Wednesday 3rd of September 2014

the aussie beef-cake and his travelling troupe...

aussie beef


Make no mistake, Japan is the big winner from the slight reduction in agricultural trade barriers announced with so much fanfare from the Prime Minister's captive travelling trade troupe. And that's a perfectly good and very desirable thing.

There's also a strong chance that much of the immediate advantage Australia should enjoy won't last long.

Other beef exporters will be hot on the heels of our most favoured nation status – stand by for American trade negotiators to target the Australian beef tariff level as they seek their own deal. They've never stopped working on a better deal for themselves.

The immediate reaction to the announcement of a handshake deal seems to be close to that which greeted Chamberlain's waved piece of paper on return from Munich.

But a little perspective can be healthy.

Yes, this is a positive agreement and certainly better than no agreement after many years of stalled horse (or beef and cheese) trading, but it's not going to deliver rural wealth in our times.

The world is far too competitive a place for that.

Read more:


no significant benefits and no sweetener for some...

A Government MP has hit out at the trade deal struck by Prime Minister Tony Abbott with his Japanese counterpart, questioning the value of an agreement that does not have a "significant benefit for Australian agriculture".

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss says the free trade deal will disappoint some farmers, but should be seen as a "historic step forward" in the economic relationship between the two nations.

But Queensland Liberal National MP George Christensen, who represents the sugar-growing region of Mackay, has told the ABC he is "disappointed there has been no improvement for the sugar industry" which he says "always seems to be on the outer" when it comes to free trade agreements.

"There are some benefits for beef and horticulture in the Japan FTA," the Member for Dawson said.

"But a few sectors does not make up the entire agricultural industry.

"I appreciate that negotiating FTAs, particularly with Japan, is tricky business. But I wonder about the value of an FTA with any nation unless there's significant benefit for Australian agriculture."

read more:

there is method in the madness of the mad monk...

Me thinks that in order to make an FTA (well- a sort of a pissy watered homeopathic agreement) with Japan  — to sell three and a half more cow carcasses — the mad monk had to destroy the Aussie car industry so that he could import "cheaper" cars from the Rising Sun country... Of course the only geezers to benefit here would be the rich dudes and "financiers" because ordinary workers on the scrap heap can now only afford a bicycle made in China...

of course james does not lecture anyone, except...


Casino boss James Packer has criticised former prime minister and foreign minister Kevin Rudd, accusing  him of damaging Australia’s relations in Asia during his time in office.

Describing himself as a “big fan” of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Mr Packer said Mr Rudd had weakened Australia’s ties in the region by lecturing foreign leaders.

I think when you go around and lecture people, and I think you know who I’m talking about, some people don’t take that well – and especially if you position yourself as a foreign policy expert 

“I think the truth is that Australia’s relationships with China, Japan, India and Indonesia probably all went backwards over the past five years,” Mr Packer told Fairfax Radio 3AW on Tuesday.

Read more:


Of course James is after a bit of gamble-action in Asia... Gambling is an addiction in which the gambler gambles his/her money while believing in hope of being returned in more quantity than what the gambler bets... All this of course is vacuum cleaner entertainment with bright flashing coloured lights, gaudy images of golden loots and sound effects that would make MGM soundstage appear like an amateurish troupe of dancers. But for the serious gambler, there is the exclusive games where pocket-moneys for the rich — which would be MASSIVE fortune for the average donkey — is bet, is where the money for the gambling entrepenour like James is.
For some banks, the game of gambling is called derivative... The game is slightly different to a gaming parlour. In "gambling" the punter always loses except from time to time, one of them will collect more than the output. But over the years of gambling, the odds are that we lose.

In the derivative market, the system cannot afford anyone to lose more than what is bet, over time. So the kitty grows due to banks and financiers edging their bets, as not to lose much should their original bet go arse up. In short, should one of the bet combo go wrong for one bank, the whole system would collapse rather too quickly... When you hear of a "rogue trader having lost billions bobs" usually the trader forgot to edge the bets (bet AGAINST his original bet). So what is the purpose of derivatives? It's mostly a game of musical chairs with more chairs being added all the time, rather than being removed. Why, you may ask? It a simple way of MAKING MONEY GO AROUND... without producing anything useful. Producing something useful is HARD YAKKA. By making the merry-go-round of cash non stop, as it changes hands then changes hands again, it creates a financial activity in which everyone cashes in when the money hops horses. The more horses and the more hops, the more cash goes into the pocket of the rich. Derivative game is also a hard one to play, but IT DOES NOT PRODUCE ANYTHING but more cash and if something goes wrong, government have to print more cash... Show me a better racket? 

For James, the game is simpler: the Asians are loaded with cash "they don't need" and like many other humans, they are gambling addicts... Do the sum and build another Casino somewhere in Asia and make sure they hear about the big one in Barangaroo... with luxury suites... and solid gold taps... No souvernir-ing please.


losing our pants in useless FTAs...

It was cheers all around last week, but perhaps it's time to acknowledge that one-on-one trade agreements such as we've just signed are largely ineffectual, writes Ian Verrender.

Perhaps it's time to put that cork back in the champagne bottle.

Amid the backslapping and bonhomie following our recent coups on the free trade front last week, a touch of sanity was injected into proceedings from some rather unexpected quarters.

First up, the normally conservative Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry denounced the South Korea pact as unworkable the day before it was inked.

And as the details of the Japan agreement were broadcast, even the peak farming lobby, the National Farmers' Federation, was less than enthusiastic about the results.

Such doubts, however, are likely to pale into insignificance if Australia ever signs up to the much bigger and broader ranging Trans-Pacific Partnership; a trading bloc being pushed by America with Australia and 10 other Pacific nations including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Singapore and possibly even China.

Negotiators have been punching away on the TPP for years, mostly in secret, and unsurprisingly appear to have hit a snag.

Why are free trade agreements such a big deal? That's the problem. They're not, especially for a country like Australia that, ever since the Whitlam government took the sickle to tariffs, has systematically dismantled its trade barriers.

What the triumphant pollies forgot to mention last week was that the biggest long-term gains from such agreements go to the country that faces the greatest short-term pain. As a nation, we've already endured the worst of the pain. 

Take the Japan deal. For a start, it's anything but a free trade agreement. Japan's monumental trade wall merely has had a couple of layers of bamboo lopped off the top with a few more to come down the track.


See toon at top and others on the FTA and the TPP on this site...