Monday, October 20, 2008

Crisis? What Crisis!?

With apologies to Supertramp.

KEVIN RUDD'S popularity has skyrocketed to record levels and support for federal
Labor has soared after the Government's handling of the global financial crisis,
the latest Herald/Nielsen poll finds.

The national poll, the first to
test the Government's recent reaction to the dramatic worsening of the crisis,
also finds overwhelming support for Mr Rudd's handling of the situation,
including his $10.4 billion rescue package.
Which is, one suspects, just why the Ruddster has charged about from commercial tv station to commercial radio station spruiking fear and panic over the WFC.

Setting the scene with language that clearly promotes the idea of catastrophe and impending doom the PM then intones that we should do the opposite of what that language indicates and not panic. Having spent a week or so in this mode, Rudd unveils his package of “spend till it hurts” (the taxpayer) not to parliament but to the media direct.

Used to be those national crises were dealt with within the purview of the parliament. You know oversight, debate, right of reply, etc. Open, transparent and accountability? Not on your nelly.

Extreme times coming to a TV near you...

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Anonymous Jacob said...

Rudd is certainly the worst PM since, er, John Howard. And he gives every indication of wishing to surpass the Rodent's odiousness.

In part it's all Howard's fault (heh heh) for setting the bar so low -- 'though Rudd needn't be so keen to limbo under it.


20/10/08 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Dylan said...

I think I remember one of the pre-election criticisms of the Coalition by the ALP was that policy was being announced in "ministerial statements" (could have the wrong name there) instead of in Parliament. Apparantly the announcement during ministerial statements didn't allow for the Opposition to have their say, test the idea or something like that.

Another thing to add to the "OK for us but not for them" file - along with 'bank bashing', 'not releasing advice' and the like.

20/10/08 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Harry Heidelberg said...

He is being grossly irresponsible since so much of the economy is about confidence. He'd be better off doing an Obama. Confirm the situation is very serious but not resort to dramatic language. All this stuff about war footing is sickening. What is the purpose of it? To bring about a TOTAL rather than partial collapse of confidence?

If you look on the front page of today's (Wednesday your time) Australian you will see a story about the downturn in retail. These anecdotes are more powerful to me than some lagging indicator from the ABS. It tells of a bathroom store in Brisbane and a jeweler in Sydney who have noted dramatic downturns in the past couple of weeks. This is the confidence thing. The vast majority of people will keep their jobs and pay off their mortgages. The panic talk though causes them to stop all discretionary shopping and exacerbates and already very serious situation. Rudd is feeding the negative feedback loop big time.

I am disgusted by his whole approach. Of course the voters love him for it. I was always bound to hate the man.

I'm in Switzerland (is that a groan I hear from you?) and there is no such atmosphere here. In fact the Swiss federal government here has been criticized by the left for saying nothing of much significance. Well perhaps that was until they had to do a package for Swiss bank, UBS. There is no talk of panic though. Switzerland is NOT on an economic "war footing". That sort of language is cringe-worthy.

There are a number of very large multinationals here. There is an ongoing discussion about executive pay. That seems to be the main bone of contention here. The issue is people being paid a lot to destroy value. It doesn't add up. That is the way the American voters thought about the rescue package. An anger that they are sort of having to pony up for something they didn't do.

Each country has its own angle. The Poms are in a shocking state. Even there though I don't notice Gordon Brown using the extreme language Rudd does.

Maybe our cartel style banking market in Australia has its advantages. Since they never had competitive pressure and could make bucketloads by doing nothing, they never had a need for subprime.

Besides it is a bit hard to do subprime when the NSW government locks up all the land and prohibits building.

Don't get me started on them. I will shake with rage.

Cantonal politics in Basel-Stadt are so much more genteel. Ah Switzerland, you soothe me!

22/10/08 4:16 AM  
Blogger Father Park said...

What is the purpose of it? To bring about a TOTAL rather than partial collapse of confidence?

Bullshit policts is the purpose. Create the huge gestalt and then be seen to do something about it.

Retail has been weak for some time - that began with the earlier interest rate rises. Those I supply in retail reported a slower than usual first and second quarters. Staff numbers (in to store distribution providers) have been at some 75% of the same period last year.

22/10/08 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Worst national leadership in history since the Peace of Westphalia.

22/10/08 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Harry Heidelberg said...

Well isn't that interesting. Your indicators and these other anecdotes always seem to be better than the official ones. They always seem to come too late.

The Treaty of Westphalia? Mmm.

Or as the fat comic book guy in The Simpsons would say "worst episode ever"!

As an aside, salmon are back in the Rhine up as far as Basel. An angler caught one the other day that had come from the ocean. Soon the Swiss will have to once again resort to hunting and fishing in order to survive. The main issue with the salmon now is not the water quality. Water quality is now excellent. The issue is the obstructions particularly along the French side (ie locks, hrydo power stations etc). There are a lot of salmon here anyway but most of them are put there.... they don't come from the sea. Part of the reason they are put there is they emit something that attracts the ones trying to make it through bloody France etc. Note I remain silent on Germany even though it could be equally their fault.

Oooh how exciting. A tram is angrily ringing its bell as I look out my window. A delivery truck has held it up for a good minute. A scandal ensues in Basel.

22/10/08 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Dylan said...

Harry: "Part of the reason they are put there is they emit something that attracts the ones trying to make it through bloody France etc. Note I remain silent on Germany even though it could be equally their fault."

Round these parts we like to blame the Germans for...well...most things, actually.

23/10/08 5:33 PM  

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