Archive for the ‘Australia / Asia Pacific’ Category

Testing BlogJet

August 13, 2010 Leave a comment

I have installed an interesting application – BlogJet. It’s a good Windows client for my blog tool

“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.” — Albert Einstein

Political reality – Australia

June 24, 2010 Leave a comment

The fact that Julia Gillard is now the first Australian Women Prime Minister is a momentous event for Australia… one that I predicted all the while Rudd & Swan kept on shooting themselves in the feet through their non-consultative approach to leading the country – with the final nail being the RSPT. Even today Rudd seemed to be in shock.

Julia Gillard maybe if she and more pertinently the Labour party does not self-destruct between now and the next election the first elected woman Prime Minister. That would be great, that Australia could elect a Prime Minister, representative of the majority of Australians (by sex). 

Now if only they could find a decent treasurer who had some practical knowledge of Macro and Micro Economics with some out of the box original thoughts and the gravitas to deliver them Labour might have a good team.

So Political reality is here… hopefully the Coalition may take the opportunity to refresh their current loosing team, but they won’t… they need to lose the election first …. lose the opportunity again … before they try and sort through the the very few quality leaders they have to choose from. 


RSPT Changes – is this Government having a Blonde Moment?

June 12, 2010 Leave a comment

The RSPT… I of course do not cast any slight against blonde’s in general who are far more intelligent than the players in question, namely Rudd and Swan

From Rueters (with a staff reporter)

Swan says country will unite behind RSPT

Meanwhile, Treasurer Wayne Swan says Australians will come to support the RSPT, given the need to boost super, build new infrastructure and help small business.

“The country united behind stimulus and we’re confident that in the fullness of time – despite all the argy bargy of recent weeks – they will get behind these plans for a stronger economy as well,” Mr Swan said in a speech in Brisbane.

“I’m not going to pretend this debate has been easy, but it’s a debate I welcome because it goes to the core of our prosperity in the Asian Century.

“It’s really important we have this national debate and every view gets aired as we work towards the final detail of the policy.”

Like I said …  I keep saying this about Swan and Rudd… are their any lights on in Canberra… blonds as well as being more fun, have considerably more intelligence that these soon to be “former” members of the Australian Government..

Swan and Rudd … will be the first players at their level… I was going to say calibre (wrong), to shoot themselves in both feet …. I wonder if Labour wants to get re-elected… if they do … some tough choices by the back room boys need to be done and done quickly…. it proves again that the Labour party has NO concept of Business or their irresponsible rantings into the market.  Changing the sovereign playing field after miners have made their investment is the worst form of governance… retrospective taxation is a totally cowardly and irresponsible way for governing … of course if they had made these changes only for future projects they would have earnt nothing as no future money would role in as the International miners including Australia’s own will look for greener pastures – including moving Billions of dollars out of the Australia market … to a more amenable legislative and tax structure… I wonder if there is any room in Monaco..? and there are plenty of countries out there who would welcome the miners with open arms – the other downside from this as all the employees in those countries everywhere but Australia will not be paying their taxes to Australia…. dumb.

Now all that needs to happen is for the Sword of Damocles to fall on Rudd and Swan and Australia can move back to reality – without the RSPT  …. do that or Labour could spend the next 13 years in the wilderness.

If it doesn’t and they get this legislation through the house, it will not hopefully get through the Senate …  however… Bob Brown also has been known to have his blonde moments.  They won’t use this for a trigger for an early election as they , the Labour party will lose.

If they don’t come back to reality, then Julia Gillard would be hopefully be the first Australian woman Prime Minister… who hopefully can think without testosterone and ego getting in her way… so long as she remembers that she is governing for all of Australia, and not just those of the Labour persuasion… the “Them and Us” attitude is the biggest single reason why this world is not pulling together…. The only down side of the alternative option is that if we have a new government, then perhaps Abbott may be the new Prime Minister… hmmmm…. the man who said in Public not to believe what he said.. sometimes… please define sometimes… can you put up a sign please.

RSPT… the reality of the proposal…

June 3, 2010 Leave a comment

I really thought the below from the Managing Director of Xstrata, Mick Davis, who wrote in a letter to London’s Financial Times this morning ( it’s worth quoting at some length):

“Australia’s reputation as a stable regime for foreign investment has already been damaged and investments in Australian resources are at risk of being delayed or canceled. The consequences will be borne by mining communities, prospective employees, superannuation funds, customers, service providers and suppliers, impacting on Australia’s prosperity, particularly in resource-rich remote or rural locations.

“Resources are immovable but diversified mining companies have a choice of countries in which to invest. The government has shown itself willing to breach investors’ trust and damage the economic case on which multi-billion dollar investments were made. In developing countries, we manage this risk by availing ourselves of fiscal stability agreements. Sovereign risk concerns about Australia may once have seemed absurd. Sadly, today they are foremost on every mining company board’s agenda.

“The mooted risk of other countries following suit is largely overdone. No other country is considering imposing such a punitive tax on its mining industry. Australia’s resource taxation will be isolated as the highest in the world at 57 per cent. Indeed, many resource-rich nations regard this tax as an opportunity to gain a larger share of global mining investment – unfortunately for Australia, it is”

This is real, and the above especially the part about the consequence in bold… is how it will impact on us.  – what they don’t mention is of course what it will do the Australia’s reputation and our foreign exchange rate… including our balance of payments, and lets not forget our GDP…

Please – could someone turn the lights on in Canberra, especially in the heads of the idiots who thought this up…run the figures through the modeling again… I could even do this in a spreadsheet (I don’t need a super computer)… its so simple – the government needs to see that they are impacting the whole countries future here… Rudd and Swan ….. what a legacy to leave… Australia as a real banana republic thanks to the political meddling based on totally unrealistic and incorrect assumptions that they have feed into their modelling.

If the Government goes ahead, assuming they can get it through the senate… the miners will say no thanks and they will say it unanimously.  They will change their plans, their focus, and move to another country that welcomes them (surely with the appropriate incentives), and has not taken them for granted and so penalizes them – and they will take their money and go with our benefits, our future and our financial security with them…lets not forget that they will not be paying tax here.

What they, that is Swan and Rudd need to understand is that these are by and large Public companies, real Multi-Nationals who have only one thing to consider besides the Corporate Laws and that is their fiduciary duty to the company and to the shareholders, that is to create shareholder value… paying 57% effect tax does not do that… I really like the comment though that really encapsulates it… The government has shown itself willing to breach investors’ trust and damage the economic case on which multi-billion dollar investments were made ….. if the tax comes in we can say goodbye to the insulated artificial lifestyle we enjoy as a country… and hello at the very least to high unemployment, falling real estate prices especially in the West and in rural / mining economies and a lot of mining associated companies without customers.

Such an event is a no-brainer… a lose-lose for Australia and it is so inevitable – if Australia wants a future with a resources sector as part of the mix, the tax cannot be introduced … if in their ignorance they do, then it will have to go at the first opportunity, probably after the next election.

This is real, and it is a commercial reality…if they companies do leave and seek other pastures, you can be sure the deal to have the companies come back will be a lesson in brinkmanship…something that has not seen since the hard ball days of the “cold war”…with the Australian government saying… ..”how high did you want me to jump, Sir..”  – the only trouble with that is it won’t be Swan and Rudd saying it… because they will be in opposition..

Political reform – is a good idea

June 2, 2010 Leave a comment

I sometimes wonder if there any lights on upstairs in Canberra, it proves again how the politicians have no idea what the effect of their rants are in the real world or the effect of these pontificating of such impossible Taxes (Yes, let’s call it a tax, because if it looks like a tax, and sounds like a tax then ….).  This single proposal has the effect to take away our insulation from the effects of the global downturn, and the ongoing deficit problems not to mention deflation (which if it is by itself, may not be a bad thing in the long term).

As I mentioned before, you cannot dictate to companies of the size of BHP Billiton etc… without consequences…  this is a true multi-national… with projects and investments globally. Adding this tax will have an immediate effect on their viability (of their Australian operations). Australian coal, and Iron Ore etc are already amongst the most expensive in the world… they cannot increase the price (especially after the recent negotiations recently in China) – so they will focus their future focus outside of Australia which will mean less sales in the medium-long term, what is going to support the Australian dollar and the Australian economy then… Labour’s financial modeling? I don’t think so… but I am sure the Labour party will spin it so it is someone else fault… Politicians have a convenient short term memory, especially when it comes to their own mistakes.

Perhaps we should have some political reform;

(1) Ministers have to actually know something about their portfolios – now there’s a switch.

(2) End.. political careers (State, Federal & Political), there should be a limit of say 3 terms on any elected official or politician

(3) Politicians have to spend “x” years (successful) in the business / commercial world before their stint in Canberra

(4) Stop this favoritism for the Super funds for Canberra… after all it’s a temp job… like any other.

(5) Run the country like a company for the benefit of its shareholders / citizens, because you are dealing in people’s and their children’s lives as well as their future here – not to mention the countries future.

I always thought that the Labour dream team, financially were away with the pixies, and I think except for the pragmatism of Julia Gillard (she has to lose the “them and us mentality”, after all, she is a representative, not only of the Labour party but of ALL Australians…but I have hopes), they really are. I have never had a lot of economic respect for the ability of Swan who does have few innovative thoughts about the economy, but now Rudd has showed the flaws in his leadership style.

However, I am not prepared to swap the financial irresponsibility of the Labour party yet … because that would mean we would need to give the keys of the country to Abbott, and I see no upside there… but if the opposition actually do get a credible leader then all bets are off.

Australian – Politicians

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Do you think the Australian Political system actually has any people in it that think of the implications of what they do or talk about… let alone the effect it has on the citizens of the country that have to live with the very boxed thinking…. lets start with the Liberals – the Conservative Opposition …

Abbot …. surely he is out of time and place… is there any lights on….to me his thoughts are not thoughts they are the ramblings of a man without anything going on about the implications of the outcomes of what he says…

Now I have little interest in our Political movement, as to me it is all about egos, testosterone and expediency… and spin. Ethics and accountability well, I am sure they cannot even spell them let alone live with them in life,

Abbot… said quite openly (his brain must have been on holiday that day) – not to believe everything he says… what a surprise ? For a Politician to say that… they all seem to run off at the mouth, with no regard to the implications of the effect on people who are already victims, who are already marginalised and used basically as a safe target for political rhetoric, namely the unemployed, the under privelaged and of course those people who want to call Australia home…

Of course the fact that unfortunately the train of thought has some appeal in the general public is what is sad about this (u know they have to blame somebody, why not the defenceless) … I have friends who are unemployed, one who has post graduate degrees and “C Level” experience has been unemployed for 30 months, one in particular has applied for everything from being a store man up to and including jobs that he would be ideal for, but no takers… he is in the 50’s, and one knows that it is because of his age, that is all it can be, discrimination which is well and truly illegally is alive and well in all of its forms in Australia…

Note to Labour – KEVIN 07 – what a disaster this guy and his political followers are… he I have been informed wants to control everything… has power gone to this guys head… Yes me thinks it has… it would be so bad if he had some people in his staff who actually had a brain (beside one that is that is visible … Julia Gillard to me has the stuff )

Now to Swan – our Treasurer … Oh goodness, I really hope he finds what passes for good financial strategy for the country in the unfocused political wilderness, they had plenty of time to come up with a strategy well they did, let destroy what we have, and they historically do it so well – spend money and they are bad financial managers – Australia has been insulated from much of what is happening in the rest of the world by the mining sector, so what does Labour do attack and try to kill the goose that lays the golden egg… the Labour party does tend to forget one thing, the BHP Billiton , Fortesque  and Rio Tinto are multi nationals, they are almost sovereign states in and unto themselves. They will take their money and go somewhere else …. if it gets too bad they will take their whole operation off shore and move to a more favourable financial location.. … and then ultimately move the entire head office…  I wonder if there are any lights actually on – in the offices in Canberra when they formulated these strategies … or was it a monumental pin the tail on the donkey with their eyes blindfolded…. seems that way to me .

Now we come to Senator Conroy, the Communications Minister… extremely bad idea to introduce censorship in Australia… aside from the fact that a filter will not work… again we have made a half thought out decision without thinking it through… think of this… once you install a filter… how do you control what it filters… we will end up like China… who are not allowed access to the “truth” because their masters don’t want free thought… we know at the end of the day … China will put down these tyrants… we cannot allow any filtering of the Internet.  If he wants to filter, have them put a per user, or per client filter at the ISP’s… or have a filter one can subscribe to… Conroy, stop acting like a child … who cares what Google has done… they are not going to censor Australia’s information…  its called displacement …  you are pissed and need to take the focus off you.. so lets blame someone else, who isn’t even in Australia… spin… politicians are all good at it… too good.

OK I have had my serve…. I guess the trouble is … the Labour Party is terrible… if Rudd doesn’t injure his health by taking on this way of running a company / country… its called realising that other people have brains and give them control over their departments… are you controlling what sort of biscuits they have a tea time as well… learn to delegate Rudd… so perhaps things will get better when Gillard become PM… I would rather that given the financially incompetent Labour party without anything that approaches a positive or a constructive thought another term than to give Abbot the keys to the country.

Telstra the Australian Communications , what I wonder?

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

This is a bitch session… in that regard you may want to move on… however lets start.

Most of my business life I have felt inclined to support Telstra… support Australian and all that – now I wonder why..

Aside from being about twice the cost of everyone in the marketplace, which the spin has always been then give superior facilities, features, reach and service – this is proving to be very old… and frankly untrue, as when it comes to the main markets their service, features and support is no better than their competition, however one aspect of their operation (I am sure there is more) is just plain pathetic.

For the real issue is the billing and payments side of their operation, where they interface with the public, in this case with me…. they make commitments when you are signing up for a service then break them,, they agree to charge $x then make up the charges as they go along, and whilst I find the operatives at the telstra subsiduary at Bigpond, generally refreshing and worth talking to… Telstra itself, is a disaster… now I am not blaming the people within Telstra… they work within a shell, a system, but some thinking must be really askew here, someone or some oversight committee has to be a fault for such a systemic failure of this part of their operation.

They promised me a refund for some equipment we purchased, then 4 months later when I queried it, they said they had a problem with one of the codes… after all they cannot say they couldn’t contact me to correct the issue….as the whole refund was based around my email account… really!!!!  Then they said it would another 3 months… do you think Telstra has some cash flow issues….??? If not what could possibly be the reason for their pathetic customer service.

Every month I dread the arrival of the bill, they always.. ALWAYS screw it up… I have just been able after 6 months to make them understand I cancelled a service and have not used it since May… A month ago Bigpond agreed I have been over charged and gave me a credit of just under $200, but it has not filtered down to Telstra billings… they are still demanding payment for services I cancelled 6 almost 7 months ago….and the other side of the coin.. having new services connected.. well I moved to new offices in May… and they have still not connected extra landlines I need.. which we ordered before I arrived.  I wonder if anyone else can do that for me ???

Think I will go looking for an all around provider… someone who actually listens to me… whatever happened to the old idiom, the customer is always right… they seem to function on the premise that the customer is always wrong… they do not listen to their customer base… this will cost them dearly in the long term…  people will walk… very shortly me for one… if the DO NOT LISTEN.

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