I watched the ten-part series on “The Vietnam War” (TVW) made available on SBS online. This is a powerful series on this almost grotesque tragedy that influenced my own thinking greatly as a young man. I opposed the American run war and Australia’s participation in it during my final high school years and most of my years of study at university.
Articles from Harry Clarke
Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” is a sustained attack on the Donald Trump presidency. Trump is revealed as a narcissist bumbler who repeats himself. A buffoon who is out of his depth for the job of being President. The White House staff he has surrounded himself with are a barely competent collection of factions competing for his attention but all of whom are individually aware of the extent of the Trump inadequacies.
The arguments by Willem Buiter on the possibility of an exuberance-induced global recession seem reasonable to me. Stock and property markets are exuberant, particularly in the US while bond markets are moving into recession because we all know that interest rates are rising and will continue to rise.
Christmas is a celebration of what is guessed to be the approximate birth date of Jesus Christ. It is an important occasion in almost all civilised societies for both Christians and Non-Christians alike.
The North-East Link Project in Melbourne seeks to connect the Western Distributor with the Eastern Freeway. There is much to this project – including a widening of the already-jammed Eastern Freeway – but the biggest feature of this project is its cost. Namely, $16.5b. Some claim the price could go as high as $21b.
This issue is again on the agenda because of the US decision to massively cut corporate taxes from 35 to 20% of corporate profits. It is not the same intellectual case as for the US economy but many of the same issues arise. The growth in the US deficit as a result of these cuts will be large and there are questions about the extent to which investment will increase given the relatively low level of US unemployment.
Australia’s population growth rate is rocketing along primarily because of our migration and humanitarian programs. These make up 54% of our total population growth. Our migration program in 2015/16 took in 189,770 people gross and about 20,000 less than that allowing for permanent emigration.
Some of the fees charged by local investment advisors, such as local accountants, seem more than hefty. Particularly when investments are in equities. Often there is a fixed fee of around $300 per month or $3600 per year. There is also often a trailing fee of 1% of the value of the portfolio. Thus on a $1m investment with gross earnings of 5% the total annual fees would be $13,600 which, ignoring taxes, would be 25% of the total return.
The best deal offered so far in the ongoing conflict with North Korea comes from China. It is: Abandon your nukes and we will offer you protection. This gives the North what it wants, namely, protection from externally-imposed regime change.