04 March 2009

we're in the money

Aaah, where to start on a day when Australia starts on the recession other people said we had to have, to create a direct link back to the depression we had to have, all courtesy of the Labor party which of course - as anyone who remembers Gough Whitlam will know - just wants to spend and spend and spend and spend and sp...

Well, let's start with executive salaries where, at last, a few commentators such as
Ross Gittins have started to figure it all out.

Shaun Carney's on the case but, not surprisingly, that indefatigable contrarian Janet Albechtson is not.

Get this straight. When so-called remuneration advisors advise a company on a preferred package for a new CEO or senior exec, it's a bought recommendation and any recommendation for a lower salary is a conflict of interest first and betrayal of the executive 'class' second.

Gittins has it in one. Why should the general public accept such rubbish first, and then non-binding AGM propositions second. Institutional 'investors' are part of the executive 'class', same conflict of interest. Fix it.

I'm back on the Crikey feed having joined the 'class action' (maybe a classy action) sponsored by Club Troppo. And the quality of content has gone up since I abandoned my expensive sole subscriber...er, um..subscription.

My tastes are simple, cop this from some probably over-compensated 'market economist':

"I think basically what the figures indidcate is that once you get households and businesses deleveraging there's a limit to what policy can do."
I didn't know I was deleveraging but if he says so, I must have.

Horseshit. Speak English.

Next example:

"Sunday's story reported claims by the industry lobby group -- the Insurance Council of Australia -- that 24.5% of Victorian households do not have any home and contents insurance. The industry used the figure to justify a shopping list of
demands: a call for mandatory home insurance in bush fire areas, forthcoming
rises in premiums and the abolition of fire service levies on insurance
premiums. The trouble is that the Insurance Council have quoted their own research selectively. The true position, using their own data, is that 4.1% of households across Australia do not have home building insurance.
While any level of non-insurance is of concern, this figure is not going to grab the headlines. What the Insurance Council has done is to conflate two separate pieces of data: that
for the number of people without building insurance and that for the number
of people without contents insurance. It is not surprising that relatively large numbers of people do not have contents insurance -- 28% according to the same research by the Insurance Council."

I once went for a job at the Insurance Council. Someone I knew got it and immediately regretted it, this story confirms my good luck at missing out. Mind you, that's what lobby groups do, I am not that naive.

I hope.

Next example:

"More insidious by far was the way that the terror laws were rolled over into social control, employed where conventional law was not sufficient to guarantee legal sway. Recycling is a great example of this. To minimise waste, local councils began using smaller wheelie-bins, and making garbage separation compulsory. When residents, having run out of space in the perishables bin, began using the plastics bin for that stuff as well, some councils responded by putting cameras in their bins. When residents removed these cameras, they were charged under the anti-terror act.

It is a political and cultural disaster of the first order, and will be seen as such in the years to come -- both part of New Labour's wider failure, and its stopgap answer to any dissatisfaction with its small achievements from the people who put it there. Quite possibly CML will hasten Labour's demise and left-wing participants will be pilloried for that. But we're far beyond those considerations. Given Kevin Rudd's promulgation of "social capitalism" -- a phrase with more than a whiff of Mussolini about it -- and Labor's enthusiasm for shipping in UK "New Labour" burnouts, it's worth wondering when we'll get to that point too."

This is about the rise of surveillance culture and outright social control in the UK. I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago. I reckon it's as bad as I made out and, as the last excerpt indicates, we'll be importing it back here. Keating lent his policy mavens to Tony Blair, the advice was good enough to get Blair in, then look what happened. Now it's coming back at us.

This is a centrist blog.

No comments:

About Me