Crisis

CM on Sky

https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6102427118001

CM appeared on Sky News to discuss the situation with our banks, the potential risks from the recommendations of the Hayne Royal Commission and the issue of mortgage stress.

Black humour is a British trait but Brexit extensions just ain’t funny anymore

While black humour is definitely a strong British trait, there is nothing remotely funny about further delays to execute a Brexit deal. Despite the highest turnout in British voting history, UK legislators continue to show their employers utter contempt. We all know how King Arthur was eventually forced to deal with the Black Knight in Monty Python’s The Holy Grail despite denying the obvious.

While many Remainers argue that there was a whole swag of voters that didn’t show up on the day of the referendum – meaning the majority didn’t support Leave – they clearly showed by those actions that it didn’t mean enough to get to the polling booth. Too bad if they thought “remain” was a formality. It is a bit late to complain after the result. Tell that to Americans who believed in Hillary Clinton’s coronation three years ago. They can’t stop banging on about being robbed. That is how democracy works. Complacency is no excuse. Do we change the rules? Hand out mulligans?

It isn’t hard to work out what is at stake here. The EU wants to turn the UK into a colony. PM Boris Johnson’s latest deal was week-old leftovers from Theresa May’s disastrous proposal. Any deal short of “no” will come with so many caveats as to beggar belief.

To say that people were “duped/misled/lied to” in the lead up to the referendum is deceitfully condescending. People knew exactly what they were voting for. Now they see the very people sworn to represent them, going out of their way to cede more power to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. The deal, as it stands, is the type of document a vanquished nation would be forced to sign – unconditional surrender. Blind Freddie can see that.

The greater irony here is that if politicians are so cocksure they can read the mood of the nation to the extent of lecturing citizens that they don’t understand the implications of Brexit they should use that same chest-beating confidence to win by a landslide. Surely was such conviction so iron-clad, they would call an election immediately. Yet the Remain camp steadfastly refuses, hopefully using the time to lock in cushy EU jobs post being turfed from office.

Maybe a crushing victory in the Rugby World Cup final this weekend will be all Britons need to know that they are capable of greatness on their own.

It smells like Kavanaugh 2.0

Can the Democrats really be so careless? It turns out that the CIA whistleblowera self-disclosed Democrat, who came forward over the Ukrainian affair has professional links to one of the 2020 Democratic nominee’s campaign.

The Inspector General (IG) Michael Atkinson stated this was the case, according to Washington Examiner journalist, Byron York.

Is this why House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff won’t release the transcript of former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker’s 10-hr testimony, which would possibly disprove allegations of a quid pro quo between President Trump and Ukraine’s government?

It is embarrassing enough that Schiff risks being a witness to an impeachment hearing he is chairing.

Kavanaugh 2.0? Do texts tell anything?

CM will say this from the outset. If Trump is actually guilty of a crime that validates formal impeachment, then the law of the land must prevail, regardless of partisan bias.

Unfortunately, this impeachment process smacks of Kavanaugh 2.0. Don’t be surprised if more allegations come out of the woodwork. After Kavanaugh’s eventual confirmation, recall that many who came forward in the hearings suffered bouts of amnesia or flat out reversed the initial allegations made. The Democrats remain so deranged, that if not careful, this could create an ill wind that will blow back on them if not successful.

Luckily for the Democrats, having a compliant mainstream media which can think of nothing better than aiding and abetting an impeachment are salivating so as to recover self-inflicted slumping ratings. So much for objective journalism. How cute that they pass so little airtime over allegations that US politicians could have family members embroiled in corrupt activities while they were in office. Don’t Americans see that as worth knowing? Isn’t it odd that Hunter Biden, a man with no experience in a particular field, was given a $600k job to act as a director, 10x the average CEO salary in the country?

How they missed the allegation that the first whistleblower, failed to disclose his meeting with House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff to the Inspector General Michael Atkinson. Atkinson didn’t follow up because he had no knowledge until it came out. Never mind that according to 18 U.S. Code § 1001, anyone who “falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact” might be guilty of making a false statement. A felony?

Now that whistleblower #1’s credibility is looking even shakier (given his testimony was based on second-hand information), how surprising that whistleblower #2 has come out of the woodpile with supposedly first-hand information. He claims to have evidence supporting the first. What a surprise?

Will he/she also be found to be a registered Democrat? Will he have the same impartiality of FBI agent Peter “at no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took” Strzok when the lead investigator of Hillary Clinton’s email saga and Trump’s alleged Russia collusion?

Now the media wolf pack is seizing on comments that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made supposedly about quid pro quo. He said,  “This is what we do. Nations work together and they say ‘Boy...if you can help me with X, we’ll help you achieve Y. This is what partnerships do. It’s win-win, it’s better for each of us.” If one looked at nearly every administration, countries look for mutual benefits. What is remotely odd about that? Does America give aid to countries that benefit it? Israel perhaps? If you help keep peace in the region, we’ll sell you state of the art equipment? Saudi Arabia? If you buy our fighter jets, we’ll buy your oil?

Zelenskiy said there was no quid pro quo. Australian PM Scott Morrison spoke of exactly the type of cooperation Australia and the US has had for decades. It isn’t a quid pro quo. It is mutual benefit. Sharing common values.

Officials taking part in the texts are Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine; William Taylor, who was interim chargé d’affaires in Kiev is the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine; Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union; and Andrey Yermak, a top aide to Zelenskiy.

In an exchange dated Sept. 9, in a text Taylor sent to Sondland, the career diplomat wrote: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

Sondland responds: “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.

In a July 25 message between Volker and Yermak — the aide to Ukraine’s president Zelenskiy — which occurred just ahead of the Trump-Zelenskiy call, Volker wrote:

Heard from White House—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/’get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.

Weeks later, on Aug. 9, Sondland and Volker exchange texts as they try to establish a date for Zelenskiy’s visit:

Sondland: “Morrison ready to get dates as soon as Yermak confirms.”

Volker: “Excellent!! How did you sway him? 🙂

Sondland: “Not sure I did. I think POTUS really wants the deliverable

So the texts go to show there was no quid pro quo which involved “monies being withheld”, which is the real point of attack by Schiff et al.

Does Trump wanting to get to the bottom of the very collusion during the 2016 election that the Democrats had been screaming about for the better part of two years all of a sudden require impeachment because that it doesn’t suit their purposes? Do they want a president to wield a big stick or be a wallflower? 

Washington Post gave 4 out of 5 Pinocchio’s to Adam Schiff. How hard must have that been? Pelosi removed Jerry Nadler from the investigation. Surely she must think to remove him given the incompetence he has shown? Now Schiff has made himself part of the investigation. He is now a witness. A bit hard to chair an impeachment enquiry when he himself is part of it.

What a farce.

XR in Cornwall push a narrative that sea level could rise 70 metres then meltdown

Climate alarmists, Extinction Rebellion in Cornwall (XRiC), were pushing an article from Cornwall Live that suggested sea levels could rise 70 metres. It noted,

According to geologist Edmond Mathez of the American Museum of Natural History, if all the ice covering Antarctica, Greenland and in mountain glaciers around the world were to melt, the sea level would rise 70 metres and cover all coastal cities.”

When digging a bit deeper, it turns out a curator in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences answered this question from Hannah in Year 6.

Will the world ever be all underwater because of all the ice melting?

Mathez replied,

Dear Hannah,

Thank you for your question. The simple answer is no. The whole world will never be underwater. But our coastlines would be very different.

If all the ice covering Antarctica, Greenland, and in mountain glaciers around the world were to melt, sea level would rise about 70 meters (230 feet). The ocean would cover all the coastal cities. And land area would shrink significantly. But many cities, such as Denver, would survive.

However, all the ice is not going to melt. The Antarctic ice cap, where most of the ice exists, has survived much warmer times.

The concern is that portions of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice caps may disappear. We do not know how much or how quickly this could happen, because we do not know exactly how it will happen.

That’s because the ice doesn’t just melt. Ice actually flows down valleys like rivers of water . The problem is that we do not completely understand the factors that control how rapidly the ice flows and thus enters the ocean.

One way to approach the problem of not understanding the process is to study how sea level changed in the past. Earth is nearly as warm now as it was during the last interglacial period, about 125,000 years ago. At that time, sea level was 4 to 6 meters (13-20 feet) higher. It seems that this higher sea level was due to the melting Greenland and West Antarctic ice caps.

Perhaps a similar sea-level rise is our future. We don’t know. We also don’t know how rapidly sea level could rise. Will a 4-meter (13-foot) increase take 200, 500, or even 1,000 years? This is a question that a number of scientists are now trying to answer by studying how ice moves.

So Extinction Rebellion Cornwall (XRiC) took umbrage at CM’s insistence they were chasing pagan gods and hadn’t bothered to read beyond the Cornwall Live article. Some XRiC respondents came back with the idea some are suffering psychological issues by living in fear of these prophecies. CM pointed them toward the IPCC survey conducted in 2010 on the processes and procedures in the formulation of the climate bibles.

The collected answers to the questionnaire are contained in 678 pages.

Here are some direct quotes:

some of the lead authors…are clearly not qualified to be lead authors.” (p.16)

There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter…we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent.” (p. 138)

The whole process…[is] flawed by an excessive concern for geographical balance. All decisions are political before being scientific.” (p. 554)

Half of the authors are there for simply representing different parts of the world.” (p. 296)

Lest anyone think that people from less affluent countries were being unjustly stereotyped, the person whose comments appear on page 330 agrees:

The team members from the developing countries (including myself) were made to feel welcome and accepted as part of the team. In reality, we were out of our intellectual depth as meaningful contributors to the process.

CM also pointed out that the same Cornwall Live website posted,

The data shows the most expensive postcode in Cornwall is PL29 3, which covers Port Isaac, where an average price of £383,750 was recorded last year. This is up 10% compared to 2017.”

It would seem that the people of Cornwall aren’t fleeing the coastline in panic.

XRiC has deleted the post. Melting snowflakes?

Titanic shipbuilder manages to stay afloat

It seems that Titanic shipbuilder, Harland & Wolff, has been thrown a £6m lifeline after the Belfast based business looked to sink into receivership. The company has 79 staff, well down on the historic peak of 35,000. The trends are only too self-evident.

The OECD notes “As of March 2018, the global order book of registered ships totalling approximately 78 million CGT, thus continuing to remain at historically very low levels. In year-on-year (y-o-y) terms this represents a decline of around 10% and is almost 66% lower than the peak in September 2008.  The order book continuously declined after 2008 before stabilising in 2013 and staying above 120 million CGT throughout 2014. With deliveries stable and new contracting at record lows, the order book again decreased substantially in 2016, declining by around ¼ from January 2016 to January 2018. In the course of 2018, new ordering picked up again from its lows, but declined in the first quarter of 2018.

It wasn’t so many years ago that Korea’s largest container transporter Hanjin Shipping declared bankruptcy.  The above chart shows the daily shipping rates for the industry which remain tepid for the past decade. The problem with the shipping industry is the fleet. Ships are not built overnight. Surging order books and limited capacity meant that as the pre-GFC global trade boom was taking place, many shipping companies were paying over the odds without cost ceilings on major raw material inputs (like steel). This meant that ships were arriving at customer docks well after the cycle had peaked at prices that were 3x market prices because of the inflated materials.

H&W may live to see another day, but the consolidation in the shipping industry will be ongoing. P.22 of this report shows the slowing $ value of trade in recent months.

Japanese consumer confidence waning as consumption tax hike starts tomorrow

Japan consumer confidence.png

As the 10% consumption tax rate kicks in from October 1 in Japan from the current 8%, it is worth reflecting on the sorry state of consumer confidence. We are back below 2014 levels. While the sales of Japanese rugby jerseys and huge consumption of beer by gaijin at the Rugby World Cup may provide a brief respite, the trend remains distinctly negative.

Note that consumption tax has been the biggest portion of government revenue since 2014 and is on track to be 37% of the total in 2019, followed by individuals and the lazy corporate sector. Japan’s small-medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of employment, comprising 70% of the labour force and 97% of all corporations. Yet 70% of SMEs pay no tax at all.

From an individual level, the top 0.7% of earners in Japan pay 30% of the tax bill, up from 20% in 1974. The bottom 50% have seen their tax contribution fall from 10% to around 2.8%. The top 8% pay around three-quarters of the total.

With Japan running a ¥100 trillion (US$1tn) national budget, the Ministry of Finance needs to sell ¥40 trillion (US$400bn) every year to plug the budget deficit.  The hope is that the consumption tax will lower the dependence on having to debt finance to such extremes.