Get Up! and the ABC

Extremist left-wing lobby group Get Up! – previously described here by Andrew Leigh*

My Imagining Australia coauthor David Madden, along with the ever-energetic Jeremy Heimans, have started GetUp!, a lobbying organisation aimed at keeping the Coalition accountable after they win control of the Senate.

has organised a petition against the ABC complaining about right-wing bias!

MORE than 1000 people have signed an online petition complaining about the ABC’s political coverage, with many saying a tough interview by 7.30 anchor Chris Uhlmann with Greens leader Bob Brown is evidence of a lurch to the Right.

The petition to “get the ABC back to its charter” appeared on a website owned by lobby group GetUp! some weeks ago.

It says the ABC has become a “mouthpiece for political conservatives” and is “a sad version of (Rupert) Murdoch’s Fox News”.

Many of the signatories say Uhlmann is the problem.

Without a doubt Chris Uhlmann is a problem – he does background research, asks questions, fact-checks, and then expects answers. That certainly is not within the usual ABC tradition of giving Bob Brown a tax-payer funded forum to peddle his economic illiteracy – that is what the Parliament is for and Brown can talk as much rubbish as he likes there.

Mind you, if Get Up! push this too hard they might start getting the same sort of media attention.

* From that description Dr. Leigh knows the individuals well – perhaps he could express an opinion on the matter, after all he did write a paper ‘proving’ the ABC had right-wing bias.

Update: A commenter suggests that Get Up! are not the origin of the petition – that it is on their ‘suggestion page’ only.

Update II: Joshua Gans’ view here.

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123 Responses to Get Up! and the ABC

  1. TerjeP

    Section 3a of the ABC charter clearly states that:-

    “the ABC must at all times provide a left wing perspective, advance the cause of socialist democracy and avoid dabbling in incoherent right wing mumbo jumbo”.

    Just kidding. But whatever the charter says they ought to get back to it.

  2. Judith Sloan

    Believe me, the charter is pretty vague and compliance is subjective.

    Now not being into conspiracies, however, the GetUp! move can be understood in the following way. Almost without exception, the ABC peddles a soft-left, “progressive” line. And it gets away with the most egregious behaviour.

    Uhlman is very helpful to keep this game going. The senior managers and Board can wisely nod their heads – see, all these complaints we are receiving about Uhlman – it shows we are balanced. For every person thinks we are too left-wing, there is one that thinks we are too right-wing. Demonstrating without doubt that the ABC is perfect!

  3. OT, but I’m a bit disappointed by ABC science presenter Graham Phillips willing to be the stooge for the government’s NBN roll out in Armidale. I quite like him and he’s doing himself a disservice being a government flunky.

  4. Uhlman is very helpful to keep this game going. The senior managers and Board can wisely nod their heads – see, all these complaints we are receiving about Uhlman – it shows we are balanced.

    That’s quite right. Michael Duffy (Counterpoint) told me he was described as the ABC’s ‘resident fascist’. Apparently a left/right ratio of 99 to 1 is proof they are fair and balanced. Only if it’s 100 to 0 is there a problem.

  5. TBH

    Are these guys kidding? The minute somebody treats the Greens the same way that other parties are treated, it’s a vast conspiracy.

    Nobody was complaining when One Nation were similarly probed. It was appropriate then and it is appropriate now, for all the same reasons. If you are going to have outlandish ideas, you should expect to be questioned on them.

  6. Gabrielle

    Part of the GetUp petition:

    “We have been witnessing the inclusion of right-wing shock jocks and commentators as the main talking force within ABC’s news programming. There has also been a constant demonstration of ABC’s journalists adopting news items, verbatim, from the Murdoch press.”

    A union funded “progressive” advocacy group with a history of Labor connections objecting to free speech when it comes to anything within a whiff of Right-wing?
    No, no surprises there.

  7. Sleetmute

    The irony of the whole thing is that the ABC has devoured (in reality, crowded out) the Age and SMH. They are the chief victims of the ABC’s left-wing bias. Flaws it has, but the ABC is a much better news institution than Fairfax and isn’t reliant on a disappearing revenue stream.
    Re the Oz, the reason its stories keep getting picked up by ABC journalists and commentators is that it is influential in a way the Age, SMH and commercial television are simply not. It has better writers and a more coherent intellectual position.

    As for Andrew Leigh, that ABC bias paper was, for me anyway, the start of the rot. And it appeared well before he became an MP. It’s fine to be clever and provocative, but not recognising when your work is rubbish is a serious character flaw.

  8. GetUp is an ALP front that tried to pose as a grass roots media activist group.

    I signed into it years ago and dipped out when I realised it was not in any way grass roots. You weren’t allowed to actually contribute anything. No scope to even express an opinion. You were just supposed to sign petitions saying Howard is bad. Some staffer at Peter Garrett’s office probably edits it.

  9. papachango

    Are GetUp! just trying to mess with Andrew Bolt’s head or what?

    ABC right wing? Have they read the Drum recently – Chris Berg occasionaly get a gig, but it’s mostly hovering somewhere between far left and revolutionary communism.

  10. papachango

    I’m not convinced they’re an ALP front group. I think they’re just a far leftist group, who probably support the Greens more than the ALP.

    They often criticise the ALP for not wasting enough of our money, and being too right wing.

    I suppose I can see how they might think the ABC is right wing, as while they’re firmly left wing, they’re still to the right of GetUp!

    Quick question, because I’ve heard GetUp! are a bit dodgy in how they count their ‘members’. I signed up once to their online petition against Internet censorship. I unsubscribed pretty soon after as they kept bombarding me with far left emails about other issues. Do they still count me as a ‘member’, and if so how do I get them to stop?

  11. C.L.

    Once again, the Australian left demonstrates its (literal) fascist nature.

  12. JC

    Andrew Leigh was spot on with his amazingly thorough, research which showed just how right wing the ABC is. Only an academic as intelligent and courageous as Andy could have conducted that research and then published it… “Damn the torpedoes”, he must have said to himself, “this nation needs to see the truth” and right wing goons like Fran Kelly, Jonathon Holmes, Kerry O’Brien and fat Tony Jones are not going to get away with it”. Finally have someone speaking truth to power.

    We are also so, so lucky to have him parliament courageously representing the most productive members of our society; Canberra public service.

    Now what to do about Chris Ulhmann who seems 100 times worse than the reprobates mentioned above.

    Perhaps Andy should screw up his courage, take out the amazing algorithm he previously used and direct it at Ulhman like a silver cross to a vampire. Perhaps andy could perform some sort of exorcism rite and cleanse Chris of this terrible illness he seems to have developed.

    So Andy , if you’re reading this , please help.

  13. I’m not convinced they’re an ALP front group. I think they’re just a far leftist group, who probably support the Greens more than the ALP.

    I believe they are courtiers associated with the ALP Left. Ideologically the ALP Right tend to side with the Libs. It’s just that they share a power base with the Left. United in graft and brotherly hatred.

    The pattern of their schtick fits this. They were united against Howard. Their agit-prop was entirely in sync with Rudd’s aspirations to office. The minute the ALP get elected they start criticisizing it for not being pure enough. I don’t the Greens are savvy enough to use the Net this way. Not in my experience anyway. Get Up has the hallmarks of American influence. That’s the ALP.

    I got ’em to stop by changing my emil address. Like I said they pose a grass roots organization but they’re no such thing. It would actually be good to have a transideological real deal based simply on the exposing of government skullduggery and the free exchange of views unified around a commitment to this basic principle.

    I despise the Get Up people because they’re pretending to be something virtuous and yet they’re jus the same old hacks. More lies.

  14. papachango

    I got ‘em to stop by changing my emil address.

    To their credit, all I did was click the unsubcribe link, and they’ve never bothered me again. I’m just concerned they’re still counting me as a number in their database to campaing on issues that I vehemently disagree with. Like when they say that they have 400,000 members who support a tax on carbon dioxide – I do not want to be one of those 400,000.

    It would actually be good to have a transideological real deal based simply on the exposing of government skullduggery and the free exchange of views unified around a commitment to this basic principle.

    That would be good but a little utopian. If you’re going to have a grass-roots activist or lobby group, it helps to have a core set of value to unify it, otherwise you’ll just get squabbles about what they should stand for.

    As much as GetUp’s ‘grass-roots’ qualifications are dodgy and as much as I vehemently disagree with many of their stances, they are united behind a committment to ‘progressive’ (i.e. leftwing socialist) ideals.

    I’ve said this before, but why not have a similar issues-based lobby group, committed to liberatrian and small-government ideals? I’d call it HandsOff!, and position it around telling the government to get its hands off my money and my life. I know some in the LDP don’t agree, but I think such a group would be much more useful in spreading the libertarian message than a libertarian micro-party.

  15. Myrddin Seren

    You’ve got Getup director Simon Sheikh, on doubtless a nice little earn, who can poonce around all day being hailed as a beacon of the progressive Left.

    The very dream of the uni student political activist. He can be a ratbag for as long as he can keep the dollars flowing in. In other words, he is the Peter Pan of Australian student politics.

    And without trawling the archives, did the Catallaxians not previously establish that the core demographic of the Getup support base are:

    Based in the ACT;

    employed in the public service; and

    average age about 55 ?

    meaning that their formative political world view was a certain event of about 30 years ago ( do the maths ).

    As stated before – they aren’t Getup, they are GoughUp.

    Sheikh thus allowing an ongoing outlet for Andrew Leigh’s constituents when he is otherwise busy standing behind the PM and nodding the mantra “The Leader is Good, the Leader is Great”.

    In a way, Sheikh and Co are kind of performing a social good – allowing all those Dismissal tragics a regular chance to vent without getting all overwrought and needing stress leave from the federal and ACT public services. And they pay him for the service.

    Therefore, we should only really object if-and-when the government starts finding more direct ways to toss cash at GoughUp, other than via the public service payroll.

  16. twostix

    It’s bizarre to me to that people can even try and attempt to claim that the inner-city rabidly left-wing uni set haven’t completely co-opted the ABC. As a smug inner city lefty up until a few years ago I knew that the ABC was “ours”. We all knew it, we laughed about it and we defended our broadcaster viciously.

    Now, all grown up, I keep hitting ABC 2 (or 3?) and it’s nothing but a stream of the *worst* and most embarrasing university student mushy left wing pop-political “thought” put to TV. There’s not a pop-left meme that the Hungry Beast or The Drum shows don’t pick up and run with. Almost all originating from the American left. I even saw them doing an ‘expose’ on last months American left’s evil villian the Koch Bros, along with sinister music and fancy graphics and animations demonstrating that they somehow intend to take over the world. I’m quite sure that the Hungry Beast syndicated the entire segment straight from moveon.org.

    The “Australian” angle was that apparently Menzies House are simply a front group for…the Koch Bros. Yet they have no trouble with the likes of old Nazi Georgie Soros.

    They are worried about the ABC though. With the right again on the rise they seem to be making a bonsai charge. Perhaps they fear that Abbott after being treated so poorly by the “balanced” Red Kerry and various ABC radio shows will actually do something about it should he become prime minister…

    Finally why in the 21st century does the Government have *four* TV channels? I though the left were traditionally *anti* government propaganda?

  17. papachango

    Didn’t they carry on about political donations being evil but happily accept $1.2m from some weathly leftist?

  18. Arquie

    GetUp didn’t run this petition – it’s just been organised on their campaign suggestions page.

  19. JC

    papa:

    Rightwingers aren’t like that. You rarely see right wingers/libertarian types take to the streets in protest about something unless it’s really, really serious like when the left is really doing their utmost to fuck up the economy, such the debt explosion in the US or trying to pud a pwice on Carbin here.

    We generally just punish at the ballot box. In a way, I think it’s far more effective, because it causes far more pain. Every coupla weeks in Australia now, you know the left is gripped with total abject fear that the polls being published will invariably show how unpopular they are. That hurts. And the pain it causes is deep adding to higher anxiety levels always a good emotion to illicit from political your enemies.

    Compare that to a street protest.

    Which is more effective in screwing with the lefts head? Look at the pain it caused NSW labor, which I think was equivalent to being tied to a set of tracks with a very slow moving freight train seen for miles heading its way. Same thing with the Demolitionist party in the US, which saw the train from the distance too. That sort of pain is far more satisfying that throwing rocks at shop windows attacking the police and then calling them fascists.

    I think it’s the silence followed by the experience of absolute terror and mental pain which offers more satisfaction.

  20. C.L.

    Funny, isn’t it. The Gillard government will now send asylum seekers to a non UN convention hellhole that tortures refugees and sells some of them into sexual slavery.

    GetUp’s response?

    They want Chris Uhlmann sacked.

  21. papachango

    twostix – they’re happy with *pro* government propaganda when there’s a leftwing incumbent government.

    Can someone tell me (not JC as this always seems to upset him), how Andrew Leigh could possibly conclude that the ABC was right wing? What sort of dogoy methodology and/or definitions of left and right were used?

  22. papachango

    JC – to pinch a wank word from Oakeshott and countless management consultants, let’s change the activist paradigm.

    Why do the protesters and rabble rousers always have to be lefties?

    I think you can safely argue that your criteria of ‘the left is really doing their utmost to fuck up the economy’ has been not only met but exceeded.

  23. JC

    Ulhmann has a fault he needs to address over time.

    The trick used by politicians and extremists loons like Bob Brown is to go on these shows, get asked a question and talk. Talk, talk and then talk some more therefore totally evading the questions. Their trick is when an interviewer tries to interrupt while they are deliberately rambling, they say.. “let me finish what I’m saying first” and then babble on.

    Duck Bum is excellent at this incidentally.

    Kerry O’Brien, if he was good at anything never let them get away with it. He just interrupted their interruptions. Now I understand that Ulhmann needs some street cred before he can do what the former Whitlam staffer used to do, so it will take some time.

    Having said that, Greenslimer and economic illiterate, Bob Brown tried that tacit in the interview with Uhlhmann and essentially got away with it. He just isn’t as good as Duck Bum in the rambling on tactic though, which is why Ulhmann marginally got the better of him.

    So Chris, if you’re reading this keep it in mind and be aware that as you develop street cred you can stop them doing this crap. It will take time of course.

    Review some of the former Whitlam staffer’s interview to see what i mean and how he prevented them from avoiding questions by talking over the top of him.

  24. papachango

    O’Brien would always interrupt and talk over the top of Coalition politicians, but would let the ALP ones ramble on as much as they like, would and just silently nod in agreement with them.

    You can overdo the interrupting and come across as rude, a criticism levelled at Andrew Bolt.

  25. JC

    Can someone tell me (not JC as this always seems to upset him), how Andrew Leigh could possibly conclude that the ABC was right wing? What sort of dogoy methodology and/or definitions of left and right were used?

    Lol.. Write to him and ask him. Email some crap that you’re a political science student, most impressed at his finding (the ABC was right wing), that you thought it was ground breaking research and would he mind sending you the data etc. to help you research it some more.

    Just causally say you work for a “grass roots environmentally aware community group” in Canberra.

    Press a few buttons and he’ll send it to you I’m sure.

  26. TerjeP

    Some non left activist groups include:-

    ALS
    CATA
    Australian Tea Party
    CanDo

    None of them are as well funded or as professionally organised as GetUp but they do exist. If you want more activism then pick one and get active.

  27. twostix

    Why do the protesters and rabble rousers always have to be lefties?

    I always just assumed it’s because the vast majority are young, have no commitments and are spoiled, sheltered, middle class children who have never experienced the slightest hardship in their life. Who upon leaving the nest simply replace their parents with the government and demand that it protect them from reality, provide them with the same lavish, leisurely lifestyle, pat them on the head and accept their temper tantrums and cave to the typical adolescent narcissism that everything would be better if everyone just did as they said.

  28. m0nty

    There is actually an Australian Tea Party? Americanism is insidious. Surely they should reach back into our own history for their name. I would love to see them call themselves the Australian Rum Rebellion.

  29. onthebus

    Was Bill Shorten not on the board of GetUp!

  30. papachango

    I’m too lazy to do that JC. Can someone send me a summary?

  31. JC

    I always just assumed it’s because the vast majority are young, have no commitments and are spoiled, sheltered, middle class children who have never experienced the slightest hardship in their life.

    I’m not so sure. The street has always been the left’s schtick since the French revolution…. when they used to round up the middle class on up and decapitate them.

  32. m0nty

    Can someone tell me (not JC as this always seems to upset him), how Andrew Leigh could possibly conclude that the ABC was right wing? What sort of dogoy methodology and/or definitions of left and right were used?

    The justification I see most often is that the ABC’s stories are often rehashes of the Liberals’ talking points, that they’re running the Opposition agenda.

    Of course, they’re right, but this is a furphy. Both the Liberals and the ABC are currently in the business of holding the government to account, which means they’re going to be talking over the same issues a lot of the time. More pointedly, the ABC is only doing its journalistic job in taking up whatever cudgels the Liberals manage to manufacture and beating the government with them.

  33. Oh come on

    Australian lefties are incredibly unoriginal. They couldn’t have come up with the name GetUp if MoveOn didn’t exist. I think it behooves the libertarian movement to not choose a similar name like HandsOff, because we shouldn’t be aping these foolish leftists. We can surely do better than that.

  34. papachango

    twostix – I suspect you’re right.

    Also, right wingers / libertarians generally have real jobs and are too busy actually supporting themselves and their families to run around the place with placards.

    Changing paradigms is never easy, but it can be done.

  35. JC

    You’re a fucking idiot MontY. Seriously.

    The Libs try and hold the rabble you call the government to account by raising awareness over their incompetence, overspending and dishonesty.

    The lefties on the ABC hold the government to account on one thing and one thing only that rabble you call the government over their seriousness about glimate change. That’s about it other than one interview where Chris Ulhmann drove a steak through the Green zombie’s heart.

    The ABC attack the government from the left, you dunce and always have.

  36. papachango

    @Oh come on – fair point, but find me a better name?

    My thinking was to use their successful techniques against them – use the same type of catchy name and internet campaigning model.

    If I put their politics aside, the’re actually quite well organised. They are very good at using one of the main tools of capitalism, marketing, to spread an anti-capitalist message, so why piggy back off their successful image and use their own tools against them? Seems only fair.

  37. m0nty

    Possible names for a libertarian movement:

    SitQuiet
    KeepSchtum
    DoNothing
    SackEveryone
    TheStrike

  38. papachango

    where Chris Ulhmann drove a steak through the Green zombie’s heart.

    That would hurt – isn’t Brown a vegetarian? But you you’re right, they go the ALP from the left. Mabye Leigh thinks any criticism of the ALP is right wing.

  39. twostix

    O’Brien would always interrupt and talk over the top of Coalition politicians, but would let the ALP ones ramble on as much as they like, would and just silently nod in agreement with them.

    After I (to my eternal shame) voted for Rudd, I waited with baited breath for O’Brien to get stuck into his government. Oh how I (along with most lefties) believed so much that O’Brien was the only fair and straight shooting interviewer in Australia. After a decade of seeing him tear strips off Howards government I was eager to see him do the same to Rudd.

    I waited, and waited, and waited. For six months. Then I got annoyed, “who the fuck CARES about the oppositions leadership problems WTF IS RUDD DOING?” I began to think, eventually I thought “surely someone must be asking the tough questions”. And so I dared peek at the dark side, the off limits Australian. The first step of the path of my journey from myopic pop-leftism to rabid conservatism (via Libertarianism, thanks Judge napolitano).

    So perversely it was O’Brien’s partisan hackery that played a part in helping to drive this former admirer and Labor supporter way over to the other side.

    Bizarrely it wasn’t until I started hanging around conservative sites that I found out that most of my favorite “non partisan, non-biased” ABC personalities were / are Labor party members, advisers, political aspirants.

    I’d say that’s as much the Liberals failing as anything.

  40. papachango

    damn… meant to sany why not piggy back off their successful image

  41. Skuter

    Papa, what about ‘the real Eureka movement’? It is time we small government types reclaimed the southern cross flag! And, as a pleasant side-effect, it would piss off some hardcore unions to boot.

  42. JC

    Twostix

    As a close approximation to a born again. Have you been dunked in the water three times and exorcised yet?

    It’s an important rite to remove any demons that could be be residing dormant ready to strike at a moments notice.

  43. Viva

    Why do the protesters and rabble rousers always have to be lefties?

    Activism is in the left’s DNA. It’s part and parcel of their will to control the conversation and impose change. It’s the intention to intimidate that underpins an always lurking authoritarianism. There’s also that need to publically demonstrate how morally upright you are.

    Right of centre types tend to be more live and let live. We’re less excitable most of the time. Moral outrage is leavened by a gritty realism in many cases.

    The further to the right you go, however, you tend to meet up with the far left at some point.

  44. twostix

    I’m not so sure. The street has always been the left’s schtick since the French revolution…. when they used to round up the middle class on up and decapitate them.

    I have a theory on that.

    Once the spoiled middle class leftists achieve the unconstrained government power they seek and bind the the aspirational classes (using the lower classes [distinct from the working classes] as poltical and/ or literal muscle), they in turn inevitably are then *devoured* by the same lower classes.

    The weak, idealogical university lecturer, the intellectual and the white collar office worker who lead the way to the new order are then never a match for the lower class that they use when it comes to fruition. Given no other choice the lower classes will prefer to be led by a Stalin than a Trotsky, or a Bill Shorten than a Robert Manne.

    Once unconstrained by the traditional morality that the left seems to hate so much they always end up worse off.

  45. JC

    The further to the right you go, however, you tend to meet up with the far left at some point.

    That’s a myth. How can you can a totalitarian Hayekian classic liberal for instance? Milt Friedman?

    It’s a myth perpetuated by the left.

    You can of course begin veering into abject lunacy, as ably demonstrated by a good number of the fellas and gals at Mises.org and Lew Rockwell’s group of lunatics is that the same thing). We see that here in Australia with Sukrit and his 16 member libertarian platoon where he’s managed to morph Ghandian peacenik urine drinking with Rothbard. It’s a truly ugly, terrifying concotion of stupidity that lands people into believing the good side in WW2 were the Japanese. (I’m waiting for him/them to reach the conclusion that the allies were wrong to attack Germany).

    However on the whole they’re pretty harmless although they do give the rest of us a bad name just by association.

    The myth is that the fascist movements were/are far right when in fact when you scratch deeply enough you’ll always find a leftwinger there lurking below the skin.

  46. JC

    Oops…. How can you be…

  47. m0nty

    The myth is that the fascist movements were/are far right when in fact when you scratch deeply enough you’ll always find a leftwinger there lurking below the skin.

    The myth is that fascism is left or right. That’s the point Viva was making, I think. Take either side too far and it’s just brainless fascism.

    Phew, at least I didn’t mention Hitler first. Oh bugger!

  48. JC

    The myth is that fascism is left or right. That’s the point Viva was making, I think. Take either side too far and it’s just brainless fascism.

    It’s leftism with a nationalist bent. That’s all. Now stop spamming threads with drivel, MontY. Enough.

  49. m0nty

    Now stop spamming threads with drivel, MontY. Enough.

    That is particularly humourous coming from you, JC. Do you even have a job?

  50. Viva

    The myth is that the fascist movements were/are far right when in fact when you scratch deeply enough you’ll always find a leftwinger there lurking below the skin.

    IMO in so far that extreme right types tend to be nationalistic, they differ from the extreme left. But the belligerence, selective racism (the left is sometimes antisemitic and in particular anti their own kind), and the authoritarianism seem to be shared traits.

  51. JC

    That is particularly humourous coming from you, JC. Do you even have a job?

    Well yea.

    I just bought some dollar yen at 81.70 because I think it pops higher this afternoon.

    I also bought some Canadian Dollar against yen at the same time.

    I’ve done a few trades this morning, montY.

    What about you?

  52. m0nty

    Ah, so you aren’t actually contributing anything to the economy, you’re just a speculator. No wonder you have time to post 200 times a day to the Cat.

  53. JC

    It’s not the time, MontY. It what you do, like most things, though not all. Now STFU.

  54. TerjeP

    This on the ABC website about an hour ago:-

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/20/3222324.htm

    Chris Uhlmann is spot on regarding Brown and the Greens.

  55. m0nty

    It what you do, like most things, though not all.

    What?

  56. JC

    That’s a pretty decent response by Uhlmann.

    However look at the temerity of this green zombie almost demanding he and the rest of his party of lunatics shouldn’t be scrutinized.

    The freaking impertinence of the zombie.

  57. .

    Ah, so you aren’t actually contributing anything to the economy, you’re just a speculator. No wonder you have time to post 200 times a day to the Cat.

    Christ you’re a useful macrame weaving idiot.

    Without speculators, you wouldn’t even be able to travel overseas. Not without ridiculous markups on bid offer spreads on FX.

    Monty thinks we live in a moneyless economy.

  58. m0nty

    Without speculators, we wouldn’t have had the GFC and my income this year would probably be doubled. I’m a little peeved at speculators at the moment.

  59. .

    we wouldn’t have had the GFC and my income this year would probably be doubled

    No. The GFC would have been worse and your income would have fell by 50% plus the larger spread.

  60. m0nty

    Speculators caused the GFC in the first place, Dot.

  61. .

    You’re tragic fucking idiot.

  62. dover_beach

    Speculators caused the GFC in the first place, Dot.

    Yes, but this is as interesting as saying drivers have accidents.

  63. m0nty

    That’s two Catallaxians today whom I have driven into such apoplectic rage that they lose the ability to type proper English sentences. As Dogbert would say: my average call time is improving.

  64. jtfsoon

    Now now dot, that ain’t the way to engage in outreach. Most laypeople think the GFC was caused by speculators, as opposed to govts creating the institutional structures that mischannelled speculators’ energies. It’s a common mistake

  65. THR

    So what, speculators are off the hook for their actions because of supposed Government influence?

  66. jtfsoon

    They’re not off the hook but they’re not the ultimate cause. Otherwise we’d see a GFC every year since financial instruments were invented

  67. .

    That’s because you talk shit to educated people, this is no different to saying throwing apeshit around in a Chanel store would send the manageress into a fit of rage, therefore the clothes they sell are sub par.

    You mental midget. Speculators caused the myriad of causes of the GFC did they? They caused the war, high oil prices, loose monetary policy, prolifigate spending, CRA loans, Freddie and Fannie, bad loans, the sheltered workshop environment of credit agencies, mortgage rules dating back to the great depression, FHA HUD PM Insurance?

    You monstrous twit.

  68. THR

    As ever, GFC revisionism is a cherished past-time around these parts.
    We don’t need to posit an ‘ultimate cause’, since there probably isn’t one. Sure, monetary policy and all the other factors ought to be considered, but the main culprits, (and the reason why the GFC was a financial crisis at all) were the financial institutions.

  69. m0nty

    Now now dot, that ain’t the way to engage in outreach. Most laypeople think the GFC was caused by speculators, as opposed to govts creating the institutional structures that mischannelled speculators’ energies. It’s a common mistake

    Right, right. And it’s the fault of women that they get raped because they dress provocatively. The Bush administration was a slut, lowering its regulation level like it was a plunging neckline. Men and speculators can’t help themselves, they’re animals!

  70. .

    That’s great THR but who isn’t a speculator? The amateurs buying real estate then should bear more of the blame than the pros who were trading options vs the underlying asset. There were too many micro and macro causes anyway. You have to believe in an extreme and bizzare version of EMH to think speculators caused the GFC.

    The finance community (whom academic economists don’t talk to) think there should have been more derivatives and a central clearinghouse.

    Part of the reason was there were mortgage regulations going back to the great depression (No recourse loans). If speculators have the power to engage in time travel and raise the dead, I’m opening an account with IG markets tonight. Time travel AND necromancy? I’d like some of that!

  71. Jarrah

    “Ah, so you aren’t actually contributing anything to the economy, you’re just a speculator.”

    Speculators contribute plenty. Information, liquidity, and risk spreading for starters. And where do you draw the line? A manufacturing business that exports overseas might hedge with currency deals – are they speculating or being prudent?

  72. FDB

    Causation is not as simple as ideology would like us to believe.

    Is a thief blameless because a property owner fails to install locks?

    Shared responsibility, by its very nature, is something libertarians have a lot of trouble fitting into their worldview.

  73. .

    but the main culprits, (and the reason why the GFC was a financial crisis at all) were the financial institutions

    Not exactly “speculators” unless you take the view of speculator that everything is a trade you can go long/short on. To which in that heuristic you view everyone as a speculator.

    Right, right. And it’s the fault of women that they get raped because they dress provocatively. The Bush administration was a slut, lowering its regulation level like it was a plunging neckline. Men and speculators can’t help themselves, they’re animals!

    ???

    You uneducated Tele reader. It was massively over-regulated. Do you even know what the FHA HUD PM Insurance was? It was a blank cheque for underwriting the mortgage of anyone who couldn’t get one for being a bad credit risk. Related to but independent of Freddie, Fannie or CRA loans. Governments underwriting non performing loans is a measure of deregulation? Fuck me are you retarded?

  74. .

    Shared responsibility, by its very nature, is something libertarians have a lot of trouble fitting into their worldview.

    Society is to blame? Well yes I suppose. The voters also get the Government they deserve, which is something lefties have trouble with, other than being innumerate and poorly read.

  75. Jarrah

    “And it’s the fault of women that they get raped because they dress provocatively.”

    Don’t be offensive. Think of it like pilots relying on their instruments that are supposed to reflect reality. If someone fucks with the altimeter, like in Die Hard 2, then pilots behaving rationally will crash and burn.

  76. THR

    If someone fucks with the altimeter, like in Die Hard 2, then pilots behaving rationally will crash and burn.

    The analogy falls down here because the financial institutions were not the least bit rational. They believed in a never-ending housing boom against which they could trade financial securities. Bad instruments can’t be blamed in the case of a drunk driver.

  77. m0nty

    Only a Catallaxy commenter could blame the GFC on over-regulation.

  78. Jarrah

    “over-regulation”

    Strawman argument. The problem wasn’t the level or magnitude of regulation, but its composition and competence.

  79. FDB

    Society is to blame? Well yes I suppose.

    ‘Society’ needn’t come into it. If the government permits you to do something which is nonetheless destructive and stupid, is it the Government’s fault if you go ahead and do it? Talk about statism. What happened to the wisdom of the market?

    The voters also get the Government they deserve, which is something lefties have trouble with, other than being innumerate and poorly read.

    As a leftie of sorts, I thank you for your unintentional compliment. You’re really bad at writing when you’re cross, aren’t you?

  80. .

    m0nty:

    The US Government were underwriting any loan applicant with taxpayer money through the FHA PMI system. This is because of a lack of regulation?

  81. badm0f0

    You have to believe in an extreme and bizzare version of EMH to think speculators caused the GFC.

    The finance community (whom academic economists don’t talk to) think there should have been more derivatives and a central clearinghouse.

    I don’t think that’s a particularly universal view in regard to mortgage based derivatives. JP Morgan largely avoided getting involved in these because the lack of historical data meant there was no way of adequately quantifying the risk of correlation within the synthesised bundles of debt.

  82. .

    I’m sorry but how do you conclude what the universal view is based on the actions of one (clever) firm before the crisis?

  83. m0nty

    Dot: so you see that as the reason that Lehmann Brothers speculated themselves out of existence? Are you the one who is retarded?

  84. Jarrah

    “If the government permits encourages you”

    FTFY

  85. badm0f0

    Where is there a claim for a “universal view”? I didn’t say “I don’t think that’s a particularly universal view but this is …”

  86. .

    Lehman Bros speculated themselves out of existence?

    They were massively over levered and had too much exposure to the mortgage market, which had been imploding since March 2007.

    If you are calling this speculation, you are merely calling bad business strategy speculation. This is not the same as “blaming speculators” for the causing the GFC and your inability to earn a decent income with your unmarketable skills in macrame.

    Unless you are schilling the equally dopey nonsense that the GFC ‘started’ when Lehman collapsed.

  87. papachango

    The further to the right you go, however, you tend to meet up with the far left at some point.

    I always find this claim interesting, and its one pushed by centre leftists. It’s good that they admit that a logical extreme of social democrat centre-leftism is totalitarian communism, and it’s true that communism and fascism aren’t really all that different, but it doesn’t follow at all that a logical extreme of small government, minimal regulation central rightist is fascist totalitarianism (which is what these groups call ‘far right’)
    If you start out being for capitalism and small government, then get more extreme over time, you’ll turn into an anarchist, not a fascist.
    It’s why I don’t like the term right wing – I prefer Noel Pearson’s three main political categories, liberal, conservative and socialist. The extremes of these three are then anarchist, fascist and communist.
    Some lefties acknowledge the difference between ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ right wingers, and try to tackle both their arguments differently, but most confuse the two.
    Is it deliberate, or are they just ignorant?

  88. .

    Where is there a claim for a “universal view”?

    Talking to finance professionals and academics who believe they are facts.

  89. JC

    Dot: so you see that as the reason that Lehmann Brothers speculated themselves out of existence? Are you the one who is retarded?

    No they didn’t MontY, you blockhead. They were far too leveraged and their risk management sucked and when they had the opportunity to sell themselves the stupid CEO thought the price was too low.

    In fact the people that destroyed Lehman weren’t the traders as such as they had very good trading departments on the whole.

    The idiots that destroyed them was the CEO, his crony management team and the origination department which in fact didn’t trade.

    By the way nearly all of the trading departments etc. still live and prosper, but inside Barclays Barclays which bought the entrails for a song.

    And Barclays is now a pretty decent force in those areas they purchased.

    They “banked”… held a lot of those securities on their balance sheet because they thought they could make a spread and simply didn’t understand risk principally because they believed their own bullshit.

  90. sdfc

    Lehman weren’t speculating? Now that’s funny.

  91. .

    Come on now. Be fucking reasonable. “They failed because they were speculating” is what people mean and it is bullshit. Having a poorly managed loan book is no different to the millions of hicks flipping homes. Their trading section was profitable yes?

    “Speculation (i.e professional proprietary traders earning a living) caused the GFC” come on. You’re a lot smarter than that.

    Come on, even a band of stoned hippies with a lead guitarist dropping notes all of the time knew that sometimes words have two meanings.

  92. JC

    SDFC

    understand the nuance for a change instead of acting like a big drunk elephant in a china shop. It’s Friday so of course you’re drunk.

    Speculation didn’t kill Lehman, leverage did. The arsehole board and the CEO along with his management team had the balance sheet up at around 40:1.

  93. sdfc

    Be reasonable? Financial crises on the scale of the GFC aren’t caused by individual speculators, or poorly supervised trading desks. They are the result of the speculative positions of financials.

    Leveraging up is a fair indication if a financial is engaging in speculative finance.

    JC
    High leverage and speculation are two sides of the same coin

  94. JC

    High leverage and speculation are two sides of the same coin

    Not exactly. They could have been lowly leveraged, taken the hit and been around the following day to talk about their wounds.

    You an also be highly leverage and not be speculative.

    The trouble for Lehman, for what i understand occurred in their investment portfolio, not their trading books.

  95. .

    You see sfdc you are not talking about the same thing as the “speculation caused the GFC” crowd are. They blame the pros and blithely think they can get rich quick by following Jamie Mc Intyre etc by flipping homes with 100% finance

  96. JC

    SDFC

    Fred and Fannie were leveraged 125:1. Were they umm speculative?

  97. .

    The US Treasury gave them a two trillion dollar line of credit. Was the US Treasury being speculative?

  98. sdfc

    JC

    Speculators are not a problem, we know they make a market for hedgers. It’s the leverage that is the problem. A financial’s business is leverage, when that leverage grows to finance increasing speculative positions then you have a potential problem brewing.

  99. .

    What you’re saying is different to the “speculators are going to kill us all” meme. Thankyou.

  100. sdfc

    JC

    Fannie and Freddie were speculating in their own way. They appear to have been administered as an ugly private / public enterprise that borrowed way too cheaply.

  101. sdfc

    Dot

    Speculation in as of itself is healthy. My problem has always been speculative finance.

  102. JC

    I don’t really disagree with much of that, SDFC. However leverage isn’t always speculation although speculation is nearly always leverage. Nearly always because you don’t have to leverage say to buy BHP stocks or gold for instance. But lets agree for the purposes of this discussion that it is.

    Lehman didn’t actually fall because of speculation. the shitty MBS securities they had on the books which caused them to fail were actually in their investment account as they were doing carry trades and intending to hold them to maturity.

    I think that’s interesting. Bear Sterns also fell for the same reason. They were carrying this stuff as carry trades.

    It’s one line of speculation that I will never do and that’s carry trades as I think they are the stupidest trades ever.

    Incidentally that’s how Iceland collapsed too by the way. Icelandic Krona (I think it is) had much higher interest rates but the currency was either tied to the Euro or the Stg I can’t recall which. Punters began to do the carry trade and we had the consequent collapse.

  103. JC

    My problem has always been speculative finance.

    Explain please.

  104. sdfc

    JC

    Of couorse there is no problem with leveraging up, it’s how you enhance returns. However there is a problem when it gets out of hand.

    The financial sector specualated on mortgages and all sorts of other loans. Remeber it was two Bear Stearns mortgage funds getting into trouble that was the first real sign it was sll unravelling.

  105. sdfc

    Speculative finance is basically leveraging up to speculate on asset prices. It’s not a problem to a point but can be destabilising it it gets out of hand.

  106. JC

    Remember it was two Bear Stearns mortgage funds getting into trouble that was the first real sign it was sll unravelling.

    Yea.. I actually think it was Iceland. They were the canary in the coal mine.

    SDFC

    What’s an acceptable level of leverage for a real estate trust here these days? You know?

  107. sdfc

    Iceland’s problems were devastasting for them however the main game was the prospect of one of the big five US IB being in trouble.

  108. sdfc

    I don’t have any idea about investment trusts though if I was involved I’d be watching my refinancing risk.

  109. Pingback: Is the ABC right wing? : Core Economics

  110. is there a propery libertarian forum? these pages aren’t so crash hot for discussions…

  111. JC

    Inrving

    You have a blog and as far as i can see there are no comments there because other than yourself, it seems no one reads it.

    There’s one libertarian principle you should adhere to. Don’t have double standards, which means stop be a fucking hypocrite.

  112. some of you guys seem a bit worked up under the collar for some reason.

    blogs make poor forums. I was curious about something with threads and proper forum structure.

    A blog is not a really a forum.

  113. JC

    Sure,

    No problem the set one up, Irv.

  114. Gabrielle

    lol.
    JC have you been drinking again?

  115. are people actually interested in doing more than having the odd whinge on blogs and actually you know do something?

    or are people resigned to the fact governments will outstrip gdp growth forever?

  116. Sinclair Davidson

    we watching you Irving.

  117. Garry G.

    “Extreme Left”? Only someone on the far, far Right (i mean a fascist, like a Nazi) could believe that rubbish. Because GetUp is very centralist, center-Left at best, but usually center-Right as evidenced by their apologism for capitalism. If GetUp were genuinely Left they’d be anti-capitalist, but they’re not. They’re merely anti-laissez faire, centralists.

  118. .

    Yes Irving, I have done my bit for liberty within the ALS and LDP, now what can you do?

  119. .

    Well Garry I am a libertarian and I say Get Up are far left.

    I do not know any fascists or far right wing conservatives. Most of their agenda repulses me.

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