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Everything posted by Jeor

  1. I suspect it'll be a fairly normal lineup. For the big names, it's still a chance to shine on one of the biggest stages in world tennis and the fact it's in London doesn't hurt (I suspect if the Australian Open didn't have ranking points, there would be a few players who wouldn't mind skipping the long travel to get there). The odd player will miss it - probably those that aren't great on grass - but most of the field will stay in, if it weakens too much I reckon that paradoxically encourages people to stay in. For the journeymen players, it's still a tournament with rich prizemoney, ranking points or not.
  2. Well, Zverev also took out Alcaraz. Feels like the champion is going to come from the top half of the draw (Nadal/Zverev). Nadal's victory was quite amazing. While he was playing on clay (and now owns a ridiculous 110-3 record at Roland Garros, the fourth time he didn't win it being a walkover before the match was played), I don't think many people, myself included, gave him much of a chance against Djokovic. Especially after the almost 36 year-old Nadal's five-setter against Felix and the fact he was playing Djoker at his less-favoured nighttime. But with Rafa, there must be something about the French Open clay that has magical reinvigorating qualities. No one in history has so single-handedly dominated a specific tournament for so long, and he's held it against all-comers.
  3. The inner city seats are an interesting one. While it's true that historically they've gone to the Liberals, there are a few inner city seats that have a more Labor / Greens bent, especially if they're full of younger demographics, socially conscious voters and (for wont of a better term) the "progressive elite". For that reason I think inner city can always be a bit of a toss-up. The Greens always perform much better in those types of seats than anywhere else. I think the real blue ribbon seats for the Liberals are wealthy suburbia - the types of well-off nuclear families that are likely to have more conservative values than inner-city wealth (which is more likely to be affluent young couples or retirees). My electorate of Bradfield (in Sydney's North Shore) has been continuously held by the Liberals since its creation in 1949, and even in the recent election Paul Fletcher held onto it comfortably, with more than twice the primary vote of the second-ranked candidate (an Independent). The Liberal party will be in real trouble if they lose seats like Bradfield. The question is that there aren't too many of those seats around, so they need to find appeal somewhere else. One constituency which fits their (at least in theory) avowed strengths of traditional family values and small business are meritocratic immigrants, which would expand the map for them in some places, but it's hard to see the predominantly white-oriented Liberals doing that well.
  4. Yes. There is a tendency to write off the losing side in any election, which is understandable, but the Liberals/Coalition and Labor have dominated politics for the last 50-odd years. While this was a solid win for Labor (and the Liberals did lose 20-odd seats), it was not by any stretch of the imagination an electoral wipeout of the Liberal party. These things come and go in cycles. For the Liberals it will be a question of whether Labor is in power for the next 3 years or whether it's in power for the next 10. With Dutton at the helm, I'm not sure they'll be able to win back power straight away, but another leading candidate with broader appeal hasn't really emerged and may take some time. I view him more as a placeholder than anything else; he's not really going to win an election (although to be fair, Abbott did, so we can't really write him off completely either).
  5. I don't think getting back into government is the top priority right after an election loss, at least from a practical point of view. The dust needs to settle and the caucus needs to get used to working out the practicalities now that the composition and leadership has changed - and that will be without many moderates in the room. Long-term, there are a few areas (e.g. taxation reform, business-friendly policies) where the Liberals can differentiate themselves from Labor. Labor will save them the trouble of a federal ICAC and green targets etc but they shouldn't attempt any rollbacks. Rollback campaigns are doomed to fail (e.g. Labor's rollback of the GST).
  6. Dutton looks all but certain to be Liberal leader. I don't think he's the man for the Liberals and would much prefer a moderate, but there was always likely going to be a Dutton leadership at some point and following this loss is probably the best time to get it out of the way, as he may not last until the next election. Maybe he'll be Brendan Nelson 2.0? Hopefully that rather than Abbott 2.0...
  7. Totally agree with this. Labor will have to tread pretty carefully with the budget and may end up having to focus on non-monetary wins like ICAC. As much as the latest iteration of the Coalition did not really practice any budget discipline, Labor shouldn't really try to blow it out any further. As hairy as the next 12-24 months are going to be, this could be Chalmers' time to shine and show that Labor can be good economic stewards ala Keating/Hawke. Unfortunately they've already promised the third stage of tax cuts will go through which hamstrings them a bit.
  8. I don't know that you could blame the moderate faction for the Liberal leadership issues. The fact they blocked Dutton as PM and ushered ScoMo instead was more a recognition of the fact that the Right had enough votes to knife Turnbull in any case and ScoMo was a compromise candidate acceptable to the Right. Even though he wasn't a card-carrying member of the Right, his strong (and public) religious affiliation meant that he was not a moderate Liberal in the usual sense of the word. Despite them not getting an outright party leader, the Right has generally been the most united (and hence powerful) faction in the Liberal party for years. Turnbull was an aberration and remember he only just defeated Abbott. In the aftermath of all this election coverage, I am also cautiously optimistic that we might see some progress out of this Parliament. Labor will install a federal ICAC, and probably instigate more action on climate change and will be pushed by the Greens and Independents to do so. Less certain is their economic management; they've been handed a very tough situation to manage, and in an inflationary environment they won't (or at least shouldn't) spend their way out of trouble. They don't have any big economic ideas but usually Labor governments find some good things to spend money on and they're better for closing inequality than the Coalition. It'll be fixing the budget that will be the problem.
  9. Yes, totally agree with this. The moderate Libs have lost their seats because of the hard right faction, which has held onto theirs. Both sides will use the results to fuel completely opposing arguments. The Right faction will say that because their candidates survived, it shows that Dutton etc have the winning formula and the moderates are losers. The moderate faction will obviously say that the hard right Liberal brand which got a national airing (transgender etc) was what lost them their seats. It's pretty obvious with the types of people that captured those lost Liberal seats (Labor, Independents) that the moderate argument is best, but I have a feeling it will be a pretty wild year or two in the Liberal party. Hopefully the moderates get themselves in order before the next election. On a completely different note, I do have a lot of schadenfreude for Kristina Keneally. Fancy parachuting her into a safe Labor seat in multicultural western Sydney when she lives on the (very white) northern beaches. I'm glad that didn't work out. Keneally is one of those people that seems to get a lot of chances in politics. Maybe she is actually a quality operator but in terms of electoral history she is poison (apart from winning her first NSW state seat). She became Premier without contesting an election (party room knifing of Nathan Rees), then lost the ensuing state election in a historic landslde with a 16.5 swing against, then stood as a federal candidate for Bennelong and lost that byelection, then was appointed (without an election) to a Senate seat to fill Sam Dastyari's vacancy. Following Labor factions refusing to give her a safe Senate seat, she was then parachuted into the safe Labor seat of Fowler which she promptly lost. So basically twice she gained a significant position of power without being chosen by the electorate (NSW Premier, federal Senator) and the three times she actually went to the polls she lost (NSW Premier, federal Bennelong and federal Fowler). How she rose to become deputy Leader of the Senate and one of the key voices in Cabinet and Albo's senior leadership team is beyond me.
  10. Well, you can hardly blame ScoMo for going. When you've been the PM, it's hard to stomach another 3 years (at least) in opposition. I can't think of many contemporary party leaders who have stayed on in the immediate aftermath of a lost election, and those that have (Shorten, Abbott) did so after having lost an election as Opposition Leader, not having lost as a sitting PM.
  11. The problem is that Dutton will be elected leader all the same - his hand is strengthened by the losses of moderates from the Liberal caucus.
  12. ScoMo has conceded - and will resign from the leadership.
  13. Yes, unfortunately it's the moderate Libs who have been wiped out (which kind of makes sense, in that the hard-right Libs are the ones who have a firmer hold on their electorates when the going gets tough). If it is Dutton, then I think it's likely to play out as a Tony Abbott 2.0 situation. He'll probably be good at skewering Albanese and score points as Opposition Leader, but would be a hopeless actual PM.
  14. Yes, certainly looks like the Coalition have lost. Labor will win - either outright, or eventually through minority government, but looking likely that they might just squeak in on their own. I must admit to very mixed feelings about PM Albo. When I think of people like Keating, Howard, Turnbull (PMs I liked)...and then even PMs I didn't like, such as Rudd, Gillard, Abbott, even ScoMo...the little we've seen of Albo so far doesn't fill me with confidence that he has the skills and strength required. One can hope that the rest of the Labor frontbench is strong - Chalmers supposedly quite a good Treasurer. Kristina Keneally in trouble - Labor made a big mistake importing her into a multicultural seat. That will be a blow to the current senior Labor leadership.
  15. Correct. The Greens would make the argument for being a third party, but they've never had quite enough seats in the House of Representatives to make it count. The Democrats were another minor party that had a little bit of sway from time to time but they're history now. In Australia, the vagaries of the voting process generally limit the minor parties to Senate seats (which are based on proportion of votes won across the state). To win a seat in the HoR they have to outright win an individual electorate and usually Labor/Liberal/Nationals will take those. The upshot of this is that a minor party can really only amend legislation (the Senate's role) but cannot introduce new legislation or budgetary motions (the HoR role). Government is formed in the lower house and generally the Senate, which has a big crossbench, then acts as the supposed check and balance on the government and lots of wheeling and dealing gets done. At this stage, certainly looks like ScoMo has lost but not in the bag that Albo has won. A very tasty possibility that if ScoMo resigns, Frydenberg and Dutton lose their seats, and with Porter and Hunt retiring, there will be quite a vacuum of experienced leaders on the Liberal frontbench. Who would then be the leader if not ScoMo/Frydenberg/Dutton? Probably Payne, Taylor or Fletcher? Birmingham is in the Senate so he can't do it.
  16. Well, soon it will be time to vote. This has to be the most policy-light election campaign I've seen. I don't even really know what each party is proposing to do apart from casting the other one as something bad. By nature I'm a Liberal voter (and I live in one of the safest blue seats in the country) and I can't help but think that Albanese is a bit underdone to play the role of PM. At the same time, I'm very disappointed that the Coalition doesn't seem to have put in any effort into reforms and have no structural ideas for the economy. Maybe we need a hung parliament where some independents who actually have (good) ideas will be able to force the governing party to adopt something. How depressing!
  17. Well, some will be worse off if they're carrying mortgages greater than the eventual value of their house. But they won't realise that loss until they sell, so you could argue that they're just locked into higher repayments than they needed to be. I think the best chance for house prices is stagnation rather than a crash. A crash scares people and the government will try to prop things up. But if prices just stayed stagnant for a decade while supply kept up and investors got less interested in the market, that would be more politically tenable. They could grandfather in the abolition of negative gearing, really.
  18. I am coming around a little bit to the idea of super - in the sense that dipping into it now for a lasting investment is not that much different than later on. And the fact that young people could do with accessing that money now rather than an impoverished houseless retirement. The thing I am worried about though is the precedent - that super might become a piggy bank for all sorts of things. Up until now, the governments of the day have been pretty good at ring-fencing that money. You can only access it before the preservation age if you have a severe hardship or incapacity. If we say you can access it for first home buyers - that takes one brick out of the wall, and before you know it, you might be tempted to raid super for routine medical bills, for children's education, etc. I know the slippery slope argument is not particularly convincing, but it probably does contribute to my slight leeriness of breaking open super for FHB. My (3) suggestion was more about recognising the fact that young people probably won't have much super anyway, so a more material boost to spending power would be if they could access discounted interest rates or something similar, which would give them a bit more competitiveness against regular home buyers than an extra 20K in super. If you did both (2) and (3), you'd be both helping FHBers with their own cheaper FHB-only properties, and also helping FHBers who want to enter the general market with more competitive purchasing power.
  19. The first-home-buyer issue is a multifactorial equation that needs multi-faceted solutions. I've just read an SMH article that proposes creating FHB-only homes (in much the same way there are properties exclusively for over-55s). Some ideas might be: 1. Limit negative gearing, which is powering some of the investor buyers. It doesn't have to be cold turkey straight away, I'd say limit negative gearing to one extra property and that would start taking heat out of the market. Most people probably positively gear their properties. I suspect the negative gearing tax benefits accrue very much to the high income earners who are incentivised to negatively gear at their tax bracket and these are the ones who can take the hit. 2. Increase the supply of affordable housing. Maybe you do create FHB-only category of homes. Like the over-55s, developers could be incentivised to build these (which they would make less profit on compared to traditional homes) by having relaxed regulations, such as higher floor-to-land ratios, etc. 3. Give FHB some financial power to purchase. I wouldn't touch super. But you might have some government program that helps banks offer more attractive FHB loan products, or at reduced rates or LVRs. The government already offered plenty of discount facilities to banks during the pandemic, I'm sure they could tailor something to the FHB market. The benefits of having (2) and (3) are that they don't really affect existing property owners in any significant way. A gun-shy government could still do (2) and (3) and back away from (1). If they don't want existing property owners to suffer falls in asset prices, but want to help FHBs, they need to artificially split the market.
  20. ScoMo is looking very desperate with these last minute policy thought bubbles. The super for FHB is a stupid idea. As @Skyrazer points out the FHB are unlikely to have much super anyway and they're going to lose all that stuff that would've compounded over 40 years. I wouldn't be surprised if this actually ends up costing the government money because it'll have to fund a few more pensions than normal. The cold hard truth is that FHB are never going to have a good chance of getting into the market unless house prices actually fall in a significant way. And that is too much of a political pill for any party to swallow because the current Boomers and other generations have huge amounts of their wealth tied up in the property market. It's massive intergenerational inequity which is not good for wealth inequality and a healthy society. I'm normally a Liberal voter but I say negative gearing really has to go - or at least limit it to only one extra property. And then some affordable housing and improved public transport access really needs to be built, but that's a longer game. COVID actually holds some promise in that direction (as it would be easier to encourage people to live out in more affordable suburbs if they didn't have to commute into work), but the work-from-home brigade is generally higher earning white-collar jobs, so there's something of a mismatch there. But either way there needs to be more affordable housing in the tenable locations.
  21. Poor Roy. He was a great cricketer, quite a larger than life character as well, but had his personal troubles and demons (e.g. with drink). If the IPL had been around during his prime, he would have been the perfect player for it and would have really found his niche in the international T20 scene as well - big-hitting batsman, could bowl both medium pacers and offspin, electric fielder. McCullum as the Test coach is an interesting choice for England. But I take it they've decided to go with a personality rather than a pure coach. The Stokes / McCullum axis has the potential to be quite dynamic, charismatic and invigorating, but it could also go pear-shaped given that neither of them are known for their professional experience in those roles. In that case I think the second tier of support staff around the England team will be very important. If they get to play to their strengths, the bold appointment of McCullum could work really well. He has credibility with players and is quite a forceful personality.
  22. Yes, this is the real kicker - we already have supply shortages in Sydney, a fall in housing prices and inflation in building materials is really not going to help the supply problem. With these kind of structural issues the downturn probably won't last too long.
  23. As for the political impact, I don't get the impression that older voters will care as much about interest rate rises - most of them will have fairly low mortgage balances (if any) and they'll probably only care about the possibility of the stock market tanking their super balances. What will be interesting is how this affects younger voters. I was fortunate to get into the housing market in the last downturn (I bought my apartment in 2009 after the GFC) and that got me on the ladder. I suspect for young people wanting more affordability and who don't yet own property, they would quite like the idea of the housing market being spooked by rate rises and causing a property crash. On the other hand, for a young person who has just bought at the top of the market and has a large balance owing, rate rises are going to be an absolute killer. I also wonder whether many small businesses will find things tough with inflation and higher rates. If they can't pass on prices without destroying their own demand, and if they've taken on business loans, they might be in trouble here. One thing's for sure, the easy money times are definitely coming to an end...
  24. RBA hikes interest rates by 0.25% (defying expectations that it would be either a 0.15% or 0.4% hike to fit in with the traditional 0.25% incremental strategy given the previous rate was 0.10%). This is the beginning of a fairly relentless hiking cycle that won't stop until at least 2% but potentially go much further. I think the fixed rate mortgages will hold off some of the effects so it will be hard for the RBA to judge down the track whether things are going to plan or not. I think this has potentially torpedoed the Morrison government's chances at the election - it undermines their claim to better economic management, although some might make the nuanced claim that 0.1% rates were obviously an emergency situation and that rates are being hiked shows the economy is in generally good shape.
  25. Under those circumstances, a couple of big increases might do the trick of both the messaging and getting to a neutral rate quickly. It is true they might have to overcook the rates just to get inflation back down - something novel for most of us. I bought my first apartment in 2009, so I just got on the tail end of a rate rise cycle, but ever since then it's always gone down. Now I have a stand-alone house, but thankfully not too much owing on the mortgage. Apart from inflation and interest rates, we're likely to encounter bigger problems down the road with the Chinese economy seriously slowing down. Apart from the current COVID lockdowns hampering the supply chains and Chinese demand, they're going to have issues with propping up their property market and all of that is going to flow through to the Australian materials sector.
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