16 February 2008

money for nothing

Duh. 501= jeans. Sorry Mark, it wasn't until I navigated away from the comments that I got the allusion.

Tonight I've been trying to rewrite an 'Action Plan', this wasn't the way I used to spend my Saturday nights back in the day. In fact, it's late February, so it'd be an almost exact 33 years to the day since that fateful Saturday night when I met a Miss M, later to become Mrs VVB. But that's another story...as they say in the cheap tabloid columns.

Anyway, the thing about Action Plans is that they always need a power of rewriting and you can bet your (RM Williams) boots that the more they get rewritten, the less actual action there'll be. So I only rewrote it once so I can get to the action bit, although there are others lining up to rewrite the rewritten.

The rewriting is accompanied by the Floyd on the DVD, Pulse in fact, so I occasionally have to get up, pick up the guitar and noodle along. Which is how I now come to know the chords to Learning to Fly.

In the outside world the mighty Fitzroy is still a couple of metres up and flowing quickly. In The Australian, so help me, are several coumns lauding PM Rudd. Whoda thunkit indeed?

Indeed, what on earth possessed me to buy the Australian, which the old man used to refer to as the Troglodyte Times even in its milder periods? Maybe it was because I suspected that it may have changed its tune. Learning to Fly, indeed.

The paper also talked about some arcane financial finagling going on in the ASX whereby some institutions - hedges funds, boo hiss - are borrowing to 'short' the acquired shares, which drives down their price. Cool, the market is where the animal spirits congregate, we know that.

Except in this case the borrowing is undertaken without any record keeping due to some loophole in the rules. And many of the shares being subjected to this practice are staples of superannuation funds, so everyday Australians, working families in fact, are being robbed of their savings so that highly numerate but morally vacant wide boys in Sydney and Melbourne can buy a new Beemer and some blow for the weekend. And the share trades do not attract capital gains tax.

The ASX is of course the owner of the share trading business as well as undertaking some sort of two-bob regulatory role. Because the Exchange was privatised, along with everything else, to show obeisance to a damn fine theory that is, at its heart, also morally vacant.

Now you tell me - rather than me lecturing you - in how many ways is this all wrong?

You can tell I know bugger-all about the technicalities but you can surely grasp that I think there are limits to deregulation, well past which we have gone in seeking to pay obeisance, etc etc.

However, there are signs on the horizon that the fresh faces in Canberra understand a little better than the last lot that you need some direction from government on these sorts of things. I have to say that Steve Bracks would not have been my first choice to the review the car industry (I would have picked Jeremy Clarkson, Dr Karl, the blokes from Mythbusters and a token sheila, maybe the sheila from Mythbusters or Therese Rein, conflict of interest be damned) but the recognition that allowing all our expertise and capability to drift off to China and India is just plain stupid has been well overdue.

You see the problems with long sentences, at least.

Dr Kim's review of innovation policy is also overdue and I'm ultra keen to see the recommendations. It's cultural, it always is, so we need to break down the barriers.

Finally, as the reality of the change of government slowly sinks in, the term 'leftist' is being thrown around with rare abandon and ther's more to come. The snippets on Oz Politics drip with rage and venom as the more inclusive way of looking at the world begins to assert its authority. Guns, folks, we need more guns and those leftists are taking them away, as well as forcing us all to become Dhimmis.

For f**cks.

Well you have to laugh, you certainly don't have to read (as Mrs VVB constantly reminds me when I relate the latest outrage).

It's a complex old existence and we muddle through, as Charles Lindblom quite rightly pointed out some 50 years ago. Fifty! Yet we seem to learn little in the meantime - an age of rationality, I think not.

Anyway, back to the Floyd.

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