EU

Eco-warriors worried more about tailpipe emissions than the depleted uranium coming from the pipe at the front

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler“…remember the old ‘Dad’s Army‘ tune? Well, it seems that the UK military believes in order to recruit the next generation of soldiers it must take a new approach to appeal to the eco-credentials of those graduating. It is a touch odd to believe that any prospective new squaddies might hold grave concerns about what comes out of the tailpipe of their tank rather than the depleted uranium shells they might fire from the 120mm pipe at the front.

General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith said that “the challenge and genuine commercial opportunity is to aim high and lead the world in the development of military equipment which is not only battle-winning but also environmentally sustainable.”

Truth be told is that is unlikely that young, fresh out of school eco-warriors would be the types that would enlist in the first place.

CM is sure that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will be clamouring to follow the UK’s lead and invest in the next generation of solar-powered wafer-thin armoured tanks and carbon-free balloons which will drop virtue signalling leaflets printed in soy ink on recycled paper encouraging our enemy to embrace love, compassion, diversity and inclusion.

Albo moves from dumb to dumber

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Oh boy! Here we go again. Adjusting targets to a pointless exercise to an even more irrelevant one, albeit at a massive net cost to all Aussies.
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This is the trend of Australian energy price inflation and manufacturing jobs over the last two decades. Notice anything? A correlation of about 90%. Energy prices go up, manufacturing comes down. We have shed 250,000 manufacturing jobs in the last two decades. Green jobs have not replaced them. Not even 1/10th of the jobs lost as this chart from the ABS shows.
The trend is the same in Denmark, which is an even big renewables user. The correlation is even higher. Denmark has shed 200,000+ jobs following green madness. No green jobs haven’t offset this either.
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Is it a surprise that prices, where more renewable energy is used, are higher than those places that don’t? If it weren’t for the weak $A, these numbers would look even worse.
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Labor leader Anthony Albanese thinks that shifting the focus away from 45% renewable by 2030 to net zero emissions by 2050 is a game-changer. Why can’t these politicians count or look at the experience at home and abroad? What is this obsession to take Australia’s 0.00001345% CO2 contribution to the atmosphere to zero? How many billions more should we spend for absolutely no return? Does he not realise that Australia has the third-highest clean energy spending per capita already? Why all the self-flagellation?

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Our per capita emissions are going down relative to many neighbours. Don’t be fooled by the Europeans either. Biomass (which is as dirty as lignite (brown coal)) gets special dispensation from the EU hacks if a tree is planted for every one burned. So even though the tree that is planted will take at least 50 years to be able to replace what was burnt, fear not, creative stats are ok in Brussels.
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Ahh, but Germany is the country we should all aspire to be, no? Well actually, no. In 2007 Germany forecast that 2020 residential electricity prices would be approximately 16 Eurocents. Today they trade at c.31 Eurocents. Merkel’s policies to phase out all nuke power after the Fukushima disaster. Der Spiegel, a normally left-leaning journal wrote in a two-part series. 

Part 1 – Germany Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

“But the sweeping idea has become bogged down in the details of German reality. The so-called Energiewende, the shift away from nuclear in favour of renewables, the greatest political project undertaken here since Germany’s reunification, is facing failure. In the eight years since Fukushima, none of Germany’s leaders in Berlin have fully thrown themselves into the project, not least the chancellor. Lawmakers have introduced laws, decrees and guidelines, but there is nobody to coordinate the Energiewende, much less speed it up. And all of them are terrified of resistance from the voters, whenever a wind turbine needs to be erected or a new high-voltage transmission line needs to be laid out.”

Germany’s Federal Court of Auditors is even more forthright about the failures. The shift to renewables, the federal auditors say, has cost at least 160 billion euros in the last five years. Meanwhile, the expenditures “are in extreme disproportion to the results, Federal Court of Auditors President Kay Scheller said last fall, although his assessment went largely unheard in the political arena. Scheller is even concerned that voters could soon lose all faith in the government because of this massive failure.

There is also such an irony when these mad green schemes encounter scourge from animal rights groups. Former Green’s leader Bob Brown knows the feeling,

“The bird of prey [red kite], with its elegantly forked tail, enjoys strict protection in Germany…Red kites are migratory, returning from the south in the spring, but they don’t return reliably every year. The mayor would have been happy if the bird had shown up quickly so its flight patterns could be analyzed and plans for the wind park adjusted accordingly. It would have been expensive, but at least construction of the project could finally get underway.

But if the bird doesn’t return, the project must be suspended. Spies has to wait a minimum of five years to see if the creature has plans for the nest after all. Which means the wind park could finally be built in 2024, fully 12 years after the project got underway.”

Part 2 – German Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

An additional factor exacerbating the renewables crisis is the fact that two decades after the enactment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), 20-year guaranteed feed-in tariffs will begin expiring next year for the first wind, solar and biomass facilities. Some of those who installed solar panels back then — often farmers and homeowners — are still receiving 50 cents for every kilowatt-hour they feed into the grid. Today, larger facilities receive just 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The state has redistributed gigantic sums of money, with the EEG directing more than 25 billion euros each year to the operators of renewable energy facilities. But without the subsidies, operating wind turbines and solar parks will hardly be worth it anymore. As is so often the case with such subsidies: They trigger an artificial boom that burns fast and leaves nothing but scorched earth in their wake.

That doesn’t include the 360,000 German households in energy poverty.

As Australia continues to expand the renewables portion of our power grid, the lessons from the Germans couldn’t be clearer – market distortions and misguided investments only lead to marginal results on the back of massive investment to stop something that can’t be controlled. German taxpayers have been swindled and Aussies are sleepwalking down the same path.

So Albo, the solution is simple. Do the math. Read about Germany’s beta testing of renewables and stop this crusade to prevent something that no matter what target you pick, zero will be the output. Just look at the price of energy relative to core CPI since we went renewables mad in 2000. That chart is not a vote winner.

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The only hot air Albo needs to worry about is that emanating from the Labor Party policy room. Drop all of this group think.

Banker Buster?

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Before the GFC in 2008, bank shares across the globe were flying. Financial engineering promised a new paradigm of wealth creation and abundant profitability. They were unstoppable.

However 12 years later, many banks look mere shadows of their former selves. We are told by our political class to believe that our economies are robust and that a low-interest rate environment will keep things tickety-boo indefinitely. After all the wheels of the economy have always been greased by the financial sector.

If that were true, why does Europe’s largest economy have two of its major banks more than 90% off the peak? Commerz has shrunk so far that it has been thrown out of the DAX. Surely, Japan’s banks should be prospering under Abenomics so why are the shares between 65% and 80% below 2007 levels?

Ahh, but take a look at those Aussie beauties! How is it they have bucked the global trend? How can Commonwealth Bank be worth 6x Deutsche Bank?

Although we shouldn’t look at the Aussie banks with rose-tinted glasses they have mortgage debt up to the eyeballs. Mortgages to total loans exceed 62% in Australia. The next is daylight, followed by Norway at 40%. Japanese banks, before the bubble collapsed, were in the 40% range. CM wrote a comparo here. There is a real risk that these Aussie banks will require bailouts if the housing market craps out. It carries so many similarities to Japan and when anyone ever mentions stress tests – start running for the hills.

If you own Aussie banks in your superannuation portfolio, it is high time you dumped them. Franked dividends might be an ample reason to hold them, but things in finance turn on a dime and this time Australia doesn’t have a China to rescue us like it did in 2008-09. More details contained in the link in the paragraph above.

In closing, Milton Friedman said it best with respect to the ability of central banks to control outcomes,

“… we are in danger of assigning to monetary policy a larger role than it can perform, in danger of asking it to accomplish tasks that it cannot achieve, and as a result, in danger of preventing it from making the contribution that it is capable of making.

 

Despite all the problems at the gates of Elysee Palace, Macron torches 10 Downing St instead

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As the German 6th Army marched on Paris on June 14th, 1940 civil servants of Britain and France drafted a proposal for a Franco-British Union in the ensuing 48 hours. It wasn’t to be a mere military pact but essentially merging two countries. The document stated clearly,

At this most fateful moment in the history of the modern world, the Governments of the United Kingdom and the French Republic make this declaration of indissoluble union and unyielding resolution in their common defence of justice and freedom against subjection to a system which reduces mankind to a life of robots and slaves.

Churchill was surprised by the eagerness of the French. Charles de Gaulle embraced the idea of wanting immediate execution. However, the French quickly became disillusioned and disappointed when the British were pulling troops from Dunkirk. The deal collapsed.

Then PM Paul Reynaud wrote in his memoirs that, “Those who rose in indignation at the idea of union with our ally were the same individuals who were getting ready to bow and scrape to Hitler.

So it was a No Deal outcome. The British accepted it.

The British didn’t give up and abandon the French but vowed to liberate them regardless of failing to reach a ‘mutual’ deal. Surviving the Battle of Britain, the Blitz and U-boats destroying merchant shipping, the British, with allied help, played an instrumental role in defeating Hitler. We can soundly argue that Britain had little choice but to do as she did, but the liberation of France was a welcome by-product, not lost on the French in August 1944.

The sacrifices made by Great Britain to drive out those evil occupiers are not lost on the British either. So to have Macron issue an ultimatum is ignoring history. Perhaps Macron should ask his wife, who grew up soon after the war, about French attitudes of the time – how they deeply appreciated and embraced Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

However, all credit must be given to French President Emmanuel Macron for conveniently forgetting the past and embracing double standards to try to railroad and back the very foreign democracy – that essentially assured he was able to attain the position he has – into a corner. That is the EU operating to type.

As CM has mentioned multiple times, the negative impacts on the UK economy are effectively zero if common sense between nations prevails.

Looking at the latest trade stats between the EU and Britain it is simple. EU members make up 7 of the Top 10 British export markets accounting for 37.4% of all trade. Top 10 accounts for 65.9% of trade. Trump accounts for £54.9bn vs £36.5bn from Merkel.

On the Import side, the UK matters much more to the likes of Germany £68bn. The Dutch at £42bn and France at £28bn.

In short of the UK ‘s Top 10 importing nations, 8 are EU members. The Top 10 account for 65.7% of the total. Those 8 EU nations make up 48.1% of all British imports. 7.13% of Germany’s exports end up in Blighty. One might argue that 10% of UK exports ending up in Germany is reason enough to back down. Yet why would either seek to make their position worse off? Germany is the UK’s #1 importer and Germany is the #2 destination for British exports. For Germany, the UK ranks #11 importer and #3 export nation.

Will Angela Merkel really work to ruin a trading relationship with the UK where the trade surplus alone is worth 1% of German GDP? Especially as the German economy is contracting?

Macron has once again revealed the EU’s utter contempt for sovereign state democracy. Ironic coming from a man who has seen his popularity collapse at home. If he can’t fix the will of those very constituents he represents at his own doorstep (yellow vest protests haven’t ended), what place does he have soiling the doormat at 10 Downing St? It reads like Aesop’s “Dog in the Manger.

In closing, wasn’t the whole point of establishing the EU to prevent tyranny from ever happening again?

Borixit

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If the EU had a mandate to force the British people toward a No Deal Brexit it couldn’t have done a better job if it had tried. The sheer arrogance and meddling from Brussels have only steeled the resolve of many UK citizens. Did it think for a moment these jabs, threats and ultimatums would enamour those residing in the world’s 5th largest economy? All they have done is given the lion cause to roar.

Britons have not been asleep at the wheel but the political classes on both sides of the English Channel have acted as though they have. A further delay to a resolution and a block of No Deal only compound the anger.

This is way more than a Brexit vote – any general election will be about the party who is prepared to execute on democracy.

Those that have done their utmost to thwart the referendum will have a target painted on their back when an election eventually arrives. The Brits don’t want to comprise and they have not forgotten the betrayal. They want out of the common market as David Cameron assured them ahead of the referendum! Brexit is Brexit.

While some might dismiss BoJo as some eccentric Etonian clown, the UK PM has torn the scab off British politics with the proroguing of parliament. For 3 years, the UK Parliament under the weak leadership of Theresa May dithered and floundered in carrying out its duty.

There is a slice of irony to see Remainers march in the streets to protest the proroguing of parliament.  They claim it is undemocratic when it was indeed they who did their utmost to block the will of the people. If we were to truly get to the bottom of the pet gripes of most Remainers, it would likely amount to having to form a line in the non-EU queue at customs of remaining members over any fear of major economic impacts.

Boris Johnson has played chicken with his own party members – who are Remainers – that they’ll be turfed from the party if they don’t back his plans. The flip side is that they will be crucified at the next election anyway. To side with Corbyn is suicide. To side with a Theresa May rehashed deal is a recipe for Torycide. An alliance with Farage is his only hope to end this mess, eventually.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage knows that the Tory & Brexit parties cannot split their votes as evidenced in the Peterborough by-election. With no proportional representation voting, we shouldn’t be surprised if Brexit party candidates are put up in every weak Tory constituency and where Tory Remainer incumbents currently sit. For that, Farage can negotiate a No Deal, let BoJo keep the top job and eventually convert his Brexit Party members to become a new look Tory party. Let’s face facts. The Brexit Party is predominantly about leaving the EU. If the job is done, what better way to inject much needed new blood into the Tories than get real Britons from all walks of life in parliament.

All the predictions made by Project Fear have failed to eventuate. No crashing economy or financial markets, no surge in unemployment and no British businesses gnashing teeth at what might come with life outside the EU. If anything the recent G7 looked very promising when reflecting on all of the FTAs which will probably be agreed on.

The latest trade stats between the EU and Britain make this argument pretty simple. EU members make up 7 of the Top 10 British export markets accounting for 37.4% of all trade. Top 10 account for 65.9% of trade. America accounts for £54.9bn while Germany is £36.5bn. Will British businesses fret at exporting more to America?

On the Import side, the UK matters much more to the likes of Germany at £68bn. The Dutch at £42bn and France at £28bn.

In short of the UK ‘s Top 10 importing nations, 8 are EU members. The Top 10 account for 65.7% of the total. Those 8 EU nations make up 48.1% of the total imports into the UK. On what earth would these Europeans seek to cut off their noses to spite their face? 7.13% of Germany‘s exports end up in Blighty.

One might argue that 10% of all UK exports end up in Germany Germany is the UK’s #1 importer and Germany is the #2 destination for British exports. For Germany, the UK ranks #11 importer and #3 export nation. Angela Merkel is not going to throw away a 1% GDP equivalent trade surplus in an economy in retreat. Not going to happen.

The behaviour of the EU has been so predictable. Recall Theresa May’s initial plan took the EU cabal 45 minutes to approve. That ought to have told everyone what a total dud for the UK it would be. How could we forget Emmanuel Macron imposing an October 31 deadline to have BoJo prorogue parliament and have the little Frenchman pull back his Napoleonic bravado seeing that the threat meant the EU had to throw more spanners in the works.

The British aren’t stupid. They didn’t get duped in 2016 by Brexit buses carrying slogans. 17.4mn wanted out. The taunts that people like Trump and Putin were Leavers and Obama and Trudeau were Remainers had the opposite of intended effect. The left tried to use the same tactics in the recent state elections in Germany. They used the idea of Nazism to shame people not to vote for the AfD in the Saxony election. Unfortunately, even malleable 18-29yo voters put the nationalist party top. If a second referendum were held, Leave would win by an even bigger margin.

If Jeremy Corbyn ever wanted to prosecute a case for No Deal he only had to do the obvious – make reference to Trump. True to form, he did. Does he honestly believe that signing a free trade agreement with the US would be a bad thing? Would British consumers and industry truly shun 25% of the global economy which would lower the cost of goods and services?

Corbyn promised to leave the EU at the last election but has since openly become a turncoat and proclaimed he will do his utmost to prosecute remain. At least he has finally become honest.

Let us not forget the facts of the referendum:

Leave vs Remain

Votes – 17.4m vs 16.1m

Constituencies – 406 vs 242

Labour Constituencies – 148 vs 84 (Does Corbyn honestly believe they’ve flipped back?)

Tory Constituencies – 247 vs 80 (Does BoJo really fear the remainers in the ranks?)

Regions – 9 vs 3

MPs – 160 vs 486

When The Guardian and the BBC are in full flight with attacks on BoJo we should take much comfort that their greatest fears will eventually be realised. The media hysteria on the risks of a general election. Australia’s own ABC has written that could Boris Johnson be the UK’s shortest-serving PM?

Theresa May called a snap election when she didn’t need to. She lost her outright majority because she overlooked the fact that the electorate was sick and tired of voting. It was stupid to do so. She was punished for it.

This time, Boris Johnson knows that the electorate is screaming to boot out those that have betrayed the people. Farage smashed the EU elections after only 6 weeks after forming the Brexit Party. His popularity is better than the Tories. Boris can’t be blind to this. Neither are the remainers in his party who are fighting tooth and nail to prevent it.

Yet can he the media stir up enough fake polls to get the 2/3rds majority to call an early election?

Prolonging this outcome only means the peons are busy sharpening their pitchforks so best work to side with the angry mob.

Lessons from Deutschland on why renewables are a bad idea – period

 New wind park projects face a significant amount of red tape. And then there...

The normally left of centre leaning Der Spiegel has put together two decent hit job articles on the failure of the energy transition in Germany. This is what happens when misguided altruism turns on itself and ends up costing a bomb for little result. Australia, are you listening? Germany has already done beta testing on renewables and as a culture is not renowned for doing half-baked jobs. Yet Merkel can add this to the list of failures.

Part 1 – Germany Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

“But the sweeping idea has become bogged down in the details of German reality. The so-called Energiewende, the shift away from nuclear in favour of renewables, the greatest political project undertaken here since Germany’s reunification, is facing failure. In the eight years since Fukushima, none of Germany’s leaders in Berlin have fully thrown themselves into the project, not least the chancellor. Lawmakers have introduced laws, decrees and guidelines, but there is nobody to coordinate the Energiewende, much less speed it up. And all of them are terrified of resistance from the voters, whenever a wind turbine needs to be erected or a new high-voltage transmission line needs to be laid out.”

Germany’s Federal Court of Auditors is even more forthright about the failures. The shift to renewables, the federal auditors say, has cost at least 160 billion euros in the last five years. Meanwhile, the expenditures “are in extreme disproportion to the results,” Federal Court of Auditors President Kay Scheller said last fall, although his assessment went largely unheard in the political arena. Scheller is even concerned that voters could soon lose all faith in the government because of this massive failure.

There is also such an irony when these mad green schemes encounter scourge from animal rights groups. Former Green’s leader Bob Brown knows the feeling,

“The bird of prey [red kite], with its elegantly forked tail, enjoys strict protection in Germany…Red kites are migratory, returning from the south in the spring, but they don’t return reliably every year. The mayor would have been happy if the bird had shown up quickly so its flight patterns could be analyzed and plans for the wind park adjusted accordingly. It would have been expensive, but at least construction of the project could finally get underway.

But if the bird doesn’t return, the project must be suspended. Spies has to wait a minimum of five years to see if the creature has plans for the nest after all. Which means the wind park could finally be built in 2024, fully 12 years after the project got underway.”

Part 2 – German Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

An additional factor exacerbating the renewables crisis is the fact that two decades after the enactment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), 20-year guaranteed feed-in tariffs will begin expiring next year for the first wind, solar and biomass facilities. Some of those who installed solar panels back then — often farmers and homeowners — are still receiving 50 cents for every kilowatt-hour they feed into the grid. Today, larger facilities receive just 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The state has redistributed gigantic sums of money, with the EEG directing more than 25 billion euros each year to the operators of renewable energy facilities. But without the subsidies, operating wind turbines and solar parks will hardly be worth it anymore. As is so often the case with such subsidies: They trigger an artificial boom that burns fast and leaves nothing but scorched earth in their wake.

As Australia continues to expand the renewables portion of our power grid, the lessons from the Germans couldn’t be clearer – market distortions and misguided investments only lead to marginal results on the back of massive investment to stop something that can’t be controlled. German taxpayers have been swindled and Aussies are sleepwalking down the same path.

Brexit – No Deal is a No Brainer

Brexit 1.pngAs BoJo signs up more future FTA deals with the likes of America, Australia and Japan at the G7, where does Project Fear come from? What manner of spurious schoolyard bullying makes anyone think Britain will be thrown back into the stone age? Surely the exploits of Ben Stokes at Edgbaston shows only too well how the lion can roar when pushed into a corner. Plucky Brits indeed.

Looking at the latest trade stats between the EU and Britain it is simple. EU members make up 7 of the Top 10 British export markets accounting for 37.4% of all trade. Top 10 accounts for 65.9% of trade. Trump acccounts for £54.9bn vs £36.5bn from Merkel.

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On the Import side, the UK matters much more to the likes of Germany £68bn. The Dutch at £42bn and France at £28bn.

In short of the UK ‘s Top 10 importing nations, 8 are EU members. The Top 10 account for 65.7% of total. Those 8 EU nations make up 48.1%. 7.13% of Germany‘s exports end up in Blighty. One might argue that 10% of UK exports ending up in Germany is reason enough to back down. Yet why would either seek to make their position worse off. Germany is the UK’s #1 importer and Germany is the #2 destination for British exports. For Germany the UK ranks #11 importer and #3 export nation.

By all means play hard ball Brussels. Something tells me you’ll put the Brits at the front of the queue to do any trade deal. Especially Mrs Merkel. The trade surplus she runs with the UK is the equaivalent of 1% of GDP. Hardly something she will go out of her way to jeopardize given her economy went backwards last quarter.

No Deal is the best outcome. Start with a fresh slate. As soon as we start negotiating back stops and all manner of political trickery the disappointment will come thick and fast.

It is unlikely BoJo can get his Oct 31 deal done. It will take a partnership with Farage to do this. The lack of proportional represntation in British politics plays into the hands of Corbyn so there is a real necessity to ensure Brexit Party & Tory votes aren’t split like wthat experienced in the Peterborough by-election.

More stats to follow.