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Wednesday, 03 February


The reality of Germany and the buffoons in Brussels intervenes … Bill Mitchell – billy blog

This week, I seem to have been focused on central banking this week, which is not my favourite topic, but is all the rage over the last several days given the decision of the Bank of Japan to use negative interest rates on any new bank reserves and then continue to pump reserves into the system via its so-called QQE policy (swapping public and corporate bonds for bank reserves), and then imposing a tax on the reserves so created. Crazy is just one euphemism which comes to mind. So still on that theme and remembering that the Bank of Japan explicitly stated that the combination of QQE and the tax on reserves (they call it a negative interest rate – same thing) was introduced to increase the inflation rate back up towards its target of 2 per cent per annum, I thought the following paper was interesting. The paper from the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis (published July 2015) – Current Federal Reserve Policy Under the Lens of Economic History: A Review Essay – considers the unconventional monetary monetary policy interventions taken by the US Federal Reserve Bank between 2007 and 2009 and comes to the conclusion that “there is no work, to my knowledge, that establishes a link from QE to the ultimate goals of the Fed inflation and real economic activity”. Maybe the Bank of Japan and the ECB bosses should sent this researcher an E-mail and request his evidence. They don’t seem to have been able to escape from the straitjacket of their neo-liberal Groupthink.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis Research Paper initially considers a brief history of central banking and makes the point that:

… the Bank of England … was a central bank, which had a symbiotic relationship with one of its key borrowers, the British Crown. The Crown, by granting the Bank monopoly respect to ci...


Anti-Poverty Network Summer School Anti Poverty Network SA

Join Anti-Poverty Network SA for the second of three interactive and stimulating afternoons of conversation and debate. Friday 5th February 12pm Clayton Wesley Uniting Church Corner of Portrush Rd. & The Parade, Adelaide, South Australia 5067 Over the course of summer there will be educationals on the history of welfare (and attacks on welfare recipients); how ... Read more


Recommendation to curtail Solar Bonus Scheme rejected by Qld govt Renew Economy

Queensland govt rejects Productivity Commission recommendations to review 50% RET and cut short Solar Bonus Scheme, as measures to rein in soaring electricity prices.


Lesser of Two Weevils Co-Op — Organic produce buying group Sustainable Living Armidale

The Lesser of Two Weevils Co-Op is a buying group that has been operating in Armidale for the last 18 years. We co-ordinate the ordering of organic produce at wholesale prices both locally, from Bellingen and from United Organics in Brisbane. Members of the co-op take turns to order, bookkeep, host and sort a $35 [...] full article »


Rocket’s Resources — Armidale’s resource recovery centre Sustainable Living Armidale

Armidale’s resource recovery centre is next to the Armidale and Region Waste Transfer Station along Long Swamp Road. Drop things off or just come in and have a browse. Open Monday to Friday 8am–5pm Open Saturday, Sunday 12pm–5pm Phone:{local land line prefix}29518 | Facebook Group | Email full article »


Bimblebox: Art – Science – Nature is opening this Friday night at 6.00pm at NERAM Sustainable Living Armidale

[ Friday, 5 Feb; 6:00 pm; ] Just a reminder that our new exhibition Bimblebox: Art – Science – Nature is opening this Friday night at 6.00pm at NERAM and the curator Beth Jackson will be presenting a tour of the exhibition on Saturday morning at 10.30am and it would be great if you could come along.   full article »


Working bee to plant Eucalypts, Tea Trees and Snow Grass following approved community grant Sustainable Living Armidale

[ Sunday, 14 Feb; 8:30 am; ] The AURG is holding a Working Bee on Sunday 14th February, 2016. Small Community Grants Funding has been approved and Bruce Whan and Gordon Bell have been busy preparing sites for planting. The working bee will involve planting of Eucalypts, Tea Trees and Snow Grass. Details of the working bee are as follows:- Time: 8.30 am Date: Sunday 14th February, [...] full article »


Senate to inquire into carbon risk, despite Coalition objection Renew Economy

Australia Senate over-rides objections from Coalition government and votes for an inquiry into carbon risks for Australian companies. The Parliamentary Budget Office, meanwhile, confirms that Coalition wants to dismantle ARENA.


Victoria’s climate agenda: will Andrews Government deliver on its promise? Renew Economy

Victoria needs to find new mechanisms to accelerate renewable energy investment and remove some of its most polluting coal generation.


NSW gives nod to Yass Valley wind farm, at half the proposed capacity Renew Economy

Epuron says it's unclear why NSW government has cut proposed capacity of Yass Valley wind project in half, but it will push ahead anyway.


Renewable industry energised for a better year in 2016 Renew Economy

The challenges and opportunities of 2016 are already in full swing for the renewable energy industry, and it’s a quantum leap from where we were this time last year.


General Electric goes all-in on LEDs: ‘The market is ready and our customers are ready’ Renew Economy

In a landmark decision for lighting, General Electric says it will no longer manufacture compact fluorescent light bulbs for consumer applications.


EMC joins forces with Infratec on distributed renewables, battery storage Renew Economy

Australian renewables mini-grid and battery storage specialist Energy Made Clean has joined forces with NZ firm Infratec.


Australia electricity demand jumps as policy makers fail on efficiency Renew Economy

Australia's electricity generation and emissions rising because there are no efficiency policies of note, and coal is maintaining its share of generation.


Adani: the dog that caught the car John Quiggin

Adani has finally received environmental approval from the Queensland government for its proposed Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin. At this point, in a standard news story about a multi-billion project, we’d be reading about the domestic and global banks that were competing to be the lead financiers for the project, and those who would have to content with the crumbs. Along with that, there would stories about the partners and subcontractors who would get the lucrative work of construction.

Instead, we have a long list of banks and other funding sources that have announced that they won’t finance the project, or have pulled out of announced and existing finance arrangements. The list includes the Commonwealth (formerly a big lender to Adani), NAB, the Queensland Treasury, the State Bank of India, and global banks including Standard Chartered (another former big lender), Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Agrilcole and Societe Generale. The US and Korean Export-Import banks have been touted as possible sources, but appear to have backed away. Even the Abbott-Turnbull $5 billion slush fund for Northern Australian boondoggles, seen when it was announced as a rescuer for Adani, now appears unlikely. At the recent Northern Australia Investment Forum, the fund was the centre of attention, but Adani apparently didn’t get a mention, unless it was implicit in Frydenberg’s claim that the government wouldn’t be investing in “white elephants”.

The situation with suppliers is just as bad. Adani sacked the engineering team from Worsley Parsons and the construction group from Posco (also a supposed equity partner) last year. A $2 billion announcement of work for Downer EDI seems to have vanished into thin air. And at Abbot Point, Adani, as owner, is engaged in a nasty brawl with Glencore, the current operator.

In summary, we app...

Sunday, 31 January


2016: The Year of the Commodities Buyer The Diplomat » Pacific Money

This looks set to be a good year for resources importers.

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