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

the horrors « Previous | |Next »
March 9, 2009

No, no, the horrors do not come from the haunting spectres of the political past. It is the present. It is not just the developers going bust leaving the holes in the ground. It is the unwillingness of the banks to lend for the big infrastructure development. We have zombie banks.

horrors.jpg Petty

By “zombie banks”, I don't mean the US version---banks that should be dead and buried but are “still walking around” at the moment on life support. I also mean financial institutions that refuse to do what they are created for -- to lend money for worthwhile projects.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:36 PM | | Comments (12)


I read in The Australian that the financial/economic crisis is leaving pockets of suburban Australia littered with empty, unsaleable concrete shells, as pricey apartment projects fail to find buyers.For example, in Adelaide, it says:

The development at the Port is "for all intents and purposes" finished.

The Docklands development in Melbourne is stalling due to lack of demand and finance. That market-driven development has been fuelled by the apartment boom of a decade ago, then the massive commercial building program. Development follows demand. That demand has eased.

Petty is right----Costello is still the key to the political fortunes of the Liberal Party in a period of global economic chaos. He has the ability and the track record of economic management.

Costello is out and about in the media giving everyone the benefit of his opinions. He would re consider the emissions trading scheme, attack the industrial relations legislation, spend the cash splash on infrastructure and reminding everyone that he was the one who warned about a financial tsunami coming.

He's selling himself---he embodies the Coalition's economic credibility---not Turnbull or Hockey. Or Swan for that matter.

The developers we work with are slowing down because demand is slowing down. They don't need credit to keep going, but sales.

House and apartment sales are still doing ok here, at the cheaper end of the market. It's the business district development that housing gets built around that isn't selling.

Bigger developers like Raptis are in big trouble, but smaller ones are still limping along provided they've got access to small blocks. We expect that to end when the first home buyers bonuses dry up.

Costello reckons that the recession has changed the political landscape. His rhetoric is that what is needed now are anti-Labor policies that are pro-jobs and pro-business.Thus on Workchoices Costello argues that the Coalition should insist on its amendments implying that that if the amendments were rejected the Coalition should vote against the entire bill. That amounts to voting to keep Work Choices.

It's a long bow--how does a union's right of entry have a real impact on job creation?

Peter Costello may yet end up as leader of the Liberal Party backed by the conservative wing off the party.

Costello's playing a political game that has nothing to do with IR and everything to do with Turnbull.

He doesn't have enough internal party support and while he has more public support than Turnbull, that wouldn't last if he did become leader because he'd be crucified over work choices. The easiest argument against him is that in the current crisis, workers need more protection, not less.

The current definition of a small business, 100 employees or less, is ridiculous. If you can bear the total expense of employing 100 people there's nothing small about you. The scale of everything is different, from bulk buying and selling to admin requirements.

they--Gillard and Minchin and Xenophon--- are currently talking about a small business in term of 15-20 people employed. The 100 employees model was Howards.

Costello's probably got Minchin and his unhappy conservative boys onside. They want to stand up to Rudd and Gillard in a hairy chested macho way.

If Nelson and Turnbull are trying to drag their party away from its most damaging Howard-era obsessions, then Costello appears to becoming a voice for those resisting that movement away from the past.

the horrors come from the greatly reduced prices for Australia's mineral exports--thermal coal, coking coal and iron ore. The prices have halved--even more--- due to the global recession and the plunging demand for Chinese and Japanese exports. King Coal is no longer a merry old soul.

That means deep cuts to Australia's national income, increased borrowing, and makes it more difficult to have an expansive budget to support the economy. Something has to give. The razor gang is back in business, given the declining revenues, the need to finance the stimulus package and a return in the medium term to a budget surplus.