||Issue No. 292||02 December 2005|
A Free Vote
Interview: The Binds That Tie
Unions: Worth Cycling For
Industrial: The Elephant in the Corner
Legal: A Law Unto Themselves
Politics: Ethically Lonely
History: Women, Unions, Banners and Parades
Women: Relaxed and Comfortable?
International: The Last Social Democrat
Review: The Corpse Bride
Culture: Tony Moore Holds His Own
The Locker Room
John Bares All
Tom A World Away
Letters to the Editor
John Bares All
My philosophy? I assume the very worst is possible then go about protecting yourself as much as possible from the potential downside, especially when times are good.
I think it is much safer to be and pessimist and essentially defensive in nature when looking at economic realities - the damn thing is so hard to predict. Let's face it, we have had an extremely good run over the last decade, and eventually all good things must find a balance.
None of this is rocket science, it simply takes into account the type of outcomes that seem typically associated, historically, with economic 'boom' and 'bust' cycles (in other words, generally predictable dynamics). The problem as I see it is 'when life is good we tend to forget past horrors, until once again reminded through painful experience that life does have checks and balances'.
I think we are now just seeing the tip of the iceburg when it comes to the reporting of corporate scandals, and the only reason many of these cases have remained largely undetected (except for the spectacular collapses such as OneTel and HIH) is because we have had it so good (economically) for so long. When cash (supported by excessive lending and borrowing) is freely flowing and everything looks rosey we have tendency to overlook any negative long term-consequences that may be lurking around the corner (life is good , so who gives a shit!).
However, when the tide goes out and the economy slows, we should start getting a pretty good indication as to who the patsies and sharks have been.
There also seems to be an emergence of what can only be described as an 'unholy alliance' between business and government, and unfortunately our pollies are not the savvy dealmakers they may think they are.
In my limited opinion, the mechanics of business and politics are worlds apart - just look at the deals being brokered between the NSW government and private enterprise - unintended consequences are rife and proving to be very expensive lessons. It is clear here who the patsies are, and it is not the private deal makers.
As for the the housing market, it should throw up some mouth watering bargains for the savvy bargain hunter, as many lenders are now trying to recoup money from people who overextended themselves by borrowing in a overheated market.
I am also convinced that Mr Howard has tried to put the cart before the horse by trying to introduce his IR reforms in their current form. In fact, if he focused on addressing major corporate governance issues, red tape, and taxes, by the time he got around to addressing IR, the glaring holes and opportunities for abuse would probably reverse his thinking drastically (couldn't help having one last dig about IR).
John McPhilbin, NSW
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