© 2019 by Henry Thornton. 

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Sunday Sanity Break, 18 August 2019 – Hong Kong troubles

August 18, 2019

Advice for President Xi and Boris Johnson 

 

You are advised not to crush residents of Hong Kong. The trouble was due to trying to break an agreement when Britain handed back Hong Kong. Such agreements need to be honoured.

 

My advice is why not try democracy in Hong Kong, if you like with no departure from greater China to be allowed except of course for individuals.  Such a move would settle HK and make you look like a statesman. It may even provide a model for Taiwan.

 

 

And here is a stunning commentary on UK’s attempted leaving from the EU.  Boris, you should watch this carefully as it contains implicit advice.

 

Economy

 

Great to see ‘IR tsar’ Bill Kelty again on the front page of the OZ. During the early days of the Hawke government, Tsar Bill played hard and sensibly on the economy, endorsing budget surplus (replacing a deficit) and agreeing on behalf of working Aussies to take a wage cut to help economy recover.

 

Now he emerges to criticise Labor’s policies at the last election, policies that would have soaked the ‘merely well off’ and done great damage to the economy. Another front page headline was ‘Warnings of recession flash across globe’. The weekend AFR follows up with ‘Reckless Disregard’: ‘The  global economy is looking vulnerable and, suddenly, so is President Donald Trump, writes AFR Washington correspondent Jacob Greber’.

 

Nice article Wednesday about Guy Debelle, RBA Deputy Governor.  Compares earlier forecasts with latest offerings. “Trade and Technology Dispute” {Trump vrs Xi}‘dragging on’. ‘Manufacturing PMIS’ falling, the USA just above the break even 50 %, East Asia and ‘Global’ below the break even measure. Australia’s Terms of Trade and Iron Ore prices surging up but the forecast has future as gloomy as originally predicted. (This looks shaky to me.)  Household consumption set to fall further to a lousy 1 % growth.  Tax growth rising sharply to almost 10 %, which with iron ore prices up is presumably why Scomo can keep giving extra cash to good causes despite Josh’s promise of a budget surplus this year.

 

As proposed before, an old technique from the 1980s is to prepare a ‘realistic worst case’. Perhaps that is still done, and if so I would not release it except to the Treasurer, which I did at the time of the ‘Banana Republic’ fiasco. Not much good for career of chief forecaster, but at least possibly good for the nation.

 

The final section is about the new measure of what used to be LIBOR, given up after gross cheating by the cleverer banks.  One for the specialists.

 

Read on here.

 

Kulture

 

Fiona Prior gives Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ the thumbs-up … for unexpected reasons. More here.

 

Sporting life

 

Last weekend was exciting.  In AFL Essendon was badly flogged, as was Caaarlton! in the first half. Of its game with the Tiges. This pathetic effort was reversed in the second half and with 15 minutes to go it looked as if a shock overturn of Richmond was just possible. Commentators said the second half saved coach Teague’s career as a senior coach, which was confirmed last Wednesday.

 

The Blues finished brilliantly this week to beat St Kilda by 10 points after a thrilling see saw of a game.

 

Commentators were pretty hard on umpires, which is a feature of those matches I have seen this year. AFL, you need to sort this. Players seemed very confused last weekend and some rapid training will be needed if the finals series is to avoid controversy. EG last week, Richmond player took a mark after the siren began to sound and was allowed to kick a goal.  This week Jack Silvani took a mark after the siren began to sound and was not allowed to kick for goal.

 

The big sporting news last weekend was that the Aussie Rugby team (sans Falou) flogged the All Blacks in Perth. This weekend the Wallabies were flogged horribly by NZ (at Rugby) in NZ (the country). Situation normal again. Bring back Folau.

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