Monthly Archives: November 2022

The Seeds of Soybean Inflation

Every year, U.S. exports of soybeans peak during the months of October, November, and December. Since most of those exports head to China, we thought it might be interesting to take a snapshot of how 2022's crop is stacking up against previous years.

We pulled the available data on U.S. exports of soybeans to China from the U.S. Census Bureau's USA Trade Online database and calculated the month-by-month cumulative value of soybeans exported to China from January 2016 through the available year-to-date data for September 2022. We then estimated the quantity of soybeans exported each month by dividing these figures by the month's average soybean price per bushel. We generated two charts to illustrate the data and set them to cycle in the following animated chart, which takes us up to the beginning of the U.S.' peak soybean export season in 2022:

Animation: Cumulative Value and Estimated Cumulative Bushels of Soybeans Exported to China Each Month, January 2016 through 2022 Year-To-Date (September)

With the average price of soybeans mostly hovering within two dollars of $10 per bushel over this period, the cumulative value and quantity exported charts for most years are very similar to each other, including during the U.S-China trade war impacted years of 2018 and 2019. But two years really stand out as different from the others.

Let's start with the most obviously different. At first glance, the cumulative value of soybeans exported by the U.S. to China during 2022 leads all other years by a wide margin. But the animation quickly makes it very clear that the cumulative bushels of exported soybeans is very different, with 2022's quantity of exports far below 2016 and 2017's very high levels. That difference is directly attributable to the inflation of soybean prices, which began in 2021 and has continued in 2022.

2022's soybean price escalation is fairly easy to explain. Many of the soybean-growing regions in the U.S. experienced drought conditions, which both negatively affected crop yields and the ability of farmers to ship their crops to seaports by river. That drought comes as much of South America's soybean growing regions also experienced drought conditions during the year, with the resulting shortages boosting 2022's global soybean prices.

But it doesn't explain 2021's soybean price escalation, during which the seeds of today's soybean inflation were first sown. Here's the title of an article that identifies many of the additional factors that have contributed to that inflation.

Analysis: 'It's a madhouse': Organic U.S. soy prices hit record, fuel food inflation

Reading this October 2021 article, we find many of the underlying seeds behind today's soybean inflation were sown by several government interventions and failures that contributed to the shortages and price increases it describes for organic soybeans.

U.S. prices for organic soybeans used to feed livestock and manufacture soy milk have surged to record highs as imports that make up most of the country's supply have declined, triggering price increases for food including organically raised chicken.

The costly soybeans and higher-priced organic products are fueling food inflation at a time consumers are eager to eat better and focus on health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The $56 billion U.S. organic food sector is also grappling with a shortage of shipping containers and a tight labor market as global food prices hit a 10-year high....

U.S. imports of organic soybeans from September 2020 through August 2021 fell by 18% to about 240,585 tonnes, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Shipments sank by 30% from Argentina, the biggest supplier to the United States.

Imports from India fell by 34%, extending a pre-existing decline after the United States in January toughened its requirements to certify Indian crops as organic.

There's a lot to unpack from this excerpt. First, we see the shortfall of organic soybean imports from India is directly attributable to the Biden administration's regulatory imposition of organic farming requirements as part of its anti-free trade measures aimed at protecting the special interests of a very small number of U.S. organic soybean farmers. Despite harming U.S. consumers, these anti-free trade measures have continued into 2022 with negative impact to both organic soybean prices and other downstream food products. Products like organic chicken, for example, that rely on consuming organic soybean feed to qualify as having been raised to meet arbitrary "organic" standards.

Meanwhile, the other factors the excerpt mentions also negatively impact the price of regular soybeans. The shortage of shipping containers is directly related to the Biden administration's leadership failures in addressing the logjam at the U.S.' west coast ports that it allowed to fester for months before taking its first actions to remedy it during October 2021. Finally, the shortfall of Argentina's soybeans can be traced to the Argentinian government's export policies, which have led many of its farmers to choose to stop growing soybeans in favor of corn, reducing the global supply.

None of these government interventions and failures would have stopped the drought conditions that inflated soybean prices throughout 2022. But that inflation would have been lower had they not contributed to starting the soybean inflation in the first place. In that regard, today's high inflation is very much a fiscal policy choice by politicians putting their special interests ahead of consumers.

Australian Politics 2022-11-30 10:20:00


An Australian actor who has had relationships with many attractive women

Stories like the one below could be pretty damaging to many men. Many men have difficulties finding partners, to the point where there are many "incels". One cannot entirely blame incels for the diffuse anger that they sometimes feel. And that anger can be expressed in very destructive ways.

I have been married 4 times and have at the momnent a chic chick in my life so I am not at all upset or envious about the story below. But I think there needs to be some way for stories such as that below to be somehow contextualized by stories about the relationship failures celebrities sometimes have. In the meantime, incels should probably steer their reading away from celebrity sites

image from

Miley Cyrus' mother Tish surprised fans by debuting her secret romance with Prison Break actor Dominic Purcell this week, seven months after filing for divorce from husband Billy Ray Cyrus.

And while details of the couple's relationship remain a mystery, Dominic's colourful dating history is well-documented.

From a 90210 star to billionaire James Packer's ex, the burly Aussie star has managed to woo very well-known women around the world.

Dominic, 52, was previously married to Australian film producer Rebecca Williamson between 1998 and 2008. The couple welcomed four children during their decade-long marriage: sons Joseph and Augustus, and daughters Audrey Lily-Rose.

Dominic went on to briefly date Baywatch star Brooke Burns, 44, from April to June 2008.

In 2011, he started began dating 90210 actress AnnaLynne McCord, who was 17 years his junior.

AnnaLynne previously revealed how BDSM played a major role in their on-and-off relationship, describing Dominic as a 'big, strong, angry Aussie' in a 2021 interview with sexual health platform Giddy.


Labor's disastrous jobs bill: At best, businesses will be hit with substantial bills from specialist lawyers and consultants. It will discourage productivity improvements and deter investment

Tweaking the definition of small business will do little to fix the inherent problems of Labor’s industrial relations amendments, Secure Jobs, Better Pay. This is the key message for independent senator David Pocock as he agrees to pass the government’s complex and poorly drafted bill.

Not only is there a lack of clarity in some of the provisions that will result in high levels of uncertainty, there is also the risk that businesses and workers will be badly affected. At best, businesses will be hit with substantial bills from specialist lawyers and consultants. The amended act will discourage productivity improvements and deter investment.

Steep costs for taxpayers are also likely in the context of ongoing budget deficits and rising government debt as a result of multi-employer bargaining for low-paid workers in feminised industries such as aged care, childcare and disability services.

But consider first the definition of a small business.

Notwithstanding the fact there are multiple definitions within government, the Fair Work Act defines a small business as one with 15 or fewer workers. That’s heads, not effective full-time workers. A relatively small cafe or service station could easily have more than 15 workers. What if a proprietor operates three small but separate outlets, each with six workers on the books? Would this mean that business is not considered small?

Increasing the number from 15 to 20, a concession made by Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke, will make little difference as it doesn’t sort out the problems outlined above. Permitting businesses with fewer than 50 workers to argue their case to be excluded from multi-employer agreements looks like an expensive, bureaucratic ruse.

Hapless Small Business Minister Julie Collins would have us believe more than two million, or 90 per cent, of businesses would be exempt from the provisions. What she fails to understand is most of these businesses don’t employ anyone apart from their owners and more than 60 per cent or about eight million employed people work for larger businesses.

In addition, what happens in large and medium-sized businesses affects small businesses. Small firms do business with larger ones as suppliers, or buyers, or both. They have an interest in the outcomes for larger businesses, too.

The principal flaw in Labor’s amendments is not the definition of small business but the incoherence of multi-employer bargaining pasted on to a system based on national employment standards, modern awards and enterprise-level bargaining.

It should not be overlooked that Object (f) of the Fair Work Act is “achieving productivity and fairness through an emphasis on enterprise-level collective bargaining underpinned by simple good-faith bargaining obligations and clear rules governing industrial action”.

What is often not understood is that for those employers who are not bound by enterprise agreements or have given them up, there is nothing preventing them from paying some or all of their workers more than the pay stipulated in the relevant awards and/or boosting conditions. In fact, the most common method of setting pay is individual arrangements; it’s not awards or enterprise agreements.

While the government claims its main aim is to “get wages moving”, it’s clear wages are starting to move. The latest figures on the Wage Price Index point to overall annual wage growth of more than 3 per cent, with private sector wage growth well ahead of wage growth in the public sector. (This latter feature is the result of earlier enterprise agreements locking in modest pay rises.) Other data sources point to even stronger wage growth as workers enjoy rapid promotion and other perquisites. A tight labour market is the surest way to lifting wages.

Where award rates of pay are close to market rates, there has always been less incentive for employers to bargain with their employees and/or representatives. This is because there is not much scope to increase wages to compensate workers for productivity gains that could be achieved. Most of the services industry fits into this category, as does retail and fast food.

By contrast, there are some other sectors where award rates of pay are fractions of the going rates. It is in these sectors, mainly highly unionised, where enterprise bargaining has found its natural home, even though the ability to secure productivity concessions in recent years has become difficult as the unions have dug in their heels. Some companies have also required the assurance of prohibited industrial action during the course of enterprise agreements in order to secure finance.

This background partly explains why enterprise bargaining under Labor’s Fair Work Act has been only partially successful. It was never really suited for companies for which the award rates of pay are close to market-related pay. Note here that award wages are adjusted annually through the national minimum wage review, with the latest increase between 4.6 and 5.2 per cent.

Add in the complexity of the bizarre interpretation of the better off overall test and the pedantic interpretation that members of the Fair Work Commission have placed on the required bargaining steps and agreement-making procedures and it was hardly surprising that enterprise agreements fell out of favour.

The preferred solution is to fix the rules governing enterprise bargaining rather than jumping to an unjustified and untested shift to widely available multi-employer bargaining. The case for an ill-defined “single interest” bargaining stream has never been made – apart from it being something demanded by the unions.

Not only is the shift potentially inflationary as all firms covered would lift prices simultaneously, it is also unlikely to lift productivity as workplace variations can never be covered by such agreements. Sector-wide strikes also would be highly damaging. There is no doubt that the Reserve Bank would take a keen interest in such developments when considering lifting the cash rate.

It was always a forlorn hope that Pocock would realise the bill shouldn’t be rushed through parliament this year.

The cliches of the government were always likely to carry the argument over careful analysis of the arcane features of our IR system and the damaging impact of the proposed changes.


The Victorian election result highlights how wishy washy Australian conservatives have become

Remember these two analogies.

First one. At the start of the pandemic hysteria in Florida, the uncritical press had petrified the voters of Florida into big-scale support for lockdowns. Even the bulk of Fox News was in favour. But Governor Ron DeSantis read the data. He read the Great Barrington Declaration authored by three of the best epidemiologists in the world. After a very short lockdown he opened up his state of Florida. He fronted the press and answered questions. He stood for something. He directly took on the lockdownistas. Later on, he flat out refused to impose any sort of mandates, mask or vaccine. He was regularly labelled a ‘granny killer’. But he continued on to implement an anglosphere version of Sweden’s (now world’s best) response. Principled. With values. Prepared to take on a near uniformly left-wing press and the few righties who revelled in lockdowns. We now know that virtually every call he made was correct. Oh, and when Disney was pushing a bizarre ‘teach kids in kindergarten and years one and two sex education in the usual Woke way’ he took away the unique tax advantages this virtue-signalling corporation had enjoyed for decades. We’re talking tens of millions of dollars each year. In the recent midterm elections, Governor DeSantis won a massive victory with 60 per cent of the vote, compared to in 2018 when he had barely snuck home by a few thousand votes.

Second analogy. When Campbell Newman was Premier of Queensland, he took on every vested interest going. He reduced the size of the civil service. He went after the doctors. He took on the legal establishment (albeit in an incompetent way without seemingly asking any, you know, actual conservative legal types how to do it). His government was unashamedly for smaller government, non-Wokery, and fiscal responsibility. Sure, he probably opened too many fronts at once and when he went for re-election he lost. But this is what no one says. His government won 41.3 per cent of the primary votes in that losing effort. Since then, every LNP Opposition government has played the ‘let’s be a centimetre to the right of Labor’ game and has lost to Labor far far worse than that Campbell Newman losing effort. And this repeats itself in other states. Standing for something pays off. Occasionally you’ll die on your feet, but of late the Liberals have been dying on their knees everywhere, all the time, in the dire grip of Stockholm syndrome.

Right now the caste that advises Liberal politicians is uniformly in the Mark Textor mould of ‘conservatives have nowhere else to go so park yourselves way over there to the left beside Labor’. It’s a really bad strategy. It destroyed the Western Australian Liberal Party. It allowed the Coalition to lose again last night to Dan Andrews. I’d bet big money that Dominic Perrottet and the Libs will lose next year. The LNP and Crisafulli in Queensland are yet another iteration of this woeful strategy.

Look, I think anyone would be hard-pressed to put a piece of paper between my views and those of John F. Kennedy (save that I’d probably have fewer hookers in the White House each week). But those views are now categorised as ‘hard right’ or ‘extremely ideological’ not just by the ABC (which is wholly to be expected) but also by half of the MPs in a Coalition partyroom. This is the worst cohort of right-of-centre politicians in my lifetime. They stand for absolutely nothing, Mr Morrison being exhibit A in the case for the prosecution. There is nothing they’d fight for if it risked them losing the chauffeur and perks.

Frankly, it beggars belief that the Victorian Opposition under Matthew Guy could have been this wholly useless. Did they attack relentlessly on the world’s worst lockdowns? You know… The weaponised police. The destroyed small business sector. The brutal and ineffective vaccine mandates. No. No. No. Instead, Matthew Guy sounded as though he more or less agreed with the Andrews’ playbook. And don’t forget that Scott Morrison never once said one critical thing about how Dan Andrews imposed the world’s harshest, most thuggish pandemic response on Victoria.

I guarantee you that had Ron DeSantis been Victorian leader – even allowing for how many Victorians clearly must have no clue about the data surrounding how badly Australia has done (for instance, our cumulative excess deaths are worse than no-lockdown Sweden’s by some way) – that he would have made huge inroads on the Labor vote on that front alone.

Then there’s Victoria’s debt that is massive. Guy says a couple of trite things about this and then offers highly subsidised public transport. And what about the patent corruption? The imploding credit rating? The list goes on. Don’t tell me the press acts as Labor’s praetorian guard. Of course it does. Have you seen our universities and journalism schools? But they did in Florida too, even more so. Know your stuff and take them on. Fight and you can win.

The Libs aren’t offering a fighting Opposition. It’s more of a tame, complicit, ‘we agree with you Danny Boy’ affair. It pains me to say this, given that Dan Andrews behaved shockingly during the two and a half years of Covid. But the Libs were so awful and so lacking in any coherent values or beliefs that they deserved to lose. The NSW version of Team Liberal deserves to lose too. And so does the Queensland version. The party has been infiltrated by too many people who don’t hold any of the longstanding small government, pro-freedom values. They actually share much of a centre-left type ideology. They agree that those like me whose views line up perfectly with JFK’s really are ‘hard right’ or ‘ideological extremists’. Just look at the advisers who went on TV after it became clear Matthew Guy had been slaughtered. Their take? The Libs need quotas for women. Know what you morons? I will never, ever vote for any party that imposes quotas. I believe in merit. And I think there are a lot like me. The problem is advisers and value-free hack politicians with a focus group obsession that is premised on being hollow, value-free vacuums waiting to suck up what this poll or that poll indicates. Ron DeSantis ignored polls and went with principles. He won people over.

This party right now is an absolute disgrace. I like Peter Dutton. I’m really hoping he stands up to the appeasers in his partyroom and throughout the adviser class. Because it’s not going to be long before the only Liberals in government will be in Tasmania. Make of that what you will. ?


Barrier Reef in danger? The fight’s on again as Australian government prepares to lobby UN

Australia faces its second fight in less than two years to prevent the Great Barrier Reef from being ­declared “in danger” by the UN, as Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek prepares to lobby her global counterparts against the move and scientists say the reef is improving.

The expert panel of the ­UNESCO World Heritage Committee has released a report recommending the reef be placed on a list of World Heritage sites in danger as it faces risk from climate change and degrading water quality from agricultural run-off.

Farmers within the Great Barrier Reef catchment area have warned they will lobby hard against any extra regulations after the report recommended a ­reduction in run-off from banana and sugarcane farming.

Ms Plibersek faces a battle to stave off a formal ruling when the report is considered at the meeting of the World Heritage Committee in mid-2023. Having recently met with UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay in Lisbon, she will speak with her international counterparts at global environmental talks in Montreal next month.

The Australian understands Ms Plibersek is prepared to lobby hard if a formal proposal to place the reef “in danger” is made.

Ms Plibersek and her Queensland counterpart, Meaghan Scanlon, sought to distance themselves from the report’s findings, arguing they were the result of the former Coalition government’s failure to act on climate change.

“The reason that UNESCO in the past has singled out a place as ‘at risk’ is because they wanted to see greater government investment or greater government action – and since the change of government, both of those things have happened,” she said.

“We’ll clearly make the point to UNESCO that there is no need to single the Great Barrier Reef out in this way.”

Former Coalition environment minister Sussan Ley only last year successfully fended off an attempt downgrade the health status of the reef. She flew to Europe last July to directly lobby World Heritage Council members.

Steve Edmondson, a reef tour operator in Port Douglas, said the UN-backed report relied on old ­information gathered during a monitoring mission in March while the reef was going through a mass coral bleaching event.

“I don’t think it considers that there are a lot of positive things that have happened in the past year,” he said. “The reef is in excellent condition at the moment and that’s what our guests are experiencing every day.

“It’s actually doing better than it has done for a very, very long time. It is fragile, but I do feel ­encouraged by the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.”

An August report from the commonwealth’s chief independent marine science agency found the northern and central parts of the reef have the highest amounts of coral for 36 years, ­despite another bleaching episode earlier this year.




U.S. New Homes Market Cap Continues Plunging in October 2022

Political Calculations initial estimate of the market capitalization of the U.S. new home market fell to $26.74 billion in October 2022. This partially complete twelve month moving average is 11.2% below the new home building industry's November 2020 peak. It's also 3.6% below the revised estimate of $27.75 billion for September 2022, which was revised down from an initial estimate of $28.29 billion.

The latest update of the chart tracking the time-shifted trailing twelve month average of the U.S. new home market cap shows that development.

Trailing Twelve Month Average New Home Sales Market Capitalization in the United States, January 1976 - October 2022

The following two charts show the latest changes in the trends for new home sales and prices:

New home sales continued downtrend:

Trailing Twelve Month Average of the Annualized Number of New Homes Sold in the U.S., January 1976 - October 2022

Upward price trend may have peaked:

Trailing Twelve Month Average of the Mean Sale Price of New Homes Sold in the U.S., January 1976 - October 2022

For these time-shifted moving twelve month averages, these changes are being clocked now as older, higher sales and price data from previous months are dropping out of the moving average calculation. There are indications however from October 2022's raw data that the downward trend may be slowing. Here's how Reuters reported an "unexpected" reversal:

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly jumped in October, shrugging off rising mortgage rates and house prices, which have drastically eroded affordability.

New home sales rebounded 7.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 632,000 units last month, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. September's sales pace was revised down to 588,000 units from the previously reported 603,000 units.....

The median new house price in October was $493,000, a 15.4% increase from a year ago.

These figures refer to the raw figures provided in the U.S. Census Bureau's latest monthly report on new residential sales. That report also indicates the average new home sale price for October 2022 was $544,000, the highest average sale price recorded since July 2022's just finalized all-time record peak of $564,900. That the new, unexpectedly high figure is below that value potentially confirms the peak in new home sale prices.

Falling sales and now falling prices. There's a reason why the sentiment of new homebuilders has reached a decade low. After all, the last time the industry's market cap was falling at a similar pace was during the deflation phase of the early 2000s housing bubble.


U.S. Census Bureau. New Residential Sales Historical Data. Houses Sold. [Excel Spreadsheet]. Accessed 23 November 2022. 

U.S. Census Bureau. New Residential Sales Historical Data. Median and Average Sale Price of Houses Sold. [Excel Spreadsheet]. Accessed 23 November 2022. 

Australian Politics 2022-11-29 08:39:00


Controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson savages Qantas over Acknowledgement of Country played on board his flight to Perth - slamming it as 'corporate propaganda'

From the first time I became aware of him, I have agreed with most things Peterson says. So I am delighted that he has denounced this self-congratulatory nonsense. If Aborigines have some claim on white Australians, the Palestinians also have some claim on Israel. It's very much a matter of opinion and should not be forced on us all

And nobody is mentioning that the Aborigines are themselves conquerors. They over-ran Australia's original pygmy race to the point now where the pygmies are found only in up-land areas of far North Queensland. Last time I was in Kuranda, a pygmy walked right past me as I was sitting in an open-air cafe

Jordan Peterson has slammed Australia's national carrier for playing a message onboard his flight to Western Australia recognising the land's traditional owners.

The controversial clinical psychologist, podcaster and best-selling author, in a tweet after stepping off the plane, called the Indigenous Acknowledgement of Country 'corporate propaganda'.

The Canadian, 60, is currently embarking on a speaking tour of Australia and touched down in Perth on Monday.

'I could really do without the land acknowledgment propaganda delivered to me by a corporate behemoth @Qantas,' he posted.

'I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way. Stick to (1) flying and (2) making money.

'I don't want or need moral lessons from you or any other corporation.'

What is an Acknowledgment of Country?

Acknowledgment of Country is a ceremonial statement that recognises the traditional ownership of Australian land.

An Acknowledgement of Country may take the following form:

'I wish to acknowledge the [collective traditional owner's name] people as the traditional owners of this land.

'I would also like to pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be here today.'

The post sparked a flurry of angry tweets with many Australians firing back at Dr Peterson for not respecting the custom.

'Such a negative bloke you are constantly complaining about everything do you ever laugh?' one person wrote.

Another said: 'With the greatest respect, this issue is way beyond your domain of competence. Recognition of Traditional Owners is a practice widely accepted across the Australian political spectrum. It is not propaganda. There are some issues you as a visitor should leave alone.'

A third commented: 'Can you explain this? I'm not for or against it, but it's a acknowledgement of this country's history and traditional owners. It respects history. Is there something inherently bad about that?'

Acknowledgement of Country announcements, along with Welcome to Country announcements at events, are now a common custom throughout all levels of Australian society, including government.

Qantas, along with many other major Australian companies, have a firm policy in place to acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous culture.

'As the national carrier, we are uniquely positioned to connect people to the world's oldest living cultures through our domestic and international networks,' the airline's website says.

'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are integral to the Spirit of Australia and we seek to amplify this throughout our customers' journeys.

'We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, live and fly. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.'


Bombshell as two Aussies WIN their Supreme Court case over Covid fines - and it means as many as 45,000 penalties could be struck down

Thousands of Covid-19 fines worth millions of dollars could be ruled invalid after two Sydneysiders won a landmark test case in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

The man and woman claimed their infringement notices were issued in such vague terms they could not be legally enforced and would be difficult, if not impossible, to challenge in front of a magistrate.

On Tuesday morning, barrister David Kell SC for the Commissioner of Police told the Supreme Court the pair's Covid penalty notices would no longer be enforced.

'These two notices do not sufficiently state or describe the offences in general terms,' Mr Kell said.

The two claimants, Brenden Beame and Teal Els, will have their fines refunded. A fine issued to a third claimant, Rohan Pank, had already been repaid.

The ruling could set a precedent that sees many of more than 45,000 unpaid penalty notices for Covid-related public health order breaches in NSW withdrawn.

Kate Richardson SC, for the claimants, said there were 32,648 fines - totalling almost $33million - issued for the same reason as that given to Mr Beame so 'in all likelihood' they too would be declared legally invalid if challenged.

She has asked Justice Dina Yehia to publish detailed reasons for the fines being declared invalid to make it 'absolutely plain' why they were withdrawn.

'This is a case that has ramifications beyond Ms Els and Mr Beame,' Ms Richardson said.

Ms Els was fined $3,000 for unlawfully participating in an outdoor public gathering.

A class action in NSW could now go ahead and similar law suits would likely be pursued in other states. There were 19,000 fines handed out in Victoria for breaches of Covid lockdown laws, and tens of thousands across the rest of Australia.

Redfern Legal Centre ran the case against the NSW Police Commissioner and Commissioner of Fines Administration on behalf of Mr Beame and Ms Els.

Mr Pank had his $1,000 fine withdrawn in July after the administrative law court action was launched.

When the matter was before in court in July it was heard if the claims succeeded fines worth millions of dollars issued across NSW could be invalidated.


A Tasmanian tribunal has rejected the right of same-sex attracted people to hold social functions that exclude transgender people

This gets crazier and crazier

Launceston lesbian activist Jessica Hoyle had sought an exemption from Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act to run female-only “drag-king” shows and other lesbian events.

The exemption was denied by Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt in July 2021, prompting Miss Hoyle to appeal to the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

In a ruling late last week circulated on Monday, the tribunal rejected Miss Hoyle’s appeal, finding the desire for female-only lesbian events was insufficient justification for an exemption.

“While the applicants may not wish to comply with the Act and find aspects of its application to transgender and transsexual women irksome, particularly in the context of the event they would like to hold, that is not a sufficient justification,” ruled tribunal member Kate Cuthbertson.

Ms Cuthbertson SC said arguments by Miss Hoyle claiming “patterns of criminality and nefarious motivations” for transwomen attending female-only events were “not supported by empirical research or compelling evidence”.

Miss Hoyle told The Australian she was disappointed in the decision and would fight on, if necessary all the way to the High Court, believing same-sex attracted females should be able to exclude “people with penises” from social events.

“This decision erases the rights of women and freedom of association for lesbians,” said Miss Hoyle. “It is harmful to everyday, average lesbian women and gay men, who just want to be able to meet one another in a safe environment, and not have members of the opposite sex harass us.

“I’m all for transgenders and transsexuals having their own events, their own spaces, but (they ought) not force themselves on to anybody else’s rights. We are seeing in this country the erasure of women’s rights.”

However, Rose Boccalatte, of Equality Tasmania, welcomed the tribunal ruling. “This decision upholds the integrity of our gold-standard Anti-Discrimination Act and sends the message that trans and gender diverse people are equally protected by that Act,“ Ms Boccalatte said.

“It is very welcome to see the tribunal calling out misinformation about transgender women.”

Miss Hoyle said she was seeking further legal advice but was likely to reapply for an exemption taking into account aspects of the tribunal decision.


Climate reparations are sycophantic, virtue-signalling lunacy

Mike O'Connor

Summer, praise the Lord, is all but upon us so what will it be this year – fire, flood, cyclone or perhaps a plague of locusts?

Whichever is visited upon us, it will be hailed in apocalyptic terms as presaging the end of civilisation and a vindication of the beliefs of the wild-of-eye zealots who shriek “climate change” at the approach of every passing shower.

Reporters will stare sternly down the barrels of TV cameras with well-practised frowns and declare that we are experiencing the hottest/wettest/coolest/driest summer in history.

History shows that it’s all happened before and is guaranteed to happen again, but climate change and its attendant mantra of net zero emissions are the new religion, the opium of the people, with the federal Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Chris Bowen its anointed high priest.

To suggest that the end is not nigh is to court mindless wrath and tiresome self-righteousness so better, perhaps, to sit quietly and wait for the lights to go out as our little nation of 26 million souls seeks to save the planet and destroy our children’s future.

Our latest commitment is to pay climate reparations to developing nations for the damage as a developed nation that we have allegedly caused them to suffer.

Lots and lots of free money, it seems, will go some way to assuaging this hurt.

China is classed as one of these so we will be in the happy position of paying one of the world’s biggest emitters for our alleged sins.

If anyone can find a better example of sycophantic, virtue-signalling lunacy, I’d like to hear it.

As well as the imminence of extreme climatic events, these being those previously known as tropical and sub-tropical weather, the onset of summer signals the end of the parliamentary year, reason enough to crack a coldie and utter a silent prayer of thanks that we will be spared the self-congratulatory, chest-thumping crowing of our leaders for a precious few months.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese continues to enjoy the support of the electorate, but the storm clouds are beginning to gather as the unions call in their markers and Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke dances puppet-like to their tune.

How lovely it would be if all you had to do to create a workers’ paradise was to give everyone a pay rise and entitle them to work fewer hours.

It’s amazing that no one has thought of it before.

More paid leave is also a sure way to lift productivity – paternity leave, maternity leave, domestic-violence leave and now a campaign for menopausal and menstrual leave.

The cost-of-living “crisis” will continue to make headlines through summer, a ”crisis” apparently lost on the millions of Australians who rushed out to buy things they didn’t need on Black Friday because a lot of retailers told them that they would save money if they did so. The more you spend, the more you save. Brilliant!

In sunny Queensland, Opposition Leader David Crisafulli must be looking at the Daniel Andrews victory in the Victorian state election as confirming what he suspected, which is that it is possible to fool most of the people most of the time as the Palaszczuk government staggers from one disaster to another, arrogance building on arrogance.

Crisafulli keeps jabbing away, but the only person on the Opposition benches whose punches appear to do any damage is his deputy Jarrod Bleijie.

The fact that Health Minister Yvette D’Ath and Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll have not resigned in disgrace says everything you need to know about this government.

Police Minister Mark Ryan should have joined them but could be spared, perhaps, in the light of his emerging talent as a stand-up comic.

As evidence mounted that your average goldfish would have a greater grasp of the police portfolio than his good self, the minister fired back by saying that Crisafulli should change his name to “Crisa-full-of-it.”

The cut and thrust of such a rapier-like wit is truly a joy to behold. I don’t know who is writing his lines, but I would suggest that they seek another line of work. Please!




The S&P 500 Rises During Slow Trading Week

Shortened by the Thanksgiving Day holiday, the S&P 500 (Index: SPX) mostly rose during a slow trading week, only dipping slightly on Friday, 25 November 2022 to end the week at 4,026.12. The index is 770.44 points (or 16.1%) below the index' all-time record high close on 3 January 2022.

The newly updated alternative futures chart shows the index' trajectory as running to the high side of the range associated with investors focusing their attention on the current quarter of 2022-Q4.

Alternative Futures - S&P 500 - 2022Q4 - Standard Model (m=+2.0 from 13 September 2022) - Snapshot on 25 Nov 2022

We'll soon be entering a period where the echoes of past volatility will skew the dividend futures' model's raw projections. Looking past that period however, we see the projections for 2023-Q1 are rising to a similar level as today's stock prices. That opens up the possibility that when investors act to shift their forward-looking focus away from the current quarter, which they'll be forced to do in the next several weeks, stock prices may not change much from their current level.

Until, that is, investors have reason to look past 2023-Q1 to consider what comes after. As we've seen over the past several weeks, the top two drivers affecting how far into the future investors are looking is what the Fed will do with interest rates and when it will do them.

We'll cover what changes they're expecting and when they're expecting them at the end, but for now, here are the market moving headlines of the week to provide the context in which investors made decisions during the holiday-shortened, slow trading week that was.

Monday, 21 November 2022
Tuesday, 22 November 2022
Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Friday, 25 November 2022

The CME Group's FedWatch Tool continues to project a half point rate hikes at the Fed's upcoming December (2022-Q4) and February 2023 (2023-Q1) meetings. Followed by a quarter point rate hike in March (2023-Q1), the Federal Funds Rate is still projected to peak at a target range of 5.00-5.25%. Looking further forward, the FedWatch tool now anticipates a quarter point rate cut in July (2023-Q3) as the Fed is forced to go into reverse by developing recessionary conditions in the U.S. economy.

The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow tool's projection for real GDP growth in 2022-Q4 rose slightly to +4.3% from last week's +4.2% estimate. There continues to be a large gap between its current projection and the so-called "Blue Chip consensus" that predicts near zero growth in 2022-Q4.