Geopolitics

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.

Was the CIA too white at the time of 9/11?

Central Intelligence Agency

According to the BBC, it was. The UK taxpayer-funded broadcaster is buying into this hypothesis that the CIA may have been too “white” and not diverse enough to spot the terrorist activity around September 11, 2001. Weren’t the whites that founded the agency in 1947 the same thinkers who had the nous to use “diversity” (Navaho Native Americans) to devastating effect to transmit sensitive information during WWII? That was 54 years prior to the 9/11 attacks.

What a spectacular own goal. How could the BBC be so careless? It should be completely down to the CIA’s white supremacist backgrounds that led to an agency completely driven by irrational fear to facilitate any old excuse to bomb the crap out of shithole nations. Does CM need to do the BBC’s work for them?

Passing the CIA aptitude tests are bound to be pretty tough in the intelligence areas. The day the CIA starts to prioritise skin tones, sexual proclivity and what is between the legs of candidates as opposed to what is between their ears one should expect even more misses to result. It might be too late – find the CIA Diversity webpage here.

Diversity of thought is all that matters. The BBC would do well to seek introspection. If the CIA had been predominantly staffed by blacks and Hispanics, would this article have ever seen the light of day? Of course not. Good to know BBC practices racism. Or is the journalist gunning for a position on the NY Times editorial board alongside the sweet #cancelwhitepeople Sarah Jeong?

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.

The depression we have to have

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In his 1967 presidential address to the American Economic Association, Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman said, “… 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.

What we are witnessing today is not capitalism. While socialists around the world scream for equality and point to the evils of capitalism, the real truth is that they are shaking pitchforks at the political class who are experimenting with economic and monetary concoctions that absolutely defy the tenets of free markets. As my learned credit analyst and friend, Jonathan Rochford, rightly points out, central banks have applied “their monetary policy hammer to problems that need a screwdriver.

Never has there been so much manipulation to keep this sinking global ship afloat. Manipulation is the complete antithesis to capitalism.  Yet our leaders and central banks think firing more cheap credit tranquillizers will somehow get us out of this mess. IT. WILL. NOT.

BONDS

As of August 15th, 2019, the sum of negative-yielding debt exceeds $16.4 trillion. That is to say, 30% of outstanding government debt sits in this category. Every single government bond issued by Germany, The Netherlands, Finland and Denmark are now negative-yielding. Germany just announced a 30-yr auction with a zero-interest coupon.

Unfortunately, insurance companies and pension funds are large scale buyers of bonds and negative interest rates don’t exactly serve their purposes. Therefore the hunt for positive yield (that ticks the right credit rating boxes) means the pickings continue to get slimmer.

Put simply to buy a bond with a negative yield, means that the cost of the bond held to maturity is more than the sum of all the coupons due and the receipt of face value combined. It also says clearly that controlling the extent of the loss of one’s money is preferable to sticking to strategies in other asset classes (e.g. property, equities) where TINA (there is no alternative) is the rule of thumb.

CM believes that there is a far bigger issue investors should focus on is the return “of” their money, not the return “on” it.

Rochford continues,

Central banks have hoped that extraordinary monetary policy would kick start economic growth, but they have instead only created asset price growth. In applying their monetary policy hammer to problems that need a screwdriver they have created the preconditions for the next and possibly greater financial crisis. The outworkings of many years of malinvestment are now starting to show with increasing regularity.

Argentina’s heavily oversubscribed issuance of 100-year bonds in 2017 was considered insane by many debt market participants at the time. The crash to below 50% of face value this month and request for maturity extensions is no surprise for a country that has a long rap sheet of sovereign defaults. Greece’s ten-year bond yield below 2% is another example of sovereign debt insanity…

…There have been three regional bank failures in China in the last three months, likely an early warning of the bad debt crisis brewing in China’s banks and debt markets. Europe’s banks aren’t in much better shape, there’s still a cohort of weak banks in Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain that haven’t fixed their problems that first surfaced a decade ago. Deutsche Bank is both fundamentally weak and the world’s most systemically important bank, a highly dangerous combination.”

What about equity markets?

EQUITIES

We only need look at the number record number of IPOs in 2018 where over 80% launched with negative earnings, you know, just like what happened in 2000 when the tech bubble collapsed.

Have people paid attention to the fact that aggregate US after-tax corporate earnings have been FLAT since 2012? That is 7 long years of tracking sideways. Where is this economic miracle that is spoken of?

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The only reason the markets have continued to remain excited is the generous share buyback regimes among many corporates which have flattered earnings per share (EPS). The “E” hasn’t grown. It is just that “S” has fallen. Credit spreads between AAA and BBB rated corporate paper has been so narrow that over 50% of US corporates now have a BBB or worse credit rating. Now credit spreads between top and bottom investment-grade bonds remain ridiculously tight. At some stage, investors will demand an appropriate spread to account for market “risk.”

Axios noted that for 2019, IT companies are again on pace to spend the most on stock buybacks this year, as the total looks set to pass 2018’s $1.085 trillion record total. Pretty easy to keep markets in the clouds with cheap credit fuelling expensive buybacks. Harley-Davidson is another household name which suffers from strategy decay yet deploys more cash to share buybacks instead of revitalising its core franchise. Harley delinquencies are at a 9-yr high.

Companies like GE embarked on a $45bn share buyback program despite a balance sheet which still reveals considerable negative equity. GE was the largest company in the world in 2000 and now trades at 20% of that value almost 20 years later.

Should we ignore Harry Markopolos, who discovered the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, when he points to the problems within GE? GE management can protest all they like but ultimately the company is not winning the argument if the share price is a barometer.

Valuations are at extreme levels. Beyond Meat trades at 100x revenues. Don’t get CM started on Tesla. A largely loss-making third rate automaker which is trading at outlandish premiums. The blind faith put in charge of a CEO that has lost over 100 senior management members.

Bank of America looked at 20 metrics to evaluate current market levels of the S&P500. 17 of them pointed to excess valuations relative to history including one metric that revealed S&P500 being 90% overvalued on a market cap to GDP ratio. Never mind.

Then witness the push for diversity nonsense inside corporate boardrooms. CM has always believed if a board is best suited to be run by all women based on background, skills and experience, then so be it. That is the best outcome for shareholders. However, to artificially set targets to morally preen will mean absolutely nothing if a sharp downturn exposes a soft underbelly of a lack of crisis management skills. Shareholders and retirees won’t be impressed.

It was laughable to hear superannuation funds ganging up on Harvey Norman last week for not having a diverse enough board. Even though Harvey Norman is thumping the competition which focuses too much on ESG/CSR, the shortcomings of our retirement managers are only too evident. Retirees want returns and their super managers should focus on that, rather than try to push companies to meet their ridiculous self-imposed investment restrictions. Retirees won’t be happy when their superannuation balances are decimated because fund managers wanted to appear socially acceptable at cocktail parties.

PROPERTY

It was only last month that Jyske Bank in Denmark started to offer negative interest mortgages. That is the bank pays interest to the mortgage holders. Of course, the bank is able to source credit below that rate to make a profit however net interest margins for the banks get squeezed globally. What next? Will people be able to sign up to a perpetual negative interest mortgage? Shall we expect a Japan-style multi-generational loan?

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The RBA’s latest chart pack shows net interest margins at the lowest levels for two decades. With the Hayne Banking Royal Commission likely to further crimp on lending growth, we are storing up huge pain in property markets despite the hope that August clearing rates signal a bottom in the short term. Yet more suckers lured in at the top of a shaky economy and financial sector.

Of course, central banks will dance to the tune that all is OK. Until it isn’t.

Don’t forget former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, said “our financial institutions are strong” right before plugging $700bn worth of TARP money to save many of them from bankruptcy in 2008.

CM has previously investigated the Big 4 Aussie banks who have equity levels that are chronically low levels. Our major banks have such high exposure to mortgages that a severe downturn could potentially lead to part or whole nationalisation. Of course, between signalling the importance of factoring climate change, APRA assures us the stress tests ensure our financial institutions are safe.

Back in 2007, Sydney house prices were 8x income. In 2017 Demographia stated average housing (excluding apartment) prices were in the 13-14x range. The Australian Bureau of Statistics notes that 80% of people live in houses and 20% in apartments. Only Hong Kong at 19x beats Sydney for dizzy property prices. In 2019, expect that price/income rates remain at unsustainable levels.

In 2018, Australia’s GDP was around A$1.75 trillion. Our total lending by the banks was approximately $2.64 trillion which is 150% of GDP. At the height of the Japanese bubble, total bank lending as a whole only reached 106%. Mortgages alone in Australia are near as makes no difference 100% of GDP. Where there is smoke, there is fire.

At the height of the property bubble frenzy, Japanese real estate related lending comprised around 41.2% (A$2.5 trillion) of all loans outstanding. N.B. Australian bank mortgage loan books have swelled to 64% (A$1.8 trillion) of total loans.

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Sensing the bubble was getting out of control, the Bank of Japan went into a tightening rate cycle (from 2.5% to 6%) to contain it. Unfortunately, it led to an implosion in asset markets, most notably housing. From the peak in 1991/2 prices over the next two decades fell 75-80%. Banks were decimated.

In the following two decades, 181 Japanese banks, trust banks and credit unions went bust and the rest were either injected with public funds, forced into mergers or nationalized. The unravelling of asset prices was swift and sudden but the process to deal with it took decades because banks were reluctant to repossess properties for fear of having to mark the other properties (assets) on their balance sheets to current market values. Paying mere fractions of the loan were enough to justify not calling the debt bad. If banks were forced to reflect the truth of their financial health rather than use accounting trickery to keep the loans valued at the inflated levels the loans were made against they would quickly become insolvent. By the end of the crisis, disposal of non-performing loans (NPLs) among all financial institutions exceeded 90 trillion yen (A$1.1 trillion), or 17% of Japanese GDP at the time.

The lessons are no less disturbing for Australia. As a percentage of total loans outstanding in Australia, mortgages make up 65%. The next is daylight, followed by Norway at around 40%. US banks have cut overall property exposures and Japanese banks are now in the early teens. Post GFC, US banks have ratcheted back mortgage exposure. They have diversified their earnings through investment banking and other areas. That doesn’t let them off the hook mind you.

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Japanese banks have 90%+ funding from domestic deposits. Australia is around 60-70%. Our banks need to go shopping in global markets to get access to capital. Conditions for that can change on a dime. External shocks can see funding costs hit nose bleed levels which are passed onto consumers. When you see the press get into a frenzy over banks passing on more than the rate rises doled out by the RBA, they aren’t just being greedy – a large part is absorbing these higher wholesale funding costs.

Central banks need a mea culpa moment. We need to move away from manipulating interest rates to muddle through. It isn’t working. At all.

Rochford rightly points out,

Coming off the addiction to monetary policy is going to be painful, but it is the only sustainable course. It is likely that normalising monetary policy will result in a global recession, but this must be accepted as an unavoidable outcome given the disastrous policies of the past. Excessive monetary and fiscal stimulus has pulled consumption forward, the process of unwinding that obviously requires a level of consumption to be pushed backwards.”

Rochford is being conservative (no doubt due to his polite demeanour) in his assessment of a global recession. It is likely that this downturn will make the GFC of 2008 look like a picnic. CM thinks depression is the more apt term. 1929 not 2008. Central banks are rapidly losing what little confidence remains. If the RBA think QE will be a policy option, there is plenty of beta testing to show that it doesn’t work in the long run.

It is time to have the recession/depression we had to have to get the markets to clear. It will be excruciatingly painful but until we face facts, all the manipulation in the world will fail to keep capitalism from doing its job in the end. The longer we wait the worse it will get.

“It’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble…..it is what you know to be sure that just ain’t so! – Mark Twain.

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.

Jacinda, time to deal with fects

Jacinda

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern! You may be the high priestess of wokeness but sadly you need to have a better grasp of numbers. CM already detailed that Australia is more generous by a considerable currency-adjusted per capita margin than your Wellness Budget. Look at the ratio of Kiwis living in Aus vs Aussies living in NZ. 570,000 plays 37,000.

Sledging Aussie PM Scott Morrison may win brownie points with the left (and the global mainstream media cheerleading squad will find you faultless) but here are some facts you might consider before you speak:

  1. China is 45% of global coal powergen. China has over 1,000 coal plants in operation. A further 126 are under construction and another 72 are in the planning stage. Australia has only 2 in the pipeline.
  2. China has grown CO2 emissions from 10.6% of the global total atmosphere in 1990 to 29.3% today. Australia has slipped from 1.21% to 1.08% respectively. You are but a spec.
  3. Since 1990, Australia’s CO2 emissions per capita have risen by 1.8%. NZ has grown by 10.8%. Yes, we emit more CO2 per capita in gross terms because we have a monster mining industry that you don’t. Australia’s impact on global CO2 is 0.0000134% of the total atmosphere. Yours is 0.00000124%. Nothing. So no matter what we do, our impact via virtue signalling will account for zero. Feel free to flash those pearly whites to the adoration of the sheep that think you should lead a global government. No thanks.

The NZ PM’s Wellness Budget has received lots of accolades. A true leader! Champagne socialist Sir Richard Branson also praised her saying other countries should take note. Despite owning an airline…

The idea that a budget should be solely based on economics is not progressive and more should be directed at “well-being”. That is not to say this budget is not “well-intentioned”. However, the statistics compared to across the ditch do not fare well in relative terms.

Comparing her newest policies versus Australia reveals the kangaroos get better access to social services than the kiwis. How surprising that none of the mainstream media bothered to look at the budget numbers on a like for like basis? Just praise her because she represents their ideal version of a socialist leader.  CM has looked through both budgets and adjusted for currency to make for easier like-for-like comparisons.

When it comes to health spending per capita (currency-adjusted), Australia is expected to climb from A$3,324 in 2019 to A$3,568 in 2022. NZ is expected to go up slightly from A$3,516 to A$3,561 respectively.

On social security and welfare, Australia is expected to pay out A$7,322 per capita in 2019, growing to A$7,977. NZ, on the other hand, is forecast to go from A$5,573 per head to A$6,489.

On mental health, Australia forked out around A$9.1bn exclusively on these services reaching 4.2m citizens last year. NZ is planning on spending A$45.1m in 2019 with a total of A$428m by 2023/24 to hit 325,000 people on frontline services for mental health. While the move is a positive one, NZ will allocate A$1.78bn to mental health as a whole over 5 years. On an annualised basis, Australia will still allocate 5x the NZ amount to mental health per capita. So much for wellbeing.

On education, NZ plans to increase per capita spending 7.9% between 2019 and 2022 whereas Australia will lift it 12.5% over the same period. NZ spends around 2x Australia per capita on education although PISA scores between 2006 and 2015 are virtually identical (and both heading south)

On public housing, Ardern can claim a victory. Australia is expected to cut spending per capita from A$240 in 2019 to A$194 in 2022 when NZ will go from A$137 to A$282. Although let’s hope Ardern has more success than her KiwiBuild policy. The Australian’s Judith Sloanrightly pointed out,

“Ardern also has stumbled with other policies, most notably KiwiBuild. The pledge was to build 100,000 additional affordable homes by 2028.

It has since been modified to facili­tation by the government to help build new homes. Moreover, the definition of afford­ability has been altered from between $NZ350,000 ($340,000) and $NZ450,000 to $NZ650,000.

What started off as an ill-considered public housing project has turned out to be an extremely unsuccessful private real estate scam. The government estimated that there would be 1000 homes built last year under KiwiBuild; it turned out to be 47.”

Good news KiwiBuild has made it to 250.