The Big Gang Theory – is now facing withdrawal symptoms!

The Big Gang Theory – is now facing withdrawal symptoms!


Ask any business owner what the key to business longevity is and nine times out of ten the answer will always be – customer service. It all started just before the running of the 150th Melbourne Cup when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced its Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy decision.  The punters were shocked with this rate rise shock – the fourth increase in 2010. The cash rate increase was later to be described as the RBA makes pre-emptive strike, economists say. Then as quick as Americain down the Flemington track the Commonwealth Bank adds 45bp to home loan rate effective from today, citing “overall wholesale funding costs continue to increase as cheaper funding expires and is replaced with more expensive funding”. The banking stewards (otherwise known as politicians) were quick to saddle – up although opposition Treasurer Joe Hockey was already in a somewhat awkward and lonely canter.

A graph that has figured prominently in Virtual Realty News is the Household Estimates of 2007 – 08 which is the last Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) measure of Australian households that rent, own with a mortgage and own without a mortgage – which I call The Big Third Theory.

  • The number that rent – 2,399,900 which equates to thirty (30) per cent.
  • The number that own with a mortgage – 2,835,200 which equates to thirty six (36) per cent.
  • The number that own without a mortgage – 2,679,200 which equates to thirty four (34) per cent.

Based on this anecdotal data where with each and every cash rate increase the impact affects sixty six (66) per cent or 5,079,100 Australian households. Politicians need to cease being statues.



Another Tim Mooney brilliant capture that would make a great front cover for Eastern Suburbs real estate agents’ Christmas cards – nothing beats a sensational aerial shot.

Credit card debt more common than mortgage debt and we all know that the Big Gang Theory of increased funding does not apply when they are already charging consumers around twenty (20) per cent. When the Melbourne Institute revealed their June quarter 2010 results they announced that for the first time since November 2006, credit card debt is the most common form of debt among Australian households, rather than mortgage debt. The number of households with credit card debt was 36.6 per cent, while 33.9 per cent had mortgage debt. Credit card rates should be at the very same rate as home mortgage rates.

Customer service is all about meaning business not being a mean business – The Big Gang Theory.

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Joe Hockey has good idea, no – one takes notice given banks showing no rates restraint, despite massive profits so out came Joe Hockey’s Nine – Point Plan when he addressed the AIG Annual National Forum in Canberra on October 25 in Canberra – “It’s time to talk banking.” Banks, rates and regulations: who’s in charge here? As Westpac chief Gail Kelly calls for calm as anger builds over bank rate rises given the banks are wary of Hockey bandwagon. The irony being that just only last week it was Hockey who was copping the bashing when he suggested that he’d re – regulate interest rates. As Dennis Shanahan wrote in The AustralianIt’s Hockey’s turn to bash Swan. “In just a few moments yesterday, Joe Hockey and the Coalition went from being buffoons to heroes. And Wayne Swan went from being economically and politically superior to being populist, ineffective and trailing the opposition Treasury spokesman on banking policy.” Out from the gates then jumped Wayne Swan flags banking reforms declaring the federal government would now announce banking reforms next month prompting Hockey “The Jockey” to demand release reform plan now – the “Big Fella” was now on a roll dining out on roasted swan.

There was still plenty happening within Fort Fumble’s home economics kitchen when Phillip Coorey from the Sydney Morning Herald revealed – Out in the cold: Rudd held fake budget meetings to stop leaks not to be confused with steamed leeks. “Kevin Rudd and his senior ministers were so suspicious of Lindsay Tanner that they used to hold fake pre – budget meetings to ensure their plans did not leak. According to accounts of meetings of the now abandoned Strategic Priorities and Budget Committee, nicknamed the gang of four, some meetings with Mr Tanner would deliberately be light on detail. After the meeting concluded and the then finance minister had left, the other three members of the committee – Mr Rudd, Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan – would reconvene and discuss their budget plans in detail.”

Lindsay Tanner is writing a book and I can’t wait to read that given the revelations say very little for Kevin Rudd’s schoolyard games amid financial crisis. I can’t ever remember reading a more damaging report about an elected Australian government’s economic credibility. I must admit that I have always been a Lindsay Tanner admirer – he was smart, to the point and definitely not a populist policy proponent.  Kevin Rudd denies holding fake budget meetings … why am I not the least surprised.

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In the meantime, Australia is bathing in a budget surplus (not) as Labor racks up $25.2 billion deficit in just three months shadow minister for finance and debt reduction Andrew Robb reported. The latest government financial statement reveals a staggering budget deficit of $25.2 billion for the first three months of the financial year. “The government is banking on improvements in revenue to bring the budget back to surplus, yet this statement shows no signs of the level of improvement that will be required and therefore spending must be cut.” CommSec chief economist Craig James estimates that the underlying budget deficit in the year to September was a record $63.3 billion. “The main concern is that revenues are still tending sideways rather than showing signs of repair. Meanwhile, government spending is at record highs and showing no signs of stabilising.”

Without a doubt one of the smartest economic reports that I have read is Economic reform will curb pressure on rates which lays much of the blame for increased interest rates on inept government policies. “But while rate rises are a blunt instrument, they are just about the only way the RBA can suppress demand. With a rising dollar, which will depress exports other than minerals and energy production, it is an automatic stabiliser that will slow the economy. A far better solution would be for government to have invested in infrastructure – railways and ports – to increase the efficiency of exports and to have improved productivity in southeast Australia, which is not benefiting directly from the boom. But the Howard government spent the taxes raised by energy exports on its watch on welfare payments and Kevin Rudd threw money at unproductive job programs, as Julia Gillard is still doing.”

“In the current circumstances, the price of stalling economic reform will be more painful than interest rate rises”. Hence, building approvals slide more than expected in September with a 6.6 per cent fall – in the year to September building approvals were down 11.6 per cent.

So figures confirm building weak which is understandable given the Gillard government still has more than $6 billion to be spent with her Building Education Revolution. Don’t blame the Big Gang Theory entirely as we all know they suffer on compassionate grounds. The answer should not be directed to angry customers should switch banks: Gillard rather economic reform, and we all know what happened to the Henry Tax Review.

No wonder Australians want an election – now given both forms of government continue to ignore economic reform. It is becoming increasingly obvious that economics is not a strong point for either party of choice – hence the ongoing and growing budget deficit.

When it comes to Nation Building – Fort Fumble (Gillard) has lost the plot!

Subscriber sales jumped to $986,510,220 so we are closing in on the magic $1 billion in subscriber sales.

Cheers ^__^

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6 Responses to “The Big Gang Theory – is now facing withdrawal symptoms!”

  • Ann says:

    Interesting that the other banks have been slow to follow. Change from the norm.

  • mary ashton says:

    Why is it that no one comments on the situation regarding the banks whereby they say they need to increase rates above the Reserve’s – if they so desperately need an additional rate rise why don’t they do it at some other time other than at the official RB time ie why didn’t they raise it an extra 0.25 say 3 weeks ago and then another 0.25 yesterday – the banks’ behavious is really despicable.

  • Patricia says:

    mary ashton – To save postage.

  • Gordon says:

    A more significant effect of interest rate increases is found in business loans. It’s understandable that most of the media and public focus is on home mortgages, but the banks have quietly been ramping up their rates far more for all business lending.

    Not a word about this among the thespian histrionics from Fort Fumble.

    It’s like all their froth and bubble about “reducing petrol prices”. Most fuel used for pleasure purposes is petrol, and most for business purposes is diesel, so what do they do? Appoint a Petrol Commissioner (remember him?).

    But when we take the record dollar levels into account with world oil parity, the price of all fuels has actually gone up rather than down.

  • Mary, the simple fact that Westpac, ANZ and NAB have refrained from raising their rates since the RBA increase last Tuesday, clearly identifies that they all underestimed consumer sentiment. In some ways what the CBA did when they raised their rates over and above is good given – finally we are seeing something happen that hopefully will make this process entirely more transparent which is not before time.

    Patricia, lovely to see you gracing our boards again please don’t be a stranger 🙂

    Gordon, as usual you are 100 per cent correct. It looks like next week will most interesting in both Forts – although I sense that Wayne Swan will be under increasing pressure to get some direction from Treasury. I have noted that the banks (correctly) are pointing the finger at Fort Fumble to start reigning in their excessive spending mandates. Now it is getting personal.

  • Ann says:

    Wonder when Westpac and NAB will follow suit?

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