TSR – The Spartacus Review

Yesterday, Spartacus was reading Marcus’ contribution on energy “policy” – We Need the Government to Do What?!.  (PS highly recommended to the Cats).

Marcus’ description of the exchange between Credlin, Bernardi and Reece did not really surprise Spartacus, but given some 90% of communication is non verbal (voice and face), and Marcus’ description was second hand, Spartacus wanted to go to the horse’s mouth and see for himself.

So off to FoxTel Go he went.  And almost threw a shoe at the screen.  Dear Marcus did not do these clowns the disservice they deserve.

But before going into the substance, one cannot but what this particular performance of Peta Credlin and get a better insight into what and why so many counselled Prime Minister Abbott to let her go.  She was high handed, arrogant and wrong.  But importantly, she was not in doubt.

On to substance.  The key debate was on electricity and AGL and their plan to close/re-purpose the Liddell Power Station.  Here is Senator Bernardi’s contribution:

The big problem we have got is that the government is too involved in this business

But then Senator Bernardi proposes that the government get further involved:

You could take out all the speculators and the only purchaser will be the government.

Does this mean the government will also get back into the distribution, billing and call centre business?  Perhaps in South Australia?

But moving onto AGL, Credlin suggested that the government, unable to convince management cow tow should try to influence to the board and institutional investors of AGL.  Wow.  Just Wow.

Credlin has (repeatedly) mocked the Turnbull government for their attack on superannuants through the tax system but she now proposed to attack superannuants through other means.  And then Credlin says this:

The company (AGL) has to act in the national interest.

Perhaps in a totalitarian state ,but to suggest that AGL had a duty to act in the national interest above shareholder interest is just breathtaking.  Ms Credlin frequently likes to wave her legal credentials around, so perhaps before her next outing she should familiarise herself with the Corporations Act.  If Ms Credlin happens to be a reader of Catallaxy, here is a snippet from the ASIC website talking about director duties:

General duties imposed by the Corporations Act on directors and officers of companies include:

  • the duty to exercise your powers and duties with the care and diligence that a reasonable person would have which includes taking steps to ensure you are properly informed about the financial position of the company and ensuring the company doesn’t trade if it is insolvent
  • the duty to exercise your powers and duties in good faith in the best interests of the company and for a proper purpose
  • the duty not to improperly use your position to gain an advantage for yourself or someone else, or to cause detriment to the company, and
  • the duty not to improperly use information obtained through your position to gain an advantage for yourself or someone else, or to cause detriment to the company.

IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE COMPANY!

NOT TO CAUSE DETRIMENT TO THE COMPANY!

And if the Government is going to try to force AGL to act otherwise (against the interest of the company), well there is then there is section 51 xxxi of the Australian constitution that requires the acquisition of property on just terms.

Then Senator Bernardi suggests a punitive and targeted strategy to take away all of AGL’s subsidies and Credlin says:

Giddy up.  That’s it.  Giddy up Corey.

Wow.  Just wow.  These are the people who seek to govern this nation.

Don’t get me wrong.  Spartacus does no like what AGL is doing.  But Australia is a country of laws and AGL is acting within the law.  Private companies acting in the national interest and punishing companies for not cow towing to government.  That is Venezuela.  that is Cuba.

You know that there is a big problem when, in a debate between Peta Credlin, Corey Bernardi and Nicholas Reece, it is Nicholas Reece that comes across as the most sensible.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus

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50 Responses to TSR – The Spartacus Review

  1. jock

    Ms credlin moght want to tead what vesey has said. He believes he is working in the national intetest and that he is following the paris agreement as sogned hy the turnbull government.

    As an old agl exec i dont like what agl has become. But any md who didnt follow the money as vesey is , would be sacked.

  2. jupes

    Then Senator Bernardi suggests a punitive and targeted strategy to take away all of AGL’s subsidies and Credlin says:

    My recollection of that exchange is that Bernardi suggested doing away with ‘renewable’ subsidies full stop. Not just from AGL. That’s how I understood it anyway.

    Surely you don’t object to that?

  3. jupes

    She was high handed, arrogant and wrong. But importantly, she was not in doubt.

    I thought she dealt with Nicholas Reece quite appropriately. She treated him with disdain just as all lefties should be treated.

  4. I am Spartacus

    My recollection of that exchange is that Bernardi suggested doing away with ‘renewable’ subsidies full stop. Not just from AGL. That’s how I understood it anyway.

    Surely you don’t object to that?

    Spartacus does not object to that. But that is not what he said.

    And don’t call me Shirley!

  5. I am Spartacus

    She treated him with disdain just as all lefties should be treated.

    As Credlin was proposing mass nationalisation of industry and Companies obeying the capricious directives of government, Spartacus was not sure who the lefty in the exchange actually was.

  6. stackja

    Al created ‘AGW’. MSM created hysteria over ‘AGW’. RGR created ‘solution’. Just forget the subsidies. Market forces will handle it.

  7. benaud

    I think you have missed the mark Sparky.

    AGL only wants to close the plant because govt policy makes rent seeking over renewables more lucrative than production.

    So Cory wants to remove those subsidies. Entirely reasonable.

  8. None

    Or fair points Sparty but I believe electricity comes under Essential Services Act.

  9. I agree with everything Sparty said 99% of the time.
    There are those rare, very rare occasions when a government (usually a new one) can declare a national emergency and either tell companies what to do or take them over for a duration.
    Utilities are prone to these sorts of acts by governments and investors should factor in this small sovereign risk when investing.

    e.g. Fuel supplies cut of during a dispute or even war. Sparty wouldn’t suggest the market handle the fuel distribution during the shortage and companies maximise profits for shareholders would he?
    Furthermore, companies like AGL have made millions in profits due to government regulations (presumably in the national interest due to climate change policies) so the shareholders taking a hit by selling Liddell in the same national interest would barely even the score. They’re still way ahead.

    So yes, there are times when companies MUST act in the national interest of the nation they are trading in. No nation = no trade = no company.

  10. pbw

    Why is it that people abandon the narrow path of libertarianism and stray off to encourage gummint interference and gummint investment? Within the past few days we have seen the graph of electricity costs, showing that, under the old inefficient scheme of a hotchpotch of gummint-controlled generating authorities, the price of electricity steadily came down. (Under the same scheme, of course, the now-climbing cost resulting from worshipping the sacred CAGW would have followed the same trajectory.)

    We now have a situation in which the electricity supply of NSW and its energy mendicants is about to be vandalised because it is in the interests of the shareholders of the private owner of a major generator to do so. Libertarians support the Correct Line on this. It is not in the interests of AGL’s shareholders to sell Liddell for less than the amortised expected additional profits that closing it would bring. Obvious.

    Is it not then reasonable for people to conclude that such a vital service as electricity generation must be brought back under government control so that such a situation, where the immediate interests of a group of shareholders is detrimental to the interests of consumers (everybody, including resident shareholders)?

    You can’t have it both ways.

  11. pbw

    …so that such a situation…cannot occur?

  12. pbw

    Other questions arise in this context. Why did the management of AGL spend so much money on the “We’re special, so special,” Gaia-lover ad campaign? Why does it matter what the public thinks? What was the perceived payoff? And has all of that money been written off as a bad investment? And what negative consequences for the shareholders might flow from AGL being perceived, not as bending over forwards for Gaia, but as rapacious profit-gougers from Mum and Dad and the kids?

  13. I am Spartacus

    As a collective response to comments.

    Firstly, thanks to Baa for the generous endorsement. But ….

    In as much a country can’t tax itself to prosperity, you can’t fix the problem of too much government with more government.

    If the government wishes to declare a national emergency and use the Essential Services Act (am not sure what it is, but assume it has the effect of its title), then the entire industry will need to act in the national interest. To selectively pick on a single company and force it to bend to the will of the government is just offensive.

    Spartacus is not defending AGL. But you can’t blame them for playing by the rules written by the government. Yes. AGL has made millions in profits due to government regulations. As have the banks as have the supermarkets, as have property developers as have the members of both the medial and educational industrial complex. To pick on an individual company and to force them to yield is another matter. That is not Australia. That is not the rule of law.

    If the government wants to keep the plant open, it is open to use its powers of compulsory acquisition, but it would need to cough up. There is a price for everything and to say there are buyers out there is meaningless unless they are prepared to pay what the company is prepared to sell for.

    For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. This mess was a culmination of many idiotic decisions and nationalisation and blaming 1 single company is just abdicating responsibility. They broke it, they bought it.

  14. marcus

    Sparty – thank you very much for adding to this. Trying to pick the most egregious parts of that debate was like trying to pick the best grain of sand on Bondi!

  15. I am Spartacus

    Trying to pick the most egregious parts of that debate was like trying to pick the best grain of sand on Bondi!

    Twas breath taking to listen to. Correction. Not breathtaking but petrifying.

  16. Bruce of Newcastle

    Perhaps in a totalitarian state ,but to suggest that AGL had a duty to act in the national interest above shareholder interest is just breathtaking.

    I don’t know what rock you’ve been living under for the past half century Spartacus but the ACCC and ASIC come down very hard on companies who attempt to further their shareholders’ interest by pursuing cartel and monopolistic behaviour.

    Which is exactly what AGL appears to be doing. Rejecting $1 billion for an asset you got for free strongly implies they can make more than $1 billion off their effective monopoly in gas supply. Gas of course is required to balance out the intermittency of wind and solar. And what will happen when Liddell is closed and another 2000 MW of gas generation is required on days when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine? Why the price just might go up!

  17. JohnA

    I am Spartacus #2685721, posted on April 13, 2018 at 12:05 pm, quoting Marcus

    Trying to pick the most egregious parts of that debate was like trying to pick the best grain of sand on Bondi!

    Twas breath taking to listen to. Correction. Not breathtaking but petrifying.

    I see what you did there. How would you like to receive your punishment? 😉

  18. JohnA

    PS, I agree with all you have said.

    Sadly both Peta Credlin and Cory Bernardi are in the political swirl, and suffer from the silly assumption that government is a solution, rather than a problem.

  19. Habib

    WTF is wrong with pulling the plug on their rent-seeking, market-distorting subsidies? The only reason those swine are turning off Liddell is because the free money being slung to them makes it profitable to do so. Fuck them. I wouldn’t give them the steam off my shit.

  20. Tim Neilson

    To selectively pick on a single company and force it to bend to the will of the government is just offensive.

    Spart, I agree that the “solution” is to get back to a proper free market.

    But there’s no point allowing the nation to be destroyed by a combination of (a) command economy policy settings and (b) price gouging in the command economy being justified because “freedom”, while we patiently advocate for a free market in the face of 90% of voters supporting the Trumble/Peanut Head/”Minimum Wage Buster” cartel with its triple consensus for national economic suicide.

    If AGL believes, as it has publicly stated, that Liddell is commercially unviable, then it ought to jump at the chance of selling it for pretty much any offering price.

    AGL would have zero right to complain if the government decided to build a new coal fired power station to stabilise the grid. So, if they really think that Liddell is worthless, why is it such a breach of their rights for it to be acquired under the compulsory acquisition power rather than letting them destroy it and putting taxpayers to the expense of building a new one?

    Yes, you’re right, even on that basis, it’s technically a breach of their rights as the “owner”. But I don’t see why they have any sort of moral right to expect to be allowed to continue to rent-seek and price gouge under shelter of the current command economy system and then complain that the command economy mentality is being applied against them.

    The only issue is whether we should be so insistent on ideological purity at all costs that we are required to support the vestiges of “freedom” for the powerful and well connected (AGL, part of the green blob cartel) being used to oppress everyone else’s freedom. I say that AGL’s price gouging is an infringement on freedom because (a) their power to price gouge isn’t a free market power but a crony capitalism power, and (b) having money is a significant contributor to exercise of freedom, so it is a curtailment of freedom to lose a vast chunk of money by having to pay ridiculously, artificially and unnecessarily high electricity prices just to avoid freezing to death.

    Surely libertarian ideology shouldn’t be regarded as an end in itself, but as a means of achieving desirable objectives, in particular of maximising people’s ability to exercise freedom. And maximising freedom isn’t achieved by subjecting the public to artificial shortages and consequent rapacious price gouging by a powerful and well connected crony capitalist for whom the system has already been rigged.

  21. Rohan

    Bruce of Newcastle
    #2685731, posted on April 13, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    And what will happen when Liddell is closed and another 2000 MW of gas generation is required on days when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine? Why the price just might go up!

    I’d predict the entire eastern seaboard will go dark. We’re on a knife edge as it is. NSW, Vic and SA cannot meet their own peek summer demand now, and have been propped up entirely by QLD. When you add Liddell to Pony Girls promised closure of 3 coal fired plants as part of their government induced economic suicide, then its lights out.

    Then the shit will hit the solar powered fan. It’ll be an easy target. The blades won’t be moving.

  22. Rohan

    Habib
    #2685760, posted on April 13, 2018 at 12:43 pm
    WTF is wrong with pulling the plug on their rent-seeking, market-distorting subsidies? The only reason those swine are turning off Liddell is because the free money being slung to them makes it profitable to do so. Fuck them. I wouldn’t give them the steam off my shit.

    Nothing. No company in Australia should be receiving government subsidies to revenue streams.

  23. Andrew Deakin

    Having a go at AGL for making money out of government policy seems a bit rich. The company is acting rationally within the constraints set by government policy.

    The govt could address the essential service nature of electricity by mandating that a certain proportion of supply should always be available – but that is an obligation already imposed on the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) by the Rules which regulate the National Electricity Market, which is the market administered by AEMO for the dispatch of electricity in order of price (cheapest out first).

    The general electricity market – any company which satisfies the technical and financial requirements for the generation, supply, and retailing of electricity – is free. But investment in that market is constrained by uncertainty about what future governments may (or may not) do in relation to the pricing of GHG emissions.

    Hence, higher prices obtain due to scarce supply. The situation will only be resolved when uncertainty about climate change policy is reduced to reasonable levels.

    The division on this issue between the Coalition (and within it) and the ALP reflects a comparable division in the community. We may have to wait until the GHG warming hypothesis is disproven, which will likely take decades. Or, if it is proven beyond reasonable doubt, we will have to accept in perpetuity the higher prices needed to pay for less emission intensive forms of generation (unless there is a game changing technology innovation in energy supply).

    Either way, the current comedy will continue for some time, pending community consensus on the GHGwarming theory. It is highly unlikely that the community as a whole will currently accept continued generation of cheap coal fired generation pending resolution of the climate change debate (regardless of the fact that Australia’s emissions are globally insignificant).

  24. Leo G

    And if the Government is going to try to force AGL to act otherwise (against the interest of the company), well there is then there is section 51 xxxi of the Australian constitution that requires the acquisition of property on just terms.

    Since the interest of AGL appears to be to destroy the value of its property, what might be appropriate “just terms”?

  25. Tim Neilson

    Having a go at AGL for making money out of government policy seems a bit rich. The company is acting rationally within the constraints set by government policy.

    Spart has made a very good case that AGL is, given all the current settings, doing just what any sane organisation would do.

    And that’s fine.

    My response is only that if AGL wants to use a distorted command economy to make money it can’t complain when command economy tactics are used to stop it (at least if fair compensation is paid for the compulsory acquisition – which on AGL’s own valuation of the asset is zero).

  26. Again, a collective reply. Perhaps this is worth a separate post, but.

    Once upon a time, if a house collapsed because of because of bad workmanship killing the owner, the builder was put to death and not the relatives of the owner.

    Spartacus does not believe that moral hazard should be accepted or encouraged. And allowing the government to bully AGL would allow the government to get off scot free for this is wrong. And by government, Spartacus does not mean Turnbull, but the entity known as the Commonwealth Government of Australia as governed time to time by various people and parties.

    This mess has be caused entirely by government policy. Not by AGL working legally within the parameters of Government policy. No politician or bureaucrat has (to Sparty’s knowledge) lost their job, livelihood, house or pension because of this government policy. To fix this mess will cost large $$$ and the large $$$ have to be accounted for on budget so that the voters can see the cost in terms of alternatives. This folly has cost X hospitals, Y schools and Z roads. Blah blah blah. Only then will the people be forced to be careful about which politicians and which policies are allowed to manage the Commonwealth Government.

    And hopefully, the people will learn and remember that this saunter down stupid lane was not free and will hold to account the people who navigated us down there.

    To make the shareholders of 1 single company pay the price of a government cock up would be the same as the greens would propose by having wealth taxes.

  27. If the citizens of Australia wish to change our governing model to the Russian one, can we please have some prior notice so those who don’t agree can leave.

  28. Dr Fred Lenin

    Cease subsidies to renewables , remove impositions on coal and gas to support the scammers ,make re enables energy purchases optional on price ,remove household generated surplus power from interfering with grid supply , with surges etc . That will bring agl into line with public opinion and really piss the carpet baggers off . Just imagine the union mafia r-trying to explain why their members super is down the tube.
    Of course resigning from the u.n.would be a move for the better,and repeal of all u.n.communist inspired laws .

  29. Cease subsidies to renewables , remove impositions on coal and gas to support the scammers ,make re enables energy purchases optional on price ,remove household generated surplus power from interfering with grid supply , with surges et

    If that is the Government’s policy, then so be it. But they cannot single out a single company and try to force it to bend to their will.

  30. Habib

    They can if it’s beholden to them for largesse and patronage. Like AGL. And many others they’ve dropped the hard word on when the whim occurs, there’s a price to dependence. And it often comes without lube.

    It shouldn’t just be AGL, they’re just the most egregious and rapacious at snorking up subsidies. The whole lot should be made aware that the gravy train is about to be derailed unless they play footsie, government has all the clout but is too ineffectual to utilise it. Best outcome would be to make it a real free market, open to all competitors. That’ll never happen, least worst option is to at least get some return on the massive “investment” delivered to these venal turds by the dumptruck load.

  31. herodotus

    The government(s) have created the problem and they should fix it by whatever it takes.
    Cutting all those artificial imposts, be they subsidies or rules, regulations, treaties, accords, is what it will take.
    They have abdicated from being responsible so they may as well add sovereign risk to their crimes.

  32. Dr Fred Lenin

    Spartacus I am not singling out agl , but they are the ones forcing the issue by closing the power station leaving the grid poorer in power , making agl toe the line would be a lesson to greedy subsidy munching companies a salutary lesson they all deserve ,and save taxpayers money extorted by useless politician
    scum with the help of their overpaid arrogant minions .

  33. Dr Fred Lenin

    Heredotus the “sovereign risk bullshit is of little consequence,wave a bundle of money in front of the globalists and they come crawling like the slugs they are to get their share ,it might even discourage foreign bankers from lending our government more mone to pay the interest on the interest of the money they borrowed in our name and wasted on carpetbaggers and chancers.

  34. Cease subsidies to renewables , remove impositions on coal and gas to support the scammers ,make re enables energy purchases optional on price ,remove household generated surplus power from interfering with grid supply , with surges etc .

    The catch with this approach is that with government (of either persuasion) members and associated cronies as key figures in the scam, a means of extending the scamsters revenue stream for as long as possible is required.

  35. Tim Neilson

    To make the shareholders of 1 single company pay the price of a government cock up would be the same as the greens would propose by having wealth taxes.

    Compulsory acquisition of property on just terms shouldn’t result in them “paying the price”.

    It is still an infringement of their liberties, admittedly. If someone is prohibited from earning a living as a butcher, baker or candlestick maker, their liberty is infringed even if they could earn as much by being a rent boy. The same applies to collective activity through a corporation.

    But in this case, all they are being prohibited from is engaging in the noble and ancient profession of government-enabled rent-seeking and price gouging.
    If that were brought to an end by establishment of a true free market, presumably the libertarian ideologues wouldn’t complain.
    So why is it any worse to do it by compulsory acquisition?
    If AGL wanted to run a coal fired power station and were being prevented from doing so, that would be wrong.
    But they aren’t. They don’t want to run a coal fired power station. The only thing they want to do is, via the current statist command economy which favours them, to rent-seek and price gouge via crony capitalist government favouritism.

    I’m not fussy about how that gets stopped as long as the shareholders are paid what the station is worth – excluding its special value to rent-seeking artificial scarcity creators.

  36. jupes

    That’ll never happen, least worst option is to at least get some return on the massive “investment” delivered to these venal turds by the dumptruck load.

    Yep. Fuck them.

  37. Tim Neilson

    That’ll never happen, least worst option is to at least get some return on the massive “investment” delivered to these venal turds by the dumptruck load.

    I can see a new ASX sector being defined. “Industrials”, “Consumer Discretionary”, “Consumer Staples”, “Financials”,….”Venal Turds”.

    Under the current Trumble/Peanut Head cartel, “Venal Turds” would be leading the markets by the length of the straight.

  38. Entropy

    I have a feeling it isn’t just the lure of renewables subsidies for AGL, it is the higher price their coal generation at the remaining plants gets due to demand management and shortfalls in renewable generation. A pretty rational approach all around.

    On Credlin, the exchange is an insight into the minds of modern political class types. Underlying all is the belief that the economy only works when they pull the levers.

    But I would not be so hard on Bernardi. The preference is of course let a free market operate. Thing is the market isn’t free, it is distorted and rigged beyond all reasoning, and unlikely to be so in the foreseeable future. And then there is the destructive lawfare risk for anyone who would have the temerity to build a new or even upgrade an existing facility. Because of these realities, the least worst option is nationalisation of power supply, because government is the only one with deep enough profits. Of course this means the bastards win with any scenario. But that is the least worst option left.

  39. Boambee John

    Andrew Deakin at 1258

    Either way, the current comedy will continue for some time, pending community consensus on the GHGwarming theory.

    Three consecutive days of blackout will produce a “community consensus”, probably to lynch a few supposed political and business leaders. (NADT)

  40. Cynic of Ayr

    Yes, that’s fair enough, Spart.
    What would you suggest if a public listed, or a private company:
    Got a contract with the Taliban to make bullets for them;
    Bought a Post Office and closed it down to further their courier business;
    Refused to have a Government – any government – put a pipe line, a power line, a road, across across their land;
    AGL bought more Coal Power Stations, and immediately closed them down causing severe blackouts.
    What would you do then? Shrug and say, “It’s a Company. Can’t interfere with Company business.”
    The extremely stupid part of your article is that the government already interferes with the power business, controlling the running of coal stations, and forcing retailers to buy a certain percentage of “renewables” instead of from coal stations.
    This isn’t interfering in your eyes apparently. Or you can’t see it!
    Sometimes you don’t think things through, Sparty. Many times, actually.

    comaony;

  41. truth

    As I remember it, Peta Credlin was …as always….looking at the overall situation and AGL’s intention …as the major player in an ESSENTIAL SERVICE without which Australia grinds to a halt…they’re determination to place the country in a position that’s hugely more precarious than any responsible government [ which the Turnbull government IS NOT}…can possibly allow.
    Spartacus…your claim that ‘Credlin was proposing mass nationalisation of industry and Companies obeying the capricious directives of government,’ and ‘Spartacus was not sure who the lefty in the exchange actually was.’ …is ridiculous.
    She has reiterated many times that she’s not for the government interfering in or taking over markets…but that as we ALL know THAT horse has well and truly bolted with the favored status conferred by government on the intermittents in the merit order process for dispatch …with the certificates the government FORCES retailers to buy and GIVE to the intermittent generators that push up the prices consumers pay and adds up to billions in subsidies for RE… and physical and economic damage to fossil fuel plant….and then there are the loans from CEFC for building wind farms …. plus various State government grants.

    So there IS NO FREE MARKET….and the Turnbull tech agnostic claims are a LIE too IMO…they’re just meant to calm the plebs until it’s too late and the intermittents …WITH SUBSIDIES… are all there is.
    That is not a free market.
    And vicious lies are being told about the motivations of the Monash Forum too….to prop up Turnbull.
    They’re ONLY suggesting government help for the building of HELE plants because there’s no alternative left…because the whole investment scene worldwide has …like EVERYTHING ELSE …been corrupted by the LEFT…and there is no other way to keep industry going and the lights on in this country that has absolutely no fallback position once we have zero synchronous power source.
    John Hewson…who’s invested in solar …bragged for years about his project in which he travelled the world warning and scaring off any likely investors large and small…to ensure no bank…no pension fund…no institution of any kind would invest in COAL for fear of stranded assets and shareholder litigation.
    There is no other 1st world country that has no huge hydro or nuclear power …that can or IS asked to try to survive as an industrialized nation without COAL …or commit national economic suicide.
    WE ARE ALONE.

  42. Habib:

    there’s a price to dependence. And it often comes without lube.

    With a little work, that makes a fine Liberty Quote:

    Being dependent on Government has a price. And it doesn’t include lube.

    Yes.

  43. Boris

    So yes, there are times when companies MUST act in the national interest of the nation they are trading in. No nation = no trade = no company.

    Yes Venezuela gives an excellent example

  44. Boris

    “So yes, there are times when companies MUST act in the national interest of the nation they are trading in. No nation = no trade = no company.”

    Maybe there are such times but they must be rare and exceptional. Like war or famine. emergency is not a term to be used lightly to suit government or pundits’ agenda.

    Taking away subsidies is within government’s set of tools and can be used for any purposes they want. Criticizing companies by politicians is probably wrong but not illegal. Barnett criticized Woodside. They ignored him.

  45. Crossie

    Dr Fred Lenin
    #2685800, posted on April 13, 2018 at 1:19 pm
    Cease subsidies to renewables , remove impositions on coal and gas to support the scammers ,make re enables energy purchases optional on price ,remove household generated surplus power from interfering with grid supply , with surges etc . That will bring agl into line with public opinion and really piss the carpet baggers off . Just imagine the union mafia r-trying to explain why their members super is down the tube.
    Of course resigning from the u.n.would be a move for the better,and repeal of all u.n.communist inspired laws .

    Fred, your best comment yet.

  46. Crossie

    Because of these realities, the least worst option is nationalisation of power supply, because government is the only one with deep enough profits. Of course this means the bastards win with any scenario. But that is the least worst option left.

    We are not there yet but we don’t have much time to reverse course which Malcolm will never do. Greens attract only 10% of the voters and yet all parties are so keen to put into practice their ruinous policies. All it does it lead to more demands and more bizarre demands.

    The Coalition bowing down to the Greens is just another reason their voters have left them. I don’t see why I should give them my first preferences, or even second or third.

    Even the energy crisis is a result of the Turnbull coup so my advice is to get rid of him asap, choose as PM anyone who is not in his inner circle, scrap all subsidies, reduce immigration and watch the voters come back.

  47. I hope at least some here at The Cat realise why we (conservatives and libertarians) have been losing hand over fist to the rapacious left. THEY’VE BEEN BENDING US OVER AND GIVING IT TO US FOR DECADES NOW.

    Why is this happening? Why is it when we gain one step forward but then lose ten steps back when the left gain power?
    BECAUSE WE ALWAYS…..BUT ALWAYS PLAY BY “THE RULES” WHILE THE LEFT DISREGARDS THEM AT WILL.

    I am Spartacus
    #2685797, posted on April 13, 2018 at 1:14 pm
    This mess has be caused entirely by government policy. Not by AGL working legally within the parameters of Government policy.

    I don’t want big Government. I don’t want Governments telling companies how to run their businesses. But here’s the thing. AGL ISN’T, WASN’T AND NEVER WILL BE AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER PLAYING BY THE RULES SET BY GOVERNMENT.
    AGL ACTIVELY LOBBIED POLITICIANS, BUREAUCRACY, ENVIRONAZIS etc etc to push this scam. Europe is years ahead of us as well as California and Oregon and Washington State. Companies like AGL (and others on the subsidy trough) learned very quickly from these others and actively participated in the ponzi scheme.
    They’re even advertising not for more customers, but for the support of “green energy”, they even state that customers may pay a little more but it’s the right thing to do FOR FVCKS SAKE.
    Companies like AGL sponsored and support pseudo scientific research ‘proving’ AGW.
    THEY ARE GAMING THE SYSTEM.

    If Cats think that ‘sticking to principles’ is going to get us anywhere, you are delusional. Conservatives stuck to their principles in Britain and this winter 48,000 elderly DIED FROM THE COLD.

    Fvck your principles, We’re in a cultural and economic war. We are losing and losing badly.
    No Australian Government will be able to undo this ponzi scheme (Abbott tried, he died) by playing nice.
    I say take over Liddell, make an example of AGL and force others to the table. It’s not like AGL will lose that much. They are millions upon millions ahead.

    Anyone who invests in utilities and other essential services MUST factor in the extra sovereign risk. They are NOT SUPERMARKETS or WHITE GOODS RETAILERS. The sovereign risk is higher.
    If investors have factored in that risk, then they will not be worse off.

  48. Jungle Bunny

    Two factors created the foundations of electricity price inflation. Regulation promoted over capitalisation of transmission assets. Stupid decisions about export permits created a tripling of gas prices. Once those factors eroded the base business of energy intensive companies the base load began to shrink – at the same time as the extensive use of aircon etc in homes was raising the height of peaks in power use.
    Trying to fix this by adding a large generating unit or two to base load is almost certainly to add to the cost and waste.
    Put simply: very large base load users are now concentrated in non democratic markets where government policy mandates subsidies. China and Russia are for example massive subsidisers of aluminium.
    Our gas screw up is costing us good businesses like Incitec Pivot.
    If Government starts fiddling with power assets we will be trying to out subsidise Xi and Putin.

  49. truth

    BaaHumbug…

    The MSM is the key to the Left’s largely unchallenged takeover of all the institutions and the ability of the left to so easily flog propaganda to the Australian people.

    The Left had to OWN the media in order to make their Long March work…not as proprietors of news organisations…they’re not the ones with the day to day power any more…it’s the journalists…the very often uninformed crowd with the chutzpah …narcissism and hubris to see it as their right to MANAGE…CENSOR…SKEW the information according to the needs of the LEFT …and their latest LEFTIST hero…the one they see as being one of them…rich…well-connected… ruthless and unscrupulous… is of course Malcolm Turnbull.

    Without the LW political ‘journalists’ at SKY and ABC…who groomed the Australian people to hate Abbott…to manipulate the polls in favour of Turnbull and against Abbott..Turnbull would have cut a ridiculous figure….his plotting…jumping on trains…striking poses for journalist pics and selfies with the captive commuting plebs and his COUP…. would have been lampooned as a Putinesque Venezuela pantomime.

    Media is supposed to be the cornerstone of functioning democracy…but it’s a long long time since Australia had ‘journalists’ who didn’t see themselves as THE STAR players …the ones with ALL the power and zero responsibility…. in the country’s political operations…as the ones entitled to veto the vote of the Australian people.

    The Long March of the Left is almost complete ..and we’re on the cusp of its inevitable outcome …existential peril for Australia…deindustrialization..insecurity…severely diminishing export income which will threaten all of our safety nets as our country in decline, struggles to fund Medicare…NDIS…PBS…pensions..jobs…education….military..border security….struggles to keep the lights on.

    IMO Tony Abbott’s the only one who can possibly start Australia on the path back to sanity…and the only one with the guts to stare them ALL down.

    Not only is he the one with the RATIONAL ideas for a strong and prosperous Australia…and the record of achievements that’s keeping the economy afloat NOW amidst Turnbull’s chaos..but in the tiny 15 mths the LEFT gave him before starting on their installation of Turnbull in Jan 2015…Tony Abbott was the most prescient..courageous and clear-thinking leader worldwide…he’s been right on almost EVERY world issue..
    The LEFT’s problem with trying to bury Tony Abbott once and for all …is that they can hardly hurt him any more…he’s more battle-scarred than any other Australian politician and thankfully unbeaten in his resolve .

    They’ve done just about everything short of the ultimate to knock off Tony Abbott…destroyed the Liberal party and just about killed Australia itself in their malevolent mission…but luckily for our precious country… he’s still there putting Australia first…as always.

    Tony Abbott’s the ONLY one who can put Australia back together again.

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