Posts Tagged ‘Hockey’

Bastard Banks – again

Posted: April 6, 2010 in Uncategorized
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In my experience, there are three particularly unprincipled industry groups in Australia: the banks, insurance companies and oil companies. Being an ex-banker who worked in the industry through the madness of the 1980s, I know who I think is the worst. I have previously blogged on the subject.

An ongoing matter for a couple of years now is the fact that when the Reserve Bank changes interest rates, there is no compulsion on any of the banks on what they may or may not pass on to the consumer. In fact we now have a standard practice in the banking industry. When the Reserve Bank lowers interest rates, the banks refuse to pass on all of this rate cut, protesting the cost of raising funds as the cause. But when the Reserve Bank increases rates, the banks all but fall over themselves in passing on 100% of that increase.

Now back in late 2008, when the banks passed on 80% of an interest rate reduction, after earlier generally expressing the view that they would only pass on less than that, we were subjected to then Leader of the Opposition, Chief Turning Bull (Malcolm Turnball), claiming the credit. His justification? He claimed the Opposition drew a ‘line in the sand’ which somehow forced the Banks into line. Does that mean they have to also carry the can for when the banks pass 100% of a rate increase after shortchanging their customers on rate reductions?

Ironically, dear Ex-Chief Turning Bull has just announced he will be standing down from politics at the end of his current term. Oh how the mighty have fallen. After failing to talk the former Labour government into handing him a seat, he suddenly became a true believer in the Liberal Party (for my friends outside of Australia, replace ‘liberal’ with ‘conservative’) cause. And now as the banks continue their bastard practices, Turning Bull is cowering away, his tail well between his legs.

A reality check – despite the arrogance of Turning Bull (and his then mate, Blubberguts Joe Hockey, although TB is still walking around with Fatboy’s knives in his back), the banks are not in fear of the Liberal-National coalition. Or the government for that matter. They are in fact a law unto themselves.

Enough is enough. Deregulation of the financial sector has plenty of things going for it. But this was never intended to be a free pass for the banks to blatantly engage in price gouging.

Party politics will kill any solutions to whaling

Posted: February 21, 2010 in Uncategorized
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And so the whaling debate between Australia and Japan continues.

Japan continues to hunt whales and Australia continues to talk about trying to stop them. Lots of talk but nothing beyond that.

Joe Hockey has come out firing, claiming the Rudd government does not know how to stop the Japanese whaling. Now hold on there Joe – while Kevin Anderson succeeded in getting matters on the table before the International Whaling Commission, the Howard government didn’t seem to have much success in stopping them either, did you?

The Greens have criticised the Rudd government for failing to back the proposed laws to ban Australian businesses from supplying aeroplanes in support of Japanese whaling. The government has taken advice that the proposed laws may be unconsititional. The complaints by the Greens have some standing. The complaints by the Opposition however seem nothing more than the standard objections – the government says ‘this’, so we must therefore say ‘that’.

Japanese authorities finally made a statement that strongly implied that the real reason for their whaling is just what everyone else already knows it is about – meat for the table and not a damned thing to do with ‘scientific research’. How about they take a leaf out of the book the Chinese are using – and start eating our damned Cane Toads.

I doubt anyone can argue that Australian society as a whole is opposed to continued whaling. Just this once, just once, can’t we get a bipartisan approach that gets above party politics and take some real action? It greatly saddens me that the answer is almost certainly no. And the gentle giants of the deep will continue to be slaughtered in our southern oceans.