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As Investment Advisers, The Liberals Make Alan Bond Look Good!

Late last year, I wrote about the Liberals’ criticism of the ANU’s decision to divest itself of shares in fossil fuel companies. As I pointed out, while this was considered “outrageous” by various senior Liberals, the shares being sold had actually been losing value, and apart from anything ethical considerations, it was possibly sound financial sense to sell.

When I’m wrong, I’m happy to admit it. Unfortunately, for those Liberals who I intend to mock mercilessly, this isn’t one of those times. Santos shares have continued to dive and I just noticed this little gem:

Santos shares “worthless” say Credit Suisse.

Now, just last October, Christopher Pyne labelled the ANU’s decision to sell “bizarre” and Jamie Briggs says that he wrote to the Vice-Chancellor demanding an explanation. Well, I can give Mr Briggs an explanation – the shares are now almost half what they were when they were sold.

Perhaps, that should be one of the Labor Party’s questions in Parliament. Are the Government ministers still critical of the move, or do they now concede that sometimes people in universities might actually know something, even if Andrew Bolt is better placed to lecture us all on climate change. Yes, I know that Bronwyn Bishop would rule it out of order, but it’d be fun to watch.

Just like it was fun to listen to Jamie Briggs tell an ABC interviewer this morning that her question was out of line because, of course Tony Abbott was concerned about the SA bushfires, why he’d commented in response to a question just yesterday, and Mr Briggs believed that he had spoken to the Premier offering whatever help they needed. The Premier’s Office seemed unaware of any such call – perhaps Mr Abbott should have told them who he was.

Here we have the question and response:

Question: And just finally, on the SA bushfires, will there be any assistance package for the people affected?


The standard national disaster relief and recovery arrangements are already in place. We will shortly have a little bit more to say on the Centrelink payments which are often made in circumstances like these. I have been talking regularly to the relevant minister, Michael Keenan, to Minister Jamie Briggs who has the electorate which has been most impacted by these fires. Obviously, Australian summers are prone to fire and flood. It is tragic that we’ve seen, yet again, the ferocity of Mother Nature, but the thing about Australians is that the worst in nature tends to bring out the best in us and that’s what we always see when our emergency services rush to help people in trouble and when communities rally around those people who have lost a very great deal.

Mm, can’t see why people who’ve lost their homes would feel that Tony’s response lacked empathy!

P.S. Update

THE Adelaide Hills bushfire is finally under control, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott pledging about $4 million in assistance for fire-affected South Australians.

The number of houses destroyed of badly damaged in the fire has also been downgraded from 32 to 27.

Mr Abbott toured some of the 12,500ha fireground this morning with Premier Jay Weatherill, before making an announcement on disaster recovery payments.

The Federal Government will pay $1000 per adult and $400 per child to those affected by the fire, who will have six months to apply for the funding.

There you go, $4million. That’s nearly as much as he gave the Iraqis.


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  1. nickthiwerspoon

    The coal price continues to slump, and this northern hemisphere winter it has not had its usual seasonal bounce, suggesting further declines in 2015. During 2015, the increase in solar and wind power (currently producing 3.2% of world electricity) will supply about 46% of the world’s incremental electricity demand. During 2016 new investment in wind and solar will provide 64% of incremental electricity demand. Almost everywhere in the world, solar and wind are as cheap as or cheaper than new fossil fuel power plants. And since wind and solar costs are falling by 12 to 18% per annum, the cost differential for fossil fuels will only get worse, The huge increase in coal supply combined with stagnant — and then, soon — falling demand for coal will be catastrophic for the Oz economy, even as it’s excellent news for CO2 emissions.

    Our government is not just arrogant and immoral and holds us in contempt, it is also incredibly stupid.

  2. mark delmege

    I guess the real question is just why have oil prices dropped so significantly. It’s reasonable to assume perhaps a few tens of dollars per barrel were a result of inflated prices due to financial funny business – what with hedge funds and commodity traders but the drop is much greater. Recently some have suggested that it was a kind of economic warfare against Russia – who these days rates with the US and the Saudi’s as pretty much equal volume producers. However the Saudi’s produce the black gold cheaper than anyone and can ride out the storm. Those hit hard with significant economic cost will be Russia and the US and particularly the later who have high production costs – certainly above the current market spot price. So again the question is why are the Saudi’s (if that is the case) driving down prices? And the only answer I have is that IS (Islamic State) has benefited from the largess and support from Turkey, Qatar and the Saudi’s as well as the US who have flooded the ME/Nth African region with weapons training and fighters for their own and various political purposes. The US however in more recent times has stepped away a little at least from direct US support for this particular gang of cut throats. So is this a kind of show of displeasure (and blackmail) with the apparent change of policy by Uncle Samuel to Saudi – Sunni goals in the region? I dunno but it seems possible. – Though I haven’t heard of anyone else making this argument.

  3. John Kelly

    I imagine several MPs have or had shares in Santos. Did they sell?

  4. stephentardrew

    Sack the dogs.

    Empathy? Whats that?

    Are you using the conservative dictionary?

    If not please avail yourself of a copy.

  5. iggy648

    Don’ forget that Tony and Joe demonstrated that they are incapable of reading an electricity bill.Wind and solar and other renewable energy sources look set to be major growth areas, but Tony is doing all he can to stifle the industry in Australia, to boost his mining mates. Very short sighted man.

  6. Conrad

    I am always happy to bag the former jail inmate Alan Bond (who paid his creditors half a cent in the dollar), and cannot see how ever he can be judged to be a “silk purse”. This headline needs rewriting.

  7. rossleighbrisbane

    Um, Conrad, hyperbole is still allowed in headlines. But half a cent in the dollar is better than worthless, so it may not end up being complete hyperbole yet!

  8. Horatio

    As an financial adviser specialising in ethical investment I can tell you that ethical portfolios have performed better over time. Have never understood why people find this difficult to accept. Super investing is long term, you may have luck with individual stocks or the recent commodities runs but that’s more gaming than investing. Ethical stocks generally also have superior corporate governance checks in place.

  9. Judes

    Could be wrong here…but I think SANTOS is one of the sponsors’ names plastered on the white lycra riding top, of Sir Tony, knight of the Malvern Star.

  10. rangermike1

    As an aside,it will be interesting to see the election results of the QLD Govt. on the 31st of this Month. Can-Do seems to have turned to Can-Go according to the polls. One Domino falls at a time, Abbott, you are next.

  11. olddavey

    @Judes 8:35

    I’ve had a look at a few images, but cant see that on his lycra.
    Maybe they sponsor his smudgie bugglers.

    Either way, I would regard any advice from Pyne and that mental midget Briggs as something to stay well away from.
    As with most of the economic throw-backs in the LNP, they have been insulated from real life for way too long

  12. Kaye Lee

    “From WOMAD 2014, Robyn Williams chairs a discussion about the generation of energy. A massive worldwide change is underway. The economics and structure of energy generation is being transformed from one of expensive, wasteful, polluting, distributed power under the control of large utilities, to cheaper, efficient, clean power generated locally and sometimes owned by the community.

    Simon Holmes a Court describes an early community wind farm project in Victoria which generates the power for 2,000 homes. Now the scheme is being copied with solar panels on inner city homes. South Australia’s power comprises 30% wind power and 5% solar power. Renewable energy in SA has led to lower power prices. If South Australia was a country it would be at the top of the table for its use of wind power.

    Paul Gilding describes the world scene where annual investment in renewable energy is between $250 and $300 billion. The revolution is being charged by volume and lower prices. The price of solar power has dropped 80% in the last 5 years. And over that period, the value of European coal utilities has dropped 50%. Paul Gilding says the transformation doesn’t need policy any more. Change is underway and it is unstoppable.”—energy-generation-worldwide-is-changing/5987784

  13. Kaye Lee

    And then there is us……

    “The carbon intensity of Australia’s main electricity grid has surged since the end of the carbon tax, undermining the Abbott government’s efforts to cut national emissions.

    On an annualised basis, emissions from the National Electricity Market serving eastern Australia have risen by 3.9 million tonnes since June, while the sector’s emissions intensity has risen 11 per cent, according to the latest Cedex report, compiled by energy consultants Pitt & Sherry.

    The share of black and brown coal in the generation mix rose to an 18-month high of 74.5 per cent by the end of 2014 even as gas-fired power reached a record 13.3 per cent of the market.

    “It is really coal displacing hydro, particularly brown coal,” said Hugh Saddler, principal consultant with Pitt & Sherry, adding, “It will go up further.” ”

  14. Kaye Lee

    And a question for Campbell Newman….

    “At the current price of thermal coal, the profit margin is zero. It makes no sense to sponsor these projects when the world is awash with coal. Why is Queensland providing millions of dollars to projects that aren’t commerciallly viable? Why does a project funded by a foreign billionaire need taxpayer subsidy?”

  15. Michael Taylor

    Alan Bond ended up in prison.

    Just sayin’.

  16. PepierMargot

    Saw the SA Premier on the Tellie this morning, Abbott beside him, frozen stance, mouthing the words as he stared at Jay, doing his apologist spiel.
    As I hit the off button I thought that the, ‘Can Do He Man’ dress ups, Abbott is fond of must now be so ‘last year’, or are they only useful leading up to an election?

  17. Harquebus

    The Liberal’s solution to everything is more growth. Unfortunately, growth is the problem.

    Something I posted over on Rossleigh’s page:
    Every time that firefightes extinguish a bushfire, they set the scene for greater destruction from the next.
    In the whole history of this continent, only the last century has seen the extinguishing of bushfires. If allowed to self extinguish, the fuel loads would always be low to moderate and the devastating megafires that we have created will be history. Irregular low intensity self extinguishing bushfires leave habitats habitable.
    Our firefighters are not heroes, they are destructive villains.

    A response to WJ about letting my house burn down.
    @Win jeavons
    Low intensity bushfires are much easier to defend property and farmland against. Asking firefighters to risk their lives defending property from the raging infernos that they themselves have created is okay?

  18. Harquebus

    @Kaye Lee.
    Your reputation is going fall into a big hole when, not if, it is realized that renewable energy is a waste of energy.

  19. Kaye Lee

    I have a reputation?

  20. Roswell

    Quite a good one, evidently. Have you seen what they say about your articles on Facebook? You’ve acquired quite a few fans.

  21. Kaye Lee

    There are more middle-aged women in jammies out there than Tony realises 😉

  22. Kaye Lee


    I do understand that at the moment we burn fossil fuels in the making of renewable energy components. I do understand that at the moment the components themselves are made from finite resources. I do understand that some time in the future we will run out of all finite resources. That is the definition of finite. What would you have us do in the mean time? Immediately, what is desirable and practically achievable? In the short/medium term what road can we take? In the longer term what are our goals? Must we jump to Planet of the Apes meets Mad Max right now? Is that the best way?

  23. Harquebus

    @Kaye Lee
    Would be very funny if, our situation wasn’t so serious. Renewables ain’t gonna do it.

  24. Harquebus

    @Kaye Lee.
    The only viable option is population reduction and control. One way or another, if we don’t act, nature will drag us back to sustainable numbers and believe me, it won’t be pretty.

  25. Kaye Lee

    As we are hopefully discussing achievable goals, how do you suggest we go about “population reduction and control”?

  26. mark delmege

    if you look at the population growth chart it can only end badly – but at least some countries have matured and are now on an even keel. What the economists and thinkers need to do is understand how to maintain a quality and sustainable steady state economy without the inflated growth numbers associated with population increases. (does that make sense?) But I disagree Harquebus alternatives to fossil fuels are becoming more friendly and economic by the hour and if you consider the triple bottom line will only become more so. We need to ditch the numbers game when it comes to GDP and reassess just where we are heading and cast off the shackles (the dictatorship) of the capitalists demand for ever increasing expansion. We need to have business serve community needs not community serve the interests of fat cats.

  27. Kaye Lee

    Do you think that if we helped ease poverty that maybe people would have less children?

  28. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Studies and statistics suggest that education and emancipation of females is a significant influence in lowering birth-rates.

  29. Kaye Lee

    It’s amazing what we can achieve when we put things like health, education and equality first.

  30. Harquebus

    @Kaye Lee.
    For population control, my preference is one woman one child but, I fear that it may be too late. It might have be one in three, four or even more.
    @mark delmege
    Renewable generating devices are made using still relatively cheap fossil fuels. They do not return the “total” energy used to manufacture them. If they could and then some, we would already be using them. The “then some” would be free energy if, as I said, they could deliver. EROEI mate, EROEI. (Energy Returned on Energy Invested) Economics removes externalities like physics and our environment from its equations because, otherwise they don’t work.

  31. Kaye Lee


    Most estimates of wind turbine life-cycle global warming emissions are between 0.02 and 0.04 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour.

    Most estimates of life-cycle emissions for photovoltaic systems are between 0.07 and 0.18 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour.

    Most estimates for concentrating solar power range from 0.08 to 0.2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour.

    To put this into context, estimates of life-cycle global warming emissions for natural gas generated electricity are between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour and estimates for coal-generated electricity are 1.4 and 3.6 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour

    You also need to consider the water used by various different forms of power generation

    You keep linking to that article by Lewis Page who is a climate change denier and does nothing for your credibility.

  32. Kaye Lee

    As for “one woman one child”, does that mean that gay male couples may not have children and lesbian couples may have two? Do you want enforced sterilisation after one child? If not, do you intend for women to have enforced abortions? Remember, we are talking about achievable solutions here.

  33. mark delmege

    I’ll risk being put in the loony hating rightwing homophobes but frankly I think its a bit dodgy for single sex couples creating life to feed whatever desire they have for parenthood. It seems to me the ‘me generation’ has taken the ‘possible’ one step too far. But that’s just me and I dont think it is homophobia at all, Gays are people with otherwise all the skills, faults and beauty of anyone else (and before yu start throwing rocks that’s not to say single or single sex couples can’t make good parents – they can.) I’m not too keen on IVF or surrogacy either. But that’s just me. But in answer to the question when humans achieve a certain level of affluence – circa middle class ish – population stabilises. We need, it seems, a planet where most people are happily middle class to save us and the planet.

  34. Kaye Lee

    How about fertility drugs….are they ok?

  35. TechinBris

    Well Mark, considering you really are not being forced to use IVF or surrogacy, since as you say your not keen on it, can you explain why you are choosing to enforce it to be denied to those who want it?
    Or are you really just advocating that access should only be to a particular demographic, which coincidentally happens to be that which you approve of, in discrimination to all others?
    I am interested to hear what you have to say about this, as population control and overpopulation of the biosphere is a responsibility upon which all peoples choices should take into account and not be a responsibility, only to be imposed on those which fail to fit into someone Else’s preferred demographic group, whilst absolution to the imposition is applicable for another.

  36. mark delmege

    Mostly Techin I try to chose my words carefully (and I’m up front enough to use my own name – note gratuitous snub). I’m not sure how you came to your conclusions as I don’t think I said those things. Though I’m not surprised by a little outrage over my comment (and on most days I would keep that thought to myself) – but if no one expressed opinions what would we debate in here – ever? Humans are capable of all sorts of things. We could feed our children growth hormones so they could become big better and faster or gene splice with other species to become truly amazing or even revert to an earlier time when we married and had children in our early teens. But we chose as individuals or collectively not too – sometimes we even make laws against doing certain things because at this time in history we find them unsavory or whathaveyou. My point was that just because we can do something doesn’t mean that we should. I was taking Kaye’s challenge (comment) above mine one step further.

  37. Kaye Lee

    If I “challenge” it is with the intention to make people consider the possible consequences of, or inconsistencies in, their beliefs. I am by no means the suppository of all wisdom and the concerns raised about overpopulation are valid. I just ask people to think about what is rationally achievable. We all need to question our prejudices and open debate without fear of ridicule is a start.

  38. corvus boreus

    Santos mining, as far as I know, do not have their logo plastered on Tonys’ cling wrap apparel, but their adverts do festoon the sides of QLD police cars, reinforcing the message of their allegiance to rapacious corporate interests as these public officers provide the service of strong-arm security for environmental vandals at great expense to the public purse.…santos…qld-police…/5953030

    “We are in the coal business” (Campbell Newman)

  39. Kaye Lee

    Sometimes I hate getting too much information. That last one cb was a step too far. Advertising for failing mining companies on police cars? I am sensing a conflict of interest.

    We all know that police look after their own but come on guys and gals….do you seriously want to be the subject of ridicule? What do you REALLY think of Campbell Newman? Do you really think that using 4 police cars to arrest a guy wearing a funny t-shirt, or a motor cyclist filling up with petrol, is a wise use of resources? And is Tony still living at the police academy and if so why?

  40. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Considering the amount of ethical agitation you bring to my life with your compilation and communication of outrageous facts, I am currently wearing a smug little smirk at the knowledge that I have managed to poke your indignation buttons. Sorry ’bout that. 😉

  41. Kaye Lee

    How am I going to appear feminine with these frown wrinkles cb? Guess I should ask Julie for some tips.

  42. corvus boreus

    “Regular injections of toxic botulism combined with the care-free attitude that comes with privilege and a callous and socio-pathic outlook keeps my skin wrinkle free. Living the dream.” JB

  43. Kaye Lee

    To tell the truth I don’t mind my wrinkles. They tell the story of a life filled with emotion and learning (and a tad too much playing). I tell my children I took one for the team by avoiding the Clarens counter 🙂

  44. corvus boreus

    I, too, have laughed well and worried with reason. It shows.

  45. TechinBris

    Oh, there is no outrage. Just curious as to why this statement of yours was conveyed in the way it was Mark.
    It did leave me puzzling over what it was you precisely were trying to achieve within the statement and why it was conveyed in that peculiar manner. I am all for people expressing their opinions so we can discuss and debate as rational Adults, with the gratuitous snubs aside.
    Yes, we are amazingly flexible and adaptable and our technology and the social changes are currently outpacing our ability, or preferences, to evolve the ethics of our Society in order to keep pace with it.
    Maybe trying to work out if something is right or wrong is the incorrect way to adapt to such ethical issues, when we are not sure of the right and the wrongs of it yet.
    But we can be sure of one thing about us, is that someone will always act to use any situation, to inflict some form of exploitation or extortion over someone else who is vulnerable in such matters, for power, profit or both from such situations. That is a real problem we do understand and our Society ethically knows how to handle (though at times, by choice, we fail to).
    The predatory nature of our kind seeks to overpower or control another by taking advantage of such situations, in order to inflict emotions that can create fear or psychological angst for another, if they don’t capitulate to another individual desires. This is what we need to focus upon, as it is going to happen, as it always does.
    We can make sure the abuses of Social Engineering are not utilised to extort, vilify, nor condemn anyone, when it is only a supposition that the matter at hand will end the World as we know it, bring ruination to the Family Farm and promote tooth decay, just because someone believes it will (predominately because they don’t like it).
    Caution and not prohibition is a better path of evolution, when the technology or social change has promise and/or possibly dangers involved.
    We know this behavior is assured to occur, so maybe the correct way to evolve these ethical dilemmas is to act on what we know about human behavior, our ability to inflict hurt upon each other and ourselves, to mitigate the misunderstanding of the rights of the Individual to have their choices respected, if they do not harm the Society’s well-being by their actions, regardless of whether other individuals accept or reject their choices. Do we really need to Nanny each other?
    Our Community’s ethical well-being and the happiness of the individual within its collective, is the greatest matter to be of concern always. For without such a healthy social fabric within our Communities, we can and will only have either War or Despotism, even possibly both, left for us to wrestle with.

  46. mark delmege

    cheers Tech. As for fertility drugs Kaye I don’t have a firm opinion on that but I have seen there use end in tears and ended relationships. Sometimes it seems things are not meant to be despite the plumbing of both being in perfect working order but somehow the two in that regard are incompatible… Or a holiday together can solve the problem. And maybe drugs too. Though I do wonder about the affect/effect on the genetic pool – but I am not qualified to judge.

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