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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

gloomy times « Previous | |Next »
March 1, 2009

So the global economic crisis has finally hit Australia. All the rhetoric about Australia being an exception --uncoupled from the world!--could not hold the negative economic flows from the collapse in Asian exports over the fourth quarter 2008 at bay. Of course, they--the King Canutes--- are still around saying the good times are just around the corner as Australia is just experiencing a hiccup (or adjustment) in the smooth functioning of the market.

Goldingunemployment.jpg Matt Golding

Beware the greenies say the free market shrills, for they are holding the economy to ransom to save the planet from global warming. Meanwhile in the real world there isn’t much evidence that Asia is going to help pull the rest of the world out of its slump. Asia’s sharp deceleration implies it is adding to the forces that are pulling the global economy into recession, not propping it up.

According to Brad Sester China’s low-tech exports — shoes, textiles, toys, furniture — have held up and are doing and are doing (relatively) well

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:05 AM | | Comments (14)


The capacity of intelligent people to believe that booms can continue unchecked indefinitely amazes me. I remember back in the 1980s my boss - an otherwise sober sensible bloke despite being an economist - assuring all who cared to listen that there would be no more recessions. Macro-economists had mastered the business cycle, he preached to governments and the media.

He was laid off in the 1990s recession :).

The last boom was probably the biggest in history and consequently we're looking at the biggest bust in history. The idea that China or any other country could continue to grow at 15% or more forever and drag Australia along for the ride was always pure fantasy, right up there with government by the people and the Laffer Curve. That won't stop people believing next time round that the boom is REALLY DIFFERENT this time.

Bland Shire Council will ask the New South Wales Premier to intervene to ensure no delay on the planned expansion of the Lake Cowal Gold Mine.

Barrick Gold has been told it has to lodge a new application on its proposal to almost double the life and size of the mine.

The company had hoped to start work on the expansion next month.

Mayor Tony Lord says council passed an urgency motion this week to write to the Premier Nathan Rees.

"We will be saying we will be supporting the development application, the modification in that and could he refer it to the Department of Planning. It is not unique to have a Premier intervene on the Lake Cowal Gold Mine," he said.

The last intervention in the 1990s saw former premier Bob Carr veto the mine development, citing concerns about bird deaths from cyanide in the waste ponds.

The expansion means 40 new jobs for the West Wyalong area at a time of economic downturn.

Councillor Lord says he hopes the Premier can help.

"That motion came from one of the councillors as a matter of urgent business that we write expressing, suggesting council's support for the development modification and we are doing so," he said.

"We're probably worried about the possibility of any delays. However, Barrick are going to appeal that decision."

A Barrick Gold spokesman says the company is still reviewing its options for appeal.


Yes... it's those pesky "greenies" who are trying to steamroll their agenda using the GFC as an excuse.

It utterly shits me how those with the $$$ and political influence consistently portray themselves as the selfless, community-minded underdogs.

Did I recently hear Rees promise to help projects along by having "go to" people in government depts? Twit!

Agree it's pathetic Mars.

Listen up everybody, we need a solution to the problems associated with the industrial revolution.

Hey, I know, let's start a new industrial revolution.

Somebody give that man a permit.


yes WW3.

and it would probably be a good thing.

Problems stemming from neglect of the "common good" by our elected representatives in favour of wealthy self-interested parties... will be overcome by further "flexibility" in the system. BLOODY BRILLIANT!

Can't sleep. Again.

Just wondering which group proved to be most dangerous to our gloriifed "Australian" way of life....

A handful of bearded Muslim extremists in Pakistan/Afghanistan or a handful of suit-waering Christian zealots from Wall Street and Washington DC?

I'm in no doubt which bunch is putting the biggest strain on MY liberty and pursuit of happiness.

I thought that the internet was meant to be the new technological revolution that would take us out of the industrial age. The information society/ digital economy and all that.

maybe Lyn means leaving the industrial economy by making the shift to a low carbon economy?

the Greenhouse Mafia would be one example of your bad guys doing their best to harm Australia's public interest. They have a good track record in dumping the public interest in favour of only considering the interest of the company's shareholders

yep, environmental regulations need to be rolled back--- not strengthened--in the name of development and jobs. If the ecological habitat is harmed as a result of development, then that is the price that has to be paid for jobs. There is no alternative in the global economic crisis.

So says some sections of Australian business and their media publicists.

Re your comment in the post about the effects of the American Depression on Australia:

All the rhetoric about Australia being an exception --uncoupled from the world!--could not hold the negative economic flows from the collapse in Asian exports over the fourth quarter 2008 at bay.

David Uren in The Australian reports that:
dozens of freighters carrying Australian iron ore are stalled outside Chinese ports amid a collapse in demand for steel, dashing hopes that Chinese industrial demand will protect Australia from the worst of the global recession....instead of being used in new office buildings, factories and bridges, steel is being stockpiled, driving an 8.6 per cent fall in Chinese steel prices in the past fortnight.

Uren says that Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens told a parliamentary committee 10 days ago there were early signs China's economy had reached a bottom, with industrial production levelling out. Last week, Treasury's chief economist David Gruen told the Senate that China's fiscal stimulus package would boost commodity markets, and suggested China's economy was already bringing stability to commodity prices.

So the common view of Kevin Rudd, the RBA and Treasury that reasonable growth in China will limit reductions in Australian commodity exports and buoy economic activity looks to be hope. An exercise in talking the market up to avoid panicking the market.

The American Depression ---how apt. Love it. It's the actions of their banks that have caused it. Everyone else is living with the consequences of Wall Street going bust and causing the global financial crisis.

Sorry for being vague.

I was responding to the gold mine thing Mars quoted. Given the choice between responding to the GFC or climate change, state and federal governments appear to be responding to the former at the expense of the latter. It's possible to respond to the former by building a greener economy in the interests of the latter, but in the process of protecting old-style industry jobs they're exacerbating the pollution problems that old-style industry caused in the first place.

Australia's long-running property bubble has burst. Australia is now on the threshold of a domestic credit crunch caused by falling collateral asset values.