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Everything posted by tom

  1. Happy new year s and S'rs. I've got plenty of reading to catch up on how you all have been going. I like the travel thread. On this graph Cobrams posted and the description it is not clear to me whether standard contracts are included in the derivities number? Ie you will sell me 500mtonnes of ore at 45 dollars per tonne over the next twelve months. If it does include the future physical trades I guess one would expect it to be a huge number compared to the value of global stock markets. If not why are there so many people hedging / speculating on derivitives? Is this a new thing I wonder? Found this report from 2012: From the first para: 640trillion notional value with a market value of 27trillion. I take it this means on average taking a $1000 position in a derivative exposes you to $23,700 odd of the underlying commodity?
  2. Indeed I think government should invest in welfare particularly around mental health. Ridiculous that now people who had been on disability pension for years are not getting subsistence payments as they do no have the ability to fill in the forms / submit on time etc. it is likely those most vulnerable are those who end up on the streets and those who could work in some form get the forms in and get paid. All that said a strong simple welfare system that does not remove the incentive to work, plus user pay for services philosophy that incentivises thriftiness of government money by the public. I understand at the same time as this change pharmacists are getting more power to prescribe as well? To me this is another good cost measure.
  3. Tor, Just guessing but I would say the industrial revolution saw more significant changes to the labour market than anything we could see today. Also the current labour market is more flexible to begin with, most people do not expect to be on one job for life. Prior to the industrial revolution people's entire families over generations kept the same occupation in the western world; hence names like smith, Taylor etc Look at china industrialising today. Far quicker than Europe did. Many jobs have turned to dust and yet many opportunities have raisin in new jobs. I don't think their is a brick wall when suddenly labour is not required. I guess the issue is though that at certain times labour is in less demand and so the price of labour decreases.
  4. That was a clever move. They would have known offering 15 odd protected tennants a hundred thousands or two would get most to leave. They have bout the lot based on the tenancies and then paid them off. I just cannot understand how the previous owner didnt think of this?....
  5. Yes, I guess our issue in Australia is how can it be sold. It appers it is now a dead duck in Australia the copayment. They didn't go the road of telling us we are a bunch of hypochondriacs that need a price trigger to curb our excessive doctor visits. Don't know if that would have gone down better or worse than saying a doctors visit will be the equivalent of a couple of latte? I expect health outcomes are tied closely to economic outcomes. In addition, demographics must play a part. Australia is hard to manage given many live remotely though at least climate is on our side. On that note progressive taxation and a strong safety net in social welfare would lead to better health outcomes I think than universal health care. Problem is that's even more unaffordable.
  6. Apologies for the multiple posts but I find it difficult to multi quote on my phone.I understand the AMA heavily restricts the supply side. Do you really think that people need to be in the top 0.05percent of the state to be clever enough to be medical professionals? This is the limited number of spaces our universities leave for doctors. Sure I'd like to think they should be from the top 1percent but we bemoan the lack of doctors and train only a small portion of those capable and willing to be docs then wonder why hospitals have to pay 400 dollars plus an hour for consultants. Upshot is I'm right with you. They do ok. Why doesn't the government look at doctors like every other necessary professional group and open the floodgates on supply when wages brake out? My thought is the AMA will argue against it.
  7. On your private health insurance, I recall you posting on that some years back and I decided to change mine and have been saving about $1500 per annum since. I put my money where my mouth is and went to one that has no free lunch. Ie for ancillaries you always pay exactly 25percent of the cost. I suspect in my last fund the cost to fund was from people who are clever enough to milk every free lunch out of it, ie two free pairs glasses one five remedial massages and two trips to the dentist. Yes my one trip to the dentist was always free but for my gigantic premium I got $300 off my dental costs each year. On the co payment it is a fairly well established economic theory that without a price trigger people act irrationally and take more than they need. Our local gp costs me $26.00 to see anyway so the $7.00 is the least of people's worries where our "universal" healthcare doesn't extend to. That said the kids are still free.
  8. It is an attack on free health care, because without a price, there is no price trigger. I don't see it as ideological, well at least for me I don't hold the view based on ideology. It's economic theory that shapes my own view on the government offering things for free to the public. There are certainly matters of fairness that should be addressed. If you are sick it will cost more than if you are not but without any cost to the public there is significant waste as people will use free healthcare when perhaps they do not need healthcare at all but a trip to the pharmacist etc. These are all things that should have been sorted during the Howard era of growing surplussess, instead of tax cuts. Social welfare could have been increased, offset by user pays. Not necessarily the lot but pays something. It could be just once a year for one in five people avoided with a $7.00 co-payment. This still amounts to a large saving. The reason I suspect the AMA is against it. It comes out of their revenue. The doctors surgery is still a business.
  9. Yes, gender neutral language becomes difficult in certain circumstances. Apparently some people use the word nim in place of him / her... I can still recall being marked down in an assignment for calling "the contractor" a him when after writing the contractor once in that sentence it seemed unnatural to continue to refer to the contractor as the contractor and it was more natural to say he... The difficulty in economic science which at its heart appears to be the study of people following their self interest, is that sometimes it is difficult to ascertain what people will think it is in their best interest to do. Goveremts seems to frame everything in terms of how it will affect people on an individual level and yet sometimes I think society roses above this and will vote for the collective good. I think the caveat in this though is that they will vote for the collective good if the individual pain is small. Unfortunately for tony abbot and his party they spend too much time trying to explain why $7 is really just a beer or a few smokes or that poor people don't use much fuel rather than explaining the positive side of their policies. Oddly enough it is precisely because of people following their self interest for the main that makes a $7 go co-payment a good policy. When things are offered for free people act in strange ways... Speaking of which is anyone else collecting the woolworths animal cards.
  10. Are you leaving the humidor unlocked?
  11. Yes, this is a weakness on their part and yet for me I still empathise with them. I guess having an addictive personality helps.
  12. In the senate I put a 1 in one box. To number all of them would take too long so I guess my preferences go to whoever the smokers rights party puts next.I have no issue with sin taxes, however when they disproportionately punish people versus the cost to others in society I take issue with them. Also if a society is to have sin taxes then an attempt to tax all sins so to speak should be undertaken rather than just some They tell us the health costs outweigh the tax however one look at the most expensive privte health cover compared to the amount paid in taxes indicates to me they are taking more than smoking in isolation costs. To me it seems smokers are unfairly targeted because smokers are now seen as fair game by everyone in society. Chiefly it affects an individual and I don't see reason this should be taxed. If it should be taxed than why not tax people who rock fish or sky dive. So what they take more risks but this is really a personal choice not one for society.
  13. I also use my vote for similar reasons. In the senate here I voted the smokers rights party and I don't even smoke. I guess my logic for that was that the amount they tax cigs now is enough and thy really should tax those able to afford it. Not those addicted to smoking, just because they think they can sell it as a sin tax. I've see. Some pretty poor families especially among other minority groups that smoke and really shouldn't, are subjecting their kids to more poverty than they should. It's not like driving where rich people drive more than poor with smoking I reckon poor people partake more than the wealthy.
  14. I was under the impression Big Macs were cheap in the USA. I thought fast food was cheap in the USA. Is that more expensive than Australia? In fact I'm pretty sure, 4.80 US dollars is more expensive than most euro countries?
  15. Thanks zaph, That's an insight one could not get from the mainstream media. While my estimation of her has gone up a few hundred percent now knowing she cannot be intolerant absolutely, I still wouldn't vote for her. That said I'm not a qld'r so it probably doesn't matter.
  16. Thanks cobran. Yeh, I reckon I'll sell. I should take this opportunity to thank you for keeping us all up to date with market moves. I reckon it has to be an influencing factor in my luck over the last 24months or so. I owe you a beer next time I'm in town.
  17. What are you're thoughts on the Dow now? Did the jump on Friday and hold yesterday take it out of that potential downward signal / wedge?
  18. it looks like our banks capital ratios may be changing whether the RBA want them too or not.
  19. 0.8pc per month is subdued? 10pc per annum is in my view enough to warrant change. I just worry now how they will implement a change to negative gearing. Will it be you have untill 30th June 2015 to get your big tax break for life? We will be bombarded by property spruikers for the next 8months telling us to get in or miss out? One last surge in prices before a massive rout in prices? That said I cannot think of a benign way of changing this policy given the profound impact it has on house prices.
  20. The lack of confidence around the euro is only in the member states themselves. The eu has shown it will sooner allow a member state go broke / into poverty than allow it to dissolve its debt through inflation. This is not a negative for the euro currency as an exchange mechanism, its a positive. Meanwhile the us uses massive qe to bombard the world with US dollars. For me the surprise is that so much trade does remain priced in US dollars. I guess as tor pointed out though in an above post you can always hedge the US dollar back to your currency of interest anyway, though this can no doubt be done with just about any two currencies on the planet anyway though I would expect the cost may be higher for two obscure currencies like say aud v Vietnam dong.
  21. Dose,If I didn't laugh at that post I would cry. I do get a little unhinged though when I see just how stupid people get. your post illustrates so clearly how the tragedy is unfolding. I don't blame these individuals I pity them. I dont even blame the banks. imagine the way people would view one of our big four who decided not to indulge in increasing bank loan assets when the other three were. I do blame our former government who should have let things unravel 6 years ago when we had 5 more years of economic growth ahead. Now we are going to get both an unwinding of our housing market at the same time as falls in our terms of trade and I expect economic activity. The three acting concurrently will drive the other two further down further than they would go in isolation. As you say it is the shoe shine phase of things. They must be the ten percenters driving the last gasp of this boom when everyone else including our reserve bank can see the writing is on the wall for both the economy and our housing market.
  22. Yes everyone I know (well nearly) thinks house prices are obscene. Still I guess I assumed there must be some true believers left supporting prices? What puzzles me is, if we all think house prices are too high then what is supporting the prices? Normally in bubbles everyone thinks they have to buy or miss out is prices are likely to rise is the collective thought. I guess the 90pc explains why in recent years many have tried to punish their mortgages rather than the old equity mate and let it ride sentiment.
  23. Don't completely discount the ppor advantage sc. my view is if property works (and I don't believe it does on purely financial grounds) it works for your own home. The killer for me was paying tax on investment earnings then paying rent after tax. Sure yield may be sub 5pc but at leas when it's your ppor it's a tax free 5pc. Putting the future to one side if you had 100pc (i didnt unfortunately) of the value of a home invested and paid rent after tax you are likely ok to buy and avoid tax on your savings. All depends on your view of what you expect your investment returns to be outside of housing. if you expect 10pc then don't buy, but I was making 4.5pc in bank deposits; under 3pc odd after tax. Sure yields in housing are sh*te but better than this. I am nearly certain at some point I will have been better off renting and buying post a crash but in the meantime I just try and punish the mortgage between the Missus buying cars and now a swimming pool.... Ex these "one off" expenses At this moment in time we can pay more down on the mortgage than we used to save though its marginal.
  24. Under the article is a poll. Are house prices overvalued. 90pc say yes! That's in nearly 21,000 votes. I don't even think you would get such a unified response on the old ghpc site if you conducted that poll? Clearly now something is broken if circa 90pc think house prices are too high and yet prices remain supported? I don't know how to rationalise this at all. Any ideas?
  25. Nah, sc don't do that. If there is a class of person who should buy a house it is someone who has a fair bit saved and currently pays rent. By living In your own home you avoid paying tax on income. Ie without home you both pay rent after tax while also paying income tax on investment income. I'm not saying you'll be ahead by buying property but if you are going to buy at least make it your ppor.