I waited 3 weeks to have my business internet connected and only then got it connected when I went about it a differnet way. Even the call to have the damn thing connected was outsourced to a little company where the employees operated from home. No responsibility and the company and telstra blaming each other day after day.

  47. Good morning Shane.

    I’m hearing you about Telstra. Totally eroded & unreliable.
    Not a lot of fun to work for either according to ex-employees I know. I guess those dudes are the minority who don’t have apathetic blind faith in their benevolent AWA overlords.

  48. Shane (and Human Dvidend), I don’t think Telstra is a well run company. Service is poor. Customers aren’t happy. It is in decline.

    We’ve had a report on the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne that suggested the hospital was “dysfunctional”. Similar comment could be made about Telstra.

    I think there is a long history of rorting the system in Telstra, that’s a large part of the problem. I think successive managements and unions are to blame for the malaise.

    The organisation needs to change from top to bottom, and necessary change is often resisted by unions. Many unions like simply to allocate blame, rather than solve problems.

    But specifically with regard to AWAs, how do you think an individual employee should enforce their employment agreement if it is breached by their employer (if they are in the majority ie not in a union)?

    It is a fair question, as I haven’t heard any critics of statutory individual employment agreements advance a comprehensible answer yet.

  49. 5. Tom of Melbourne | October 29, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    But the key question is – when union membership is in freefall, how do you provide employees with legal certainty for their agreed pay and conditions?

    Oh fantastic, legal certainty by having to go to a court to solve a dispute over pay and/or conditions. A legal certainty that ensures the employer (especially large ones like Telstra) can hold up proceedings for as long as possible whilst you remain unemployed, can use highly paid and skilled industrial lawyers whilst you have to normally rely on an appointed hack, and even if on the very slim chance you decide to take your employer to court and the even slimmer chance you win, you actually end worst off at the end of it all. Just ask those Football Club workers who got screwed under this system.

    You go on about the AWAs in the WA mining industry being successful for so long, but that is not entirely true as SBS Insiders revealed at the height of the WorkChoices debate.

    If they are so successful how come WA mines solely on AWAs had worst performance and productivity figures whilst having on average lower pay and higher accident and injury rates than equivalent mines on mixed employment instruments or ones solely on EBAs?

    Basically the one positive fact to come out for AWAs was that employees that voluntarily took them up (as opposed to the many who were forced onto them even though this was supposedly illegal) trusted their employer. Now that makes sense, you aren’t going to volunteer to be hamstrung by a binding employment instrument if you didn’t trust your employer to do the right thing. Then of course there is the first time round gotcha. First AWA full of nice stuff, extra provisions and conditions. Time to resign, hey what happened to A and B, why is C now less and what’s this about extra work for no extra pay etc. Sign or walk.

    An aside. That last bit happened to one of my brother-in-laws working for McCaffertys buses (now Greyhound). He had always been anti-union and readily signed onto one of the early two year AWAs and was happy with what it gave him until he had to renew. He refused, joined a union and ended up being a sight rep for the workers but ended up quitting because of all the grief he was getting from management.

    In just about every other area; pay, conditions and productivity gains, AWAs did worse than other employment instruments.

  50. Tom, if you’ve told us once you’ve told us a hundred times. We get the picture. You hate unions. Now, can you please talk about something else, anything else?

  51. Oh my god Telstra being such a bad company is all the fault of… wait for it… unions!

  52. Agree Caney, that’s it for me. We went through this in Blogocracy over and over and over…

    Exactly the same arguments and points are being bought up and no amount of counterpoints or related data is going to taper the almost obsessive hatred of unions.

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