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Jeor

Aussies: NSW Politicians, keeping ICAC in business

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For sure it’s going to get radical. TBH, I’m surprised organizations like the NRL and AFL are trying for a business-as-usual approach.

I think I’m in a bit of a state of shock at the moment. The real prospect of mass fatalities and severe economic hardship is hitting home. It even makes things like the upcoming US election seem trite.

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Yes, I don't expect the NRL or AFL will be able to get through many games.

At least as far as NSW is concerned, I think the authorities just want to limp as close to Easter as possible. The school holidays begin with Easter and probably quite a few families take a break, and all families will have had to think about childminding anyway. We're a month out from Easter now; they probably don't want to close schools for four weeks, but if they can close schools for only 2 weeks at the end (and then tack that onto the 2 weeks of holidays that begins with Easter) then that gives them a solid period of lockdown with as little disruption as possible, since most families will have already made provision to be home or at least mind their kids for half of that time.

The only thing is, I'm not sure that we can afford to wait another week or two.

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I think Australia is moving too slow in cancelling mass gatherings. Get your shit together pollies! This is about slowing the spread and buying the health care system time.

At least common sense prevailed re: the Grand Prix. 

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Yeah, seeing the mass suspension of schools, unis etc and it doesn't feel like that's on the cards yet here - it's still on the individual unis

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I not be at all surprised if schools & unis don't shut down in the next few weeks. But we were discussing today we don't even know what that looks like. Would everyone be banned from coming in? Or just the students? 

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There's a COAG meeting today with all the state premiers and I think we'll get some more news out of that.

They're cancelling a large number of sporting events (and playing the cricket behind closed doors). I suspect a ban on large public gatherings is going to follow shortly today.

From there it's a very short jump to closing schools. If you can't have large gatherings, surely things like school assemblies and kids playing around at lunchtime are in the firing line, too?

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ScoMo continued his recent trend of ill advised handshakes at the COAG meeting. If I didn't know that his thinking is fundamentally alien to my own when he got elected, the last few months would certainly have shown it to me.

 

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And the timing on the above - Dutton has just been diagnosed with it. Reasonable chance he caught it at a Five Eyes meeting last week which had him being photographed with Ivanka and Barr. And he's almost certainly exposed the entire Australian cabinet to it now.

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Karma gets Dutton. He probably did pick it up in the US, it seems more likely there than here. Supposedly he hasn't exposed the Cabinet to it because he wasn't symptomatic until recently, but there are some articles out there saying people are contagious for several days before they show symptoms. I guess time will tell whether more politicians get it.

I think the decisions to ban large gatherings (500+) and advise against non-essential overseas travel don't go far enough. It's quite likely that more restrictions will have to be implemented in the coming days. From a practical point of view, it would have been better to announce them all in one hit and give people the weekend to digest, rather than a slow drip of uncertainty.

I'm surprised they didn't announce travel restrictions for incoming overseas passengers. While I know the health authorities are not fans of travel bans, they do seem to buy time and in Australia's situation, most of our cases seem to be imported.

Australian share market had an unprecedented rollercoaster in one day, was 8% down and then ended up 4% up, a wild 12% swing. A lot of colleagues here worried about their super. I'm young enough that it doesn't bother me...I'm not going to be cashing in my chips for a few decades yet! And unless you were planning on retiring this year, you'll probably be alright when it bounces back.

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It feels like everyone is expecting a major lock down well be announced any moment, but the government keeps not doing it. My manager messaged my team to say it's very volatile and be ready to switch to entirely working from home at any moment, the kids school is asking about their ability to do class work over the internet.

Yet the government still doesn't even think it's a serious issue, Morrison isn't even going to engage in any self isolation because they're so sure about it all. When will they take this fucking seriously.

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Posted (edited)

My work is entirely under remote arrangements for the next month. I must say I'm tempted by all the cheap air fares at the moment, but it is a bit of a risk if the travel advisories change for the US and I end up in quarantine on the Canadian border...

ETA: Bemused by ppl worried about their super. Unless you are cashing out in the near future, you shouldn't be setting your investment allocation based on a short-term horizon. Silly stuff. 

Edited by Paxter

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7 hours ago, Paxter said:

ETA: Bemused by ppl worried about their super. Unless you are cashing out in the near future, you shouldn't be setting your investment allocation based on a short-term horizon. Silly stuff. 

That's what I thought, too. But a number of people here at work are panicking about it, and for most of them they're not likely to retire soon. This will probably all bounce back in the next 6-12 months anyway and you'll barely even notice it, central banks around the world are so keen to keep the stock market up.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Jeor said:

That's what I thought, too. But a number of people here at work are panicking about it, and for most of them they're not likely to retire soon. This will probably all bounce back in the next 6-12 months anyway and you'll barely even notice it, central banks around the world are so keen to keep the stock market up.

Let’s just say that if you’d parked your money in bonds rather than stocks from ‘08 onwards you’d be pretty unhappy. And that was the largest financial crisis since the Depression - no small event.

It’s all about your investment horizon, I can certainly see why you’d be freaking out if you were planning on retiring soon. But of course, if that was the case, you should have already been highly weighted to fixed income already.

Edited by Paxter

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1 hour ago, Paxter said:

It’s all about your investment horizon, I can certainly see why you’d be freaking out if you were planning on retiring soon. But of course, if that was the case, you should have already been highly weighted to fixed income already.

Having parked a fair bit of cash in my bank accounts (and yes, I know I'm fortunate to be able to say that I have a fair few savings in my account compared to others), I'm actually somewhat looking forward to snapping up some stocks soon. Goodness knows with these interest rates my money hasn't been doing anything sitting in a bank account or even a term deposit. You can barely get 2% these days on any account.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/14/2020 at 3:43 PM, Jeor said:

Having parked a fair bit of cash in my bank accounts (and yes, I know I'm fortunate to be able to say that I have a fair few savings in my account compared to others), I'm actually somewhat looking forward to snapping up some stocks soon. Goodness knows with these interest rates my money hasn't been doing anything sitting in a bank account or even a term deposit. You can barely get 2% these days on any account.

Same. I have been hoarding to savings account since I was saving for a deposit. But now that I've put a hold on buying anything in the near future, I need to find a better spot to stash part of the savings. I think I'm losing money on my savings account at the moment with tax+inflation....

I came down with cold symptoms last week. Work wanted me to get tested and prove I didn't have COVID before returning to office (which i think is illegal...). I'm pretty sure it's not COVID considering I've had cold worse than this and tried to get tested. But the local GPs weren't doing any testing and wanted me to head to the hospital (good 30min away...) where they've set up a testing clinic of sort apparently. I ended up just working from home all of last week (which i quite enjoyed tbh!) cause I didn't feel like going a to testing area with heaps of people who have cold/flu/covid where I will no doubt have to wait in line forever. Feels like I'd significantly increase my risk of exposure going there than just self isolating (which it turns out, i do normally anyway so no different to every day! Who knew i've been quarantining myself all these years :P).

Edited by The Winged Shadow

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13 hours ago, The Winged Shadow said:

Same. I have been hoarding to savings account since I was saving for a deposit. But now that I've put a hold on buying anything in the near future, I need to find a better spot to stash part of the savings. I think I'm losing money on my savings account at the moment with tax+inflation....

I came down with cold symptoms last week. Work wanted me to get tested and prove I didn't have COVID before returning to office (which i think is illegal...). I'm pretty sure it's not COVID considering I've had cold worse than this and tried to get tested. But the local GPs weren't doing any testing and wanted me to head to the hospital (good 30min away...) where they've set up a testing clinic of sort apparently. I ended up just working from home all of last week (which i quite enjoyed tbh!) cause I didn't feel like going a to testing area with heaps of people who have cold/flu/covid where I will no doubt have to wait in line forever. Feels like I'd significantly increase my risk of exposure going there than just self isolating (which it turns out, i do normally anyway so no different to every day! Who knew i've been quarantining myself all these years :P).

Hugs TWS. Sounds like a shitty situation. My first day of working from home is tomorrow, most of my colleagues assume this will go on for at least a couple of months. I’m at least looking forward to the sleep ins!

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Hope you're feeling better soon @The Winged Shadow!

A lot of teachers at work today were secretly disappointed that school hadn't closed. Lots of teachers here have young families so for these teachers the decision to close is easy - they get to stay home and mind their own kids. It's everyone else's kids that are on ScoMo's mind when he doesn't want to close schools.

That being said, there was a fairly significant absentee rate and some nearby schools had 30% of kids not coming. If this continues (and the absentee rate continues to climb) that might force the government's hand. I sympathise with one of the government's difficulties, which is that once closed, there's no real clear plan of when or how to open them again.

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7 hours ago, Paxter said:

Hugs TWS. Sounds like a shitty situation. My first day of working from home is tomorrow, most of my colleagues assume this will go on for at least a couple of months. I’m at least looking forward to the sleep ins!

I started work at 1PM today.....

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While my office hasn't been instructed to WFH all the time yet, I chatted with my manager today and confirmed that I'm ok to do so. With my health track record and easily overloaded immune system (at least in the last 6-12 months) I consider myself higher risk than my age would indicate and don't want to take chances.

And work really doesn't want to lose more of my time to illness so in both our interests.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, karaddin said:

While my office hasn't been instructed to WFH all the time yet, I chatted with my manager today and confirmed that I'm ok to do so. With my health track record and easily overloaded immune system (at least in the last 6-12 months) I consider myself higher risk than my age would indicate and don't want to take chances.

And work really doesn't want to lose more of my time to illness so in both our interests.

Good move K.

Some quick comments based on the ever-changing state of affairs:

  • Australia should "go early" on things like aged care/hospital visits, businesses activating business continuity plans etc. to flatten the curve. We also need to go much further on financial support for businesses and vulnerable groups. Our debt to GDP ratio is low compared to our peers and we have a AAA rating - it's time to make use of that wriggle room.
  • Upcoming decisions around business closures/local or regional lockdowns etc. will be critical from an economic standpoint. A services-based economy can only go so long in lockdown without causing widespread unemployment, which will have flow-on effects to the housing market. In the UK, BoJo seems to have made a decision not to sacrifice the economy, while Spain and Italy (and, sort-of, France) look likely to go the other way.
  • The economic impact on Australia will be much greater than the Financial Crisis. We were basically shielded from that crisis by small exposures to the US housing market and a rising China. The Government will likely have to do some things it did during the Crisis (e.g. increasing the deposit guarantee to $1m; guaranteeing wholesale funding of banks; fiscal and monetary stimulus) and some things it did not (e.g. targeted bailouts of key industries).
Edited by Paxter

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