Waste

Bathurst Council declares climate emergency

Bathurst Council has managed to just squeeze through a climate emergency resolution. Of course the vote is a way to crank up the crony capitalism by favouring renewables. One imagines ending the iconic Bathurst 1000 car race would offset anything the council could achieve through abatement measures, even though they run on a 15% ethanol blend.

First point of order should be to ban the Bathurst 1000. No way that beer swilling fossil fuel loving V8 Supercar junkies can be tolerated if we are to save the planet.

The annual race causes an explosion in economic activity to the city. The race brings in around $30m extra to the local economy with 255 full time jobs equivalent. The population swells by 4x on race weekend.

So banning it will make the climate transition a doddle. CM dares you!

Trump was the people’s handgrenade. They never expected the Dems to pull the pin

Two interesting videos which expose the despicable nature of this impeachment trial.

One video is the mainstream media saying Ambassador Sondland tied Trump to a quid pro quo. As he clearly states he only “presumed” and that absolutely nobody told him. Hearsay is being counted as good as real evidence. Schiff has been so crooked during this trial claiming he didn’t know the whistleblower’s identity but shutting down Lt Col Vandiman to prevent him from saying his name.

The second is the way the Dems have shifted the narrative from quid pro quo to bribery. In the 3,500 pages of sworn testimony the word is mentioned once and not referring to Trump but toward allegations about Joe Biden. Amusing that a mainstream media poll discovered that “bribery” was the biggest catch word that would justify an impeachment so Trump Derangement Syndrome has got the better of the Democrats and the impeachment is now shifted towards bribery allegations.

Regardless of the evidence, Democrats will vote for impeachment. The Senate will reject it and this will be a show trial with no benefit to anyone other than to expose the lengths the Dems will go to pull down a sitting president. A waste of time and money which if anything has exposed how much corruption was in the prior administration to have a former Ambassador to Ukraine testify she had been pre-prepped by the State Department to know how to handle questions on Hunter Biden’s involvement at Burisma, clearly understanding the massive conflict of interest. Yet no other companies in the Ukraine required such preparation. Hmmmm.

Say, has anyone heard any stories on Joe Biden lately? Mysteriously absent.

This is not lost on the American people, as much as they weren’t fooled by Bill Clinton’s chance meeting on an airport tarmac with then AG Loretta Lynch, a few days before her testimony answering questions about his wife. Grandkids and golf is all they spoke about apparently.

Yeah, right.

TDS is a mental health issue. The Democrats have spent his entire presidency trying to pin anything on him they can – Russia, Ukraine, Stormy Daniels etc etc. As vulgar and unorthodox as his methods may be, the results are way better than anyone predicted. Most Americans who voted for him weren’t seeking his advice on morals and behaviour. He was there so the left behind could lob a handgrenade into decades of political incompetence, which apparently is all his fault, not career politicians.

The irony is that the Democrats have pulled the pin on themselves and done no favour a for re-election in 2020. If he wins they know they’re the ones he is coming after. That petrifies them.

Campaign BoMbing

Good to see the climate alarmists deep in a trance fiddling data from a century ago to get a warming effect. Jo Nova notes,

What a bombshell. Despite the non-stop stories of unprecedented heat the original data at 60 of the oldest sites across Australia shows there are no more Very-Hot-Days now than there were early last century. That’s no trend in 40 degree days for 100 years. No change – that is, until the Bureau of Meteorology adjusts the data…

Now that we know the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has 85% its staff in senior management it isn’t hard to take a cynical position that they are creating work for themselves to justify their existence. Best create a warming scare so the money keeps rolling in. Utopia.

Add the Dutch to the $15.8tn pension shortfall

Negligence. No other word for it. Unrealistic assumptions coupled with a race to the bottom on interest products has meant the top 20 nations have a $15.8 trillion unfunded liability in pensions. CM wrote of the crisis awaiting US public pensions a while back.

It seems the Dutch are the latest bunch of pensioners to reach for the pitchforks at the prospect of having their retirement severely cut back. Shaktie Rambaran Mishre, chair of the Dutch pension federation (representing 197 pension funds and their members), said contributions might have to rise by up to 30% over the next few years to ward off the prospect of having to cut the pensions of 2 million retirees. That will go down a treat.

Zerohedge noted the lower Dutch risk-free rate is not low enough, and as a result about 70 employer-run pension funds with 12.1m members had funding ratios below the statutory minimum at the end of September, according to the Dutch central bank. And here lies the rub: if funds have ratios below the legal minimum for five consecutive years or have no prospect of recovering to a more healthy level, they must cut their payouts.

Can you imagine all of the Dutch who were looking forward to taking a round the world cruise to celebrate 40 years of hard work to face the reality that they’ll only be able to take a cruise down the Amsterdam canals.

This is an utter disgrace. You’d have to be asleep at the wheel as a regulator not to recognize expected returns on funds were so unrealistic as to beggar belief. Actuarial accounting lets you get away with it.

Yet the evil pensions funds will be the villains even though the supervisor left these children alone with a box of matches. Just watch them come home and act surprised that the house has burnt down.

We’re getting a taste of the remedy from the State of Illinois. It is issuing bonds specifically to help plug the gap. Rhode Island has gone the other way – take a 40% haircut or risk having nothing. Way to go!

It is worth factoring the longer term risk of the fall in consumption that this will ultimately have if even a slither or $16tn is no longer recycled into the economy.

When the lights go out

Oh the irony of a company, PG&E, that has 100% knowledge of the diversity of its workforce and suppliers but is unsure of the status of the very infrastructure of the core business. It has been enforcing blackouts to assess the matter. That’s what one calls ‘progressive‘ in the world’s 5th largest economy. This cartoon sums it up.

Is it any wonder it filed for bankruptcy. Get woke, go broke.

Another Chinese bank bailed out

Harbin Bank, a 622 billion yuan (US$90bn in assets) juggernaut in the country’s north became the fifth bank – after Baoshang Bank, Bank of Jinzhou, Heng Feng Bank, and Henan Yichuan Rural Commercial Bank – to be bailed out by the Chinese state.  As can be seen above, the trend of confidence shown by the markets over recent years is waning – fast.

According to Zerohedge, “as was the case with at least one previous bank “rescue”, Harbin Bank was connected to a former oligarch who disappeared not that long ago amid allegations of massive fraud..”

ZH goes on, “Another curious fact: a little over a year ago, Harbin Bank, which in March 2018 had abandoned plans to list its shares in China, announced it would raise over $2 billion in perpetual bonds to replenish its capital after regulators in early 2018 allowed lenders to sell such instruments to bolster their balance sheets. Incidentally, a perpetual bonds is effectively the same thing as equity, but for some bizarre reason sells much better in China where the investing population is apparently stupid enough to be fooled by the clever change in designation. As such, Harbin Bank was the first Chinese lender to announce its intention to sell perpetual bonds to increase its Additional Tier 1 (AT1) capital. We now know what prompted the bank’s rush.”

According to Bloomberg,

Chinese banks reported 2.2 trillion yuan (US$315bn) of non-performing loans at the end of June, which, according to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) is the highest level in over 15 years…Troubles facing Guangdong Nanyue’s biggest shareholders may also add to its woes. Neoglory Holding Group Co., which is going through a court-led bankruptcy restructuring after defaulting on its bonds, is the largest shareholder of Guangdong Nanyue with a 16.52% stake, followed by Gionee Communication Equipment Co., which is in liquidation, according to a report published by China Lianhe Credit Rating in June. The two hold a combined 25.4% stake in the lender.

Note in recent times, Baoshang Bank was taken over by the government in May and the Bank of Jinzhou was rescued in July.

We shouldn’t forget “special mention” loans which are not classified as NPLs but potentially at risk of becoming so (equivalent to being 90+ days in arrears), rose to 3.63 trillion yuan (US$521bn), accounting for 3.3% of the total loan volume for commercial banks according to the CBIRC.

Nothing to see here? This doesn’t even include the issues of the shadow bank lending market. The one thing to be sure of is that is likely far worse than the official figures. Peer-to-peer lending ran at around $1 trillion but shonky practices has meant more than 80% of China’s 6,200 P2P platforms ended up shutting or faced serious difficulties. Only 50 were expected to pass scrutiny to continue to operate but the government, keen to revive the slowing economy, has looked to ease restrictions again.

Qantas to sue Will.i.am?

Image result for will.i.am helicopter

CM rarely has a kind word for Qantas when it comes to service, but good on the airline for being prepared to defend a stewardess who Will.I.am decided to accuse of “racism” on Twitter. Of course, the full facts about what went on board to cause the fracas is yet to be released but sadly passengers need to realise when they are on the plane, the crew do have the law on their side. Apparently, the musician didn’t want to put his laptop in the overhead bin. Good luck winning that fight when instructed by the crew. It is a condition of flying.

One could almost be forgiven for thinking it was a pre-concert promotional stunt to stir up the media into a frenzy to sell more tickets. Thankfully Qantas flight attendants don’t wear MAGA hats, serve Subway sandwiches or carry bleach. Yet they do carry restraining kits. If Will.I.am truly did his homework he would have realised that Qantas is more woke than he is.

As successful as Will.I.am has been in his career, the triggered musician has had a history of not always living in the real world. Sadly when celebrities make millions they become so conditioned to having wind blown up their backside that when someone pushes back over the most trivial of things their outrage is amplified as if their life was at stake. Sometimes they don’t even get their own hypocrisy. Take this example.

Will.I.am attended a climate change debate in Oxford in his own helicopter – which is not dissimilar in size to Marine One – and said at the conference, “Climate change should be the thing that we are all worried and concerned about as humans on this planet, how we affect the planet, our consumption, and how we treat the place that we live in.”