join our newsletter for free right now

we’ll send you the latest insider knowledge


Financial truths from the trenches...To your inbox


2021 Edition #25 – To the moon

19 July 2021

written down by Black Swan

What happened to the weekend?

Always hard to launch a week with politics, but my old mate Barnaby has the ability to hackle and rattle.  Great appearance on weekend TV.

It can be confusing when you need to label people left or right, but I would have thought Mike Carlton (not Richard of 60 Minutes fame) would have been right.  But clearly not…


Barnaby got on his high horse (with his high hat) and rambled about net zero being like a restaurant without a menu, and ending up with tadpole sashimi.

Simple research Barnaby….it is a real thing…  But not sure I am keen on that myself.

Team Australia seems unlikely with States V States and States v Commonwealth.  Any help, even from whacky Kevin 07, that deviates from the desired messaging in shot down.

Logistically difficult, but history will show it as a shit show.

It may not be a race, according to some, but science and data shows the value of early vaccination.  England was the early laughing stock for a poor Covid strategy, but they are now effectively fully open.

SlowMo may rant and rave about the number of “cases” they have, but the chart below shows why they can make that decision.

Yellow line is the number of cases, and the flattening blue line is deaths.  Pre vaccinations deaths followed cases with a week delay.  That nexus is broken.

Antivaxxers’ can go and get stuffed… and jabbed.


The lockdown of NSW and Victoria is significant.  It will wipe billions off GDP and potentially give Australia a negative result for the quarter (s) ahead.

There is even talk of community Covid in South Australia in the media.


Thus last weeks excellent employment is a bit of a backward looking waste of space.


Unemployment hit 4.9% (a 10 year low) but you can see above what a lockdown does for hours worked.  The construction industry in particular will suffer.

We covered in recent weeks the economic gains and pains from shutting the Aussie international borders.  Saul Eslake presented the chart below recently.

With the lack of population growth and overseas workers coming into Australia, it will be most likely we see unemployment in the very low 4%’s by early next year.

So that is a good (if not great) thing then?  It is if you are one of the people that gets employed.

But like a good weekend bender, too much of a good thing can be your undoing.  Eslake followed up that Australia’s prosperity is best measured by living standards.  Our living standards fell from 10% higher than USA’s to 25% below in the post war “protectionist” era.

Remember as a point, education services is Australia’s third largest export.  That is virtually wiped out for now.  We can enjoy the bender, but a hangover is comin’.

Let’s hope the hangover fog is not as bad as the fog the riders in Le Tour had to endure over the Pyrenees.  Coming down a descent at 80 kmph into a mob of Llamas would be challenging.

USA Fed Reserve stand by their belief that inflation will come and then go.  Latest release has CPI at a 30 year high.

Some things (like timber) have already pulled back and others will too.  Used cars for example are up 45% year-on-year but I agree that will not last.  More a case of reduced new car production and chip delays.

The Aussie dollar has fallen to 74 cents.

Feels soft.

CBA data:

 Crypto and Gold land

The co-creator of Dogecoin, Jackson Palmer has gone full ballistic.  Remembering he set Doge up as a joke, he sees no humour it it anymore.  I can’t find out why he is so bent, but some cracking Twitter shouts: Dodgy Doge

Worth a read, but a couple of favourites:

Cryptocurrency is like taking the worst parts of today’s capitalist system (eg. corruption, fraud, inequality) and using software to technically limit the use of interventions (eg. audits, regulation, taxation) which serve as protections or safety nets for the average person.

Despite claims of “decentralization”, the cryptocurrency industry is controlled by a powerful cartel of wealthy figures who, with time, have evolved to incorporate many of the same institutions tied to the existing centralized financial system they supposedly set out to replace.
The cryptocurrency industry leverages a network of shady business connections, bought influencers and pay-for-play media outlets to perpetuate a cult-like “get rich quick” funnel designed to extract new money from the financially desperate and naïve.


Doge’s chart below – in % terms rather than $$’s.

Early adopters are still up nearly 2,500%.  May buyers are down 5,000%…..

Gold has done bugger all, but.


Thought of the week.  Sticking with China.  Well sort of 

Photo is actually Haiti, but let’s not let facts get in the way. Just like the photo.

Follows on from my earlier confusion about who is “left” and who is “right”.  More to the point I crave an active middle that alas is being carved out.

At least if you know the position they come from, you can be more critical with their “journalism”…aka propaganda.

When I read overseas articles it is sometimes a bit trickier.  One shared with me this week was from Monthly Review in the USA.  Very left, it looked at why the USA seems to have swung quickly back to push the theory that Covid 19 was released on purpose or by accident from a laboratory in Wuhan.

Confusing read, but the end summary is that scientists still strongly believe that is the LEAST LIKLEY scenario.

Pushing it seems to be more politically motivated and to clearly identify USA as victims and China as Evil Thugs.

But then you get an article by The Atlantic Council that portrays the position where USA must prepare to act first against almost certain China military action.

They support former US diplomat George Kennan’s philosophy that he shared with the White House, namely:

“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population…. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment.

Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity…We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction…We should cease to talk about vague and… unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization.

The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”

He sent this from Russia in 1948, clearly about the USSR, but the Atlantic Council has adopted it and updated it for China.

Do they have a specific bent?

Their largest corporate sponsors include weapons manufacturers like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

It’s board of directors is breath taking.  Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice as well as senior military figures such as retired generals Wesley Clark, David Petraeus, H.R. McMaster, James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Lt. General Brent Scowcroft and Admiral James Stavridis.

At least seven former CIA directors are also on the board

I would put as much credence on data from this source as the Central Chinese Communist Party.

Be careful.

Drinking favourite… 

Nil return this week.

Just been on the James Boag’s

Crisp clean beer, easy in and easy out.

Listening to… 

USA based Aussie singer Chet Faker has released a new album.

Oh Me Oh My is not a single from it, but has an excellent groove.  Tom Waits like…


Tokyo Games set to proceed despite much opposition.

I’m not sure this is real below.  Some of those weightlifters from Eastern Europe would test specifications.


Feedback always appreciated….

Cheers  BS

Tell your friends about us

The Man