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EYE-BALL Guru on – BOOF-HEADS at the Helm … Part 2

March 2, 2012
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BOOF-HEADS at the Helm … Part 2
The ABC reported a story on comments made by the Treasurer Mr Wayne Swan published in The Monthly magazine with the headline – ‘Swan says ‘infamous billionaires’ threatening economy’.   Read ABC story on-line here.   Story copied below.

Swan says ‘infamous billionaires’ threatening economy

Updated March 02, 2012 09:31:48

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has lashed out at what he describes as the rising power of vested interests, arguing it is threatening Australia’s economy and undermining democracy.

In an opinion piece published in The Monthly magazine, Mr Swan argues a small portion of Australia’s rich list are using their wealth to oppose good public policy.

He singled out people like Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest, saying they are being aided by biased editorial policy and “shock-jock ranting”.

“The infamous billionaires protest against the mining tax would have been laughed out of town in the Australia I grew up in, and yet it received a wide and favourable reception two years ago,” Mr Swan wrote.

“A handful of vested interests that have pocketed a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic success now feel they have a right to shape Australia’s future to satisfy their own self-interest.”

We must fight a pitched battle against the influence of vested interests that seek to shape public policy to their own excessive benefit and at the expense of our middle-class society.

He highlighted the “ferocious and highly misleading” campaigns against the mining tax and the price on carbon as two examples.

“We must fight a pitched battle against the influence of vested interests that seek to shape public policy to their own excessive benefit and at the expense of our middle-class society,” he wrote.

Speaking to the ABC’s AM program this morning, Mr Swan also accused sections of the media of being part of the problem.

“We’ve seen some people in the media skiting about their power in the media, their capacity to deploy shock jocks and so on against Government policy,” he said.

He says starting a public conversation on the issue is key to stopping the problem.

“We’ve got a fantastic country here,” he said.

“We are a young optimistic nation.

“We’ve got high social mobility.

“We’ve got a great degree of economic authority compared to other developed nations, but I think a lot of that is at risk if vested interests takes control of the policy process.”

Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne has dismissed the essay as “class warfare and the politics of envy”.

Mr Pyne says it shows the Treasurer has got nothing of substance left to talk about.

But Mr Swan says Mr Pyne’s opinion is “laughable”.

“It is not about envy, it is about opportunity and ensuring that Australia remains the country of the fair go… that we are a beacon to other developed economies in the world that don’t have the degree of equality that we have,” he told AM.

“We want to keep the fair go and that is why I have written the essay.”

Mr Swan is the laughing-stock of Financial Markets – both abroad and domestic.  He has no idea what to do about the ‘high-value’ of the A$ causing all the pain to the Australian Economy.

When the Mining and Resource sector fought back over the proposed MRRT when RUDD was PM – it is largely accepted that RUDD’s fall from grace coincided with the Mining lobby’s actions – they claim ‘we got rid of RUDD’ – which is an over reach.

They had a contributing influence and in the wash – RUDD’s demise can be traced to many other factors … but what is important is how Mr SWAN as Treasurer escaped his role in ‘tanking’ the Australian economy because he was too ‘dumb’ to respond to the rising A$.

Returning to the ABC story for a moment and Swan’s trashing of the Mining magnates – his ‘essay’ is the response of someone incapable of providing answers and wanting to shift blame to someone else.  It is what politicians do – they have the media’s ear – they spin the story as they want it played out – and they make outrageous allegations to create the headline – i.e. Swan’s statement about – ” … vested interests are threatening Australia’s economy and undermining democracy …”

A decent Opposition would call him out on it and score points – but Mr Hockey as Opposition treasury spokesperson – he’s dumber than Swan …

A week ago Mr Swan was out there trashing his former best political mate and former PM Mr Rudd in similar terms – a week later he is claiming ‘undermining democracy’ by vested interests’ – as the reason the economy is flagging – the man is on a self-destruct path and he should listen to his own words and reflect upon what harm he has done to the Australian economy via his inaction on the continued high value of the A$.

What Swan and the rest of his Government fail to acknowledge in the MRRT policy is how the mining and other export based industries have all suffered 100+% declines in A$ receipts as a result of the A$’s doubling in value against the US$ over the last 10 years – i.e. not accounting for increases prices or volumes.

Imposing another $40 odd billion tax on the mining industry to fund social reform packages has not fully costed the impact on the miners ability to continue to grow their industry.   The Mining lobby should be arguing a case that the MRRT be based upon export revenues as opposed to a base tax rate on mining profits which can be easily shifter to off-shore shelf companies through transfer pricing and other accounting avenues.

In taxing export receipts – the value of the A$ would reflect the Government’s revenue tax collection – i.e. the higher the A$ the less tax collected – the lower the A$ value the higher the tax collect – it is a form of export levy and puts the onus back on the Government to help itself inflate its tax collections – and have some ‘skin’ in the game of responsible monetary policy management across all export industries or business that are currency impacted.

Swan’s efforts to cap the A$ are likened to a lounge chair – cigar smoking – non-interventionist policy based on his belief that the rest of the world thinks he is the ‘best treasurer in the world’.

They might be saying that publicly – but they are also laughing their way to the Bank with thankyou’s for allowing them to park their $100’s billions of ‘hot’ funds in A$’ and receiving 3-4% above their own domestic interest rate structures, and make massive capital gains off the appreciating A$ value.

SWAN is a dickhead – there is just no other way to put it – as is the RBA with their ‘head in the sand’ mandate on ‘inflationary banding’.  Neither side of Government has raised the A$ value in Parliament with any context of forming a policy to correct its value – since the Government returned in 2012 – they are all happy to point the finger and blame the high A$ – but none understand the real damage done over the last 10 years or so – or were watching the Australian economy get to a ‘stall’ point before they all woke up.

Tourism – 40 years of infrastructure and marketing efforts to build this industry – is now crashing and falling apart – Manufacturing, Retail, are also in the ‘crapper’ because they can’t compete in a world market where Asian currencies are pegged to the declining US$.  The Agriculture and Mining sectors are surviving but on vastly reduced A$ receipts as compared with 10 years ago …

Have a look at the US$ v ¥ weekly long-term chart below – this is an inverted chart of ¥ v USD as opposed to the normal market quotes on USD v ¥ …

… and a comparison with the A$ v US$ …


10 years ago the A$ v US$ rate was in the low A$0.50c level and Australia was at its most competitive in export markets.  At current levels i.e. A$1.08 v the US$ – exporters are receiving less than 50c in the dollar for their produce compared with early 2002 based on currency value alone.   In the 10 years since both sides of Government have stood back and allowed the A$ to rise in value with no real visible or public clue until 2012 that they had even noticed.

We know that the Japanese economy has been at or near 0% growth since the early 90’s with a few blips here and there above the radar … it was already 8 years into its appreciating value against the SU$ by this time – their Stock Market crapped out from above 37,000 in the early 90’s to fall below 10,000 and has been in a tight range around this level ever since.

With the A$ value already 10 years into its record rally – and similar to the ¥ appreciation in that aspect – it is this high value of the A$ that will continue to kill the Australian economy – and now we have Mr SWAN in all his ‘street-wise’ market wisdom screaming at the billionaire miners as the reason for – ‘threatening Australia’s economy’.

In simple terms – this Government needs new revenue to implement policies it believes will get it re-elected … the superannuation rise to 12% and the tax breaks for small business are all good causes – but why tag the only industry keeping Australian afloat since the GFC – and already hit with massive revenue falls because the Government fails to act on the appreciating currency?

With all other sectors contracting and pressuring tax collections – and with future spending programs in the pipeline – this Government does what all Governments do – introduces new Taxes – The Carbon Tax and the MRRT – does anyone in Government ever think to just pause and consider other factors?

No … this is related to the ‘think-tank’ brains trust of the ALP – all leftovers and not educated in the modern world of Global impact economics and free market forces.

The RBA are still focused in their early 90’s inflation phobia’s as their only market mandated target – this Treasurer and his advisors just do not have a clue on currency impacts on economic growth, management requirements, and interventions in a free-trade economy – and the fact that the Opposition can’t tag the Government on these issues means they’re just as dumb …

Why are Australia’s best financial journalists not writing this story?

This Government has too many distraction of the internal self-promotion kind – and that is the bigger issue – Abbott is right on one call – nobody can trust this Government on economic Management …


Contact your Local Federal Representative if you want to have your say on this or other matters – please use the links below to find your Local Member – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.


The EYE-BALL Guru …

  1. david the pragmatist
    March 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    You make it difficult to respond to Swan’s critism bacause you detest him so much that any forum to clobber him is a worthwhile go from your perspective.
    First I do not disagree with all your critism of him in his capacity as Treasurer.

    BUT the thrust of this was his critique against the media with critism of the Billionaires in getting him to the platform he was coming from.
    I always find it difficult to understand non achievers critising achievers and you can only think that envy plays a role. This said his critique of the media is true. The way things are done to influence aspects of desire are done in the media by use of shock jocks and many other subtle and not so subtle rants that are coloquially called “spin”. It is part of our modern culture (unfortunately) that spin doctors are the norm with every public identity and even high profile sportspeople through the use of managers creating the image and opinion they desire. I have said previously on this blog site that “eye ball” is more than comfortable to “spin” his views to achieve the impact of his commentary.
    It seems to me that the only way around this is to have every opinion published or put that an alternative opinion is made available so that the reader can get a better balance on the situation. Whilst this has a number of issues with regard to bias it would seem a great idea that journalists or spin doctors that present views and opinions should have to go to another source concurrently to get an alternative argument.

    It is with those thoughts that I will leave you to the boof head discussions and debates.

  2. Herman
    March 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Any government frontbencher accusing any other of undermining democracy is the psychological concept of projecting.

    They are projecting their thought patterns and behaviours onto the motives of others. This week we have seen clearly that government only thinks about democracy at election time. For the other 33 months in the cycle they are just thinking about their mates and their networks. Bob Carr is now the Foreign Minister?

    Go to the polls, Federal government.

    As for the Resource Royalties debate, any fair minded Australian sees that Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer are simply too rich. Clive Palmer wants to start up his own soccer federation. Gina Rinehart can have the SMH and try to control editorial content, while see fights her own children over the trust deed of late father’s estate. Will she try to create her own court system?

    I too am so over politics and the constant abuse of government of the people for the people by the people.

  3. March 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    All this spin from someone who complains about spin must mean that ‘spin’ is again at play …

    The bias or view that Swan is a boof-head is not spin – his actions or in-action to be more precise speak for themselves – what I don’t get is why he gets away with being a ‘boof-head’ and nobody takes him on …

    Is all Australia that scared or is it a case of they don’t get it …

    HMAS Australia is being steered by lunitacs hell bent of internal assassinations to get to be the ‘big head’ – they don’t see the rocks in the path … or better still they see the rocks but all they can be bothered is themselves and don’t give a crap about the passengers below …

    Guru ..

  4. March 2, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    This time last week emotions were at fever pitch – Gillard’s appointment of Carr as Foreign Minister and her demeanor since Monday’s leadership spill is nothing short of dismissive …

    The leaks that Crean and Smith vetoed her Bob Carr for FM role was from ALP MP’s to the Opposition … GILLARD must know now that her hands on the PM position are again under threat and for her to overturn both Crean and Smith puts her exactly where RUDD was before June 2010 …

    the Smug-Grub Bill Shorten is the ‘kingmaker’ who now wants to be king … Carr has to be the first Senator to be appointed as Foreign Minister … Gillard cannot risk a by-election to get him in the House – so the FM serving in the Senate is an interesting way for the people to get their Foreign Policy commentary …

    Carr jumped ship as NSW Premier just before it all went to crap – the irony here is that he has jumper into the Federal arena when it is all about to go to shit …

    On why Swan fired shots at the mega rich – why not Packer, Fox, you’re right Herman – demonising the mega rich does appeal to the labour heartland – but Swan is still a boof-head …

    Guru …

  5. david the pragmatist
    March 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with me There’s nothing wrong with me There’s nothing wrong with me There’s nothing wrong with me There’s nothing wrong with me There’s nothing wrong with me There’s nothing wrong with me There’s nothing wrong with me There’s nothing wrong with me

    Is there?

    Just keep telling yourself Eye Ball

    As for Herman’s comment re being too rich………….can you be too poor?……too sick.?……..
    too old?……………………Answer is NO!!!! It just how you use it or react to it that means something!

  6. david the pragmatist
    March 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    PS to Eye Balls statement re its no spin that Swan is a boofhead. Read it again, you missed the point of the discussion

  7. March 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    You remind me of the dog scratching its own ass – and pondering why people are watching … and as the dog – you think it is because they are watching because they are interested in why the dog is scratching –

    But as the dog with a fested sore from all the scratching – i.e. attention seeking – you don’t see beyond your own world – their watching because they are blind and are drawn by the noise – and the dog keeps scratchig …

    Get over yourself … every opinion expressed at this site by all the Authors is an opinion you idiot …

    If anyone did not have an opinion – why bother – even your response is an opinion – and to not agree is to disagree … you have been challenged many times before about attacking the writer as opposed to atacking the content of the story – yet you qualify yourself by agreeing with the Swan opinion – you just don’t think the Author should express the opinion in the first place …

    Peanut shells normally fall on the floor – the nut generally gets eaten – what are you – the ‘shell’ or the ‘nut’ … an opinion could be expressed … but then havng an opinion and expressing it is part of the ‘spin’ used to form the opinion – be a good dog and stop scratching and go and try to chase your tail for a while – the blind people might hear that as more interesting …

    Guru …

  8. oztruth
    March 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Time to take some of these high Aussie dollars and sell them Mr Swan. Would have been better off at 0.75 cents to the $US, but here we are. No help from the RBA it seems…banks are getting looked after until emergency cuts are needed. The $US, Euro, Yen are well ahead on the devaluation timeline, time to catch up….. how about QE and bail out our industry. I know it’s theft, but looks good in election year.

  9. Herman
    March 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Response to “As for Herman’s comment re being too rich………….can you be too poor?……too sick.?……..

    You can be too pragmatic, and that could be a euphemism for too simple, too verbose, too dismissive of other peoples inputs or opinions.

    With great power comes great responsibility. I still wonder why Treasurer Swan has singled out Rinehart, Forrest and Palmer as the mining billionaires for criticism. Our 2 speed economy is not OK. Daily we fathom why our currency is destroying jobs in education, tourism and manufacturing. Some sectors we can not subsidise. We have limited government revenues. Our highly regulated and educated workforce are parameters that are difficult to change in the short run. (comparatively high labour inputs, cost.

    Why Swan has picked on those three may come to do with them largely being funded by Asian interests. In the case of Fortescue, they took Chinese funding because the oilgopoly of BHP and RIO wanted to limit competition???? Forrest made motherhood statements back then about creating indigenous jobs.

    As for Rinehart and Palmer they are lampooned in the common press, only catering to their sectional interests and not the wider community. That is hard to accept. This is not about class warfare, But arrogance creates this hostility. Are they using their money with responsibility? The reports about Gina Rinehart fighting her own children therefore grandchildren over executorship of the Estate of the Late Lang Hancock is disgraceful. It also comes after public brawling with Rose Hancock Porteous over Peppermint Grove and alimony. As for Clive Palmer and FFA and Gold Coast United, and funding the LNP in Qld, that rates with Rinehart wanting to be a press baron. Is this despotism?

    For many years I have advocated the economic concept of marginal propensity to consume can be extended to a new concept of marginal propensity to be wealthy. Wealthy people spend too much energy protecting what they have. Poor people spend too much time, try to survive in the hope of accumulation, and far too often their ways land them in hot water. The hungry vagabond stealing bread or potatoes just to eat, to exist.

    I repeat Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart are too rich. And that is not being too pragmatic, just reasoned.

    The constant unjust criticism and heckling on this site is diminishing of its true value. It stops potential debate. I would like to focus on potentialities rather than trying to defend my sentience (my existence). Other such sites are given that right.

    Why would anyone sit by and see their mining inheritance raped by a few sectional interests? It is creating Australia’s economic wealth, but will not go on forever. Are those bounties being wisely spent? Is the distribution equitable?

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    June 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm

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