Tell ’em they’re dreaming

There are certain ideas that like plague infested rats never die.  They just hide in the sewers waiting for their next opportunity to pop up again.

One such idea is the Sydney as financial centre idea.  And wheeling out this 2 legged donkey, again, was Senator Andrew Bragg writing in the AFR:

Why Sydney is the new Hong Kong.

Sydney is not the new Hong Kong.  Sydney is the old Moscow.  A place where prosperity is frowned upon, but when acquired is generally acquired through patronage and where conduct is regulated by a Stasi like bureaucracy.

Bragg has apparently:

written to the federal Treasurer to set out a way for Australia to capitalise on the disintegration of Hong Kong as a financial centre – by attracting businesses to Sydney. My submission contains practical policy options to be considered in the October budget process.

Yawn.  Which recommendations will he wheel out?  The the 1996 version?  The 2009 version?  The 2014 version?  They’re all the same and are never implemented.

Senator.  It’s not about taxes.  It’s about mindset.

Every year, some collective of politicians and bureaucrats take a junket to Silicon valley and come back saying let’s make our own.  And surprise, surprise it never happens.  And this won’t happen either.

  • This is the government that gave us the BEAR (bank executive accountability regime) – thanks Scomo.
  • this is the government that gave us the FEAR (financial executive accountability regime) – thanks JoFro.

This is the government that is responsible for ASIC, APRA and Austrac.

If you think that Australia will be a financial centre then has TAFKAS got an initial coin offering for a tokenized Bridge and Opera House security for you.

The remaining scale financial services left operating in Australia is only because of the Superannuation Gravy Locomotive (SGL™).  They rest just feed off it.  Just.

If you want Sydney to be the next Hong Kong, send ASIC and APRA to Honk Kong and bring over the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.  This will improve Australia and absolutely destroy Hong Kong.

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14 Responses to Tell ’em they’re dreaming

  1. Suburban Boy

    If Sydney is the old Moscow, that means that Melbourne is the old Omsk.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    Governments have turned Sydney CBD into a concrete fossil fit only for public servants and staffers from Macquarie Street.

    Who would want to brave the trains from Parramatta, or the buses from Dee Why only to be tangled up in the stupid battery-operated light rail. Or try to drive in, dodging Clover’s bike lanes and get tolled three or four times, then paying through the nose for parking?

    The place is a camel designed by a committee that never met a camel.

  3. Behind Enemy Lines

    I was on the periphery of one of these public service drives to make Sydney an international centre of finance (remember Joe Hockey?). The more I dug, the more it seemed that Australia’s financial services sector makes most of its profits by screwing ordinary people with absurd fees on compulsory super. Anything else our run of the mill Masters Of The Universe made seemed to be gravy, or luck. Mind you, things may have changed in the last fifteen years or so.

  4. Archivist

    When the superannuation bubble bursts the financial industry will be a train wreck.

  5. Fair Shake

    Hong Kong $25 to get a retail licence. In Australia well what industry which compliance code how deep does the swamp go…yep we’re more Moscow than Hong Kong

  6. Ubique

    Yes, Sydney is indeed the new HK, with the curtailment of its freedoms and enterprise at the hands of oppressive politicians and bureaucrats. The only difference is in HK the citizens fight back.

  7. NoFixedAddress


    You might have had a chance in the 1970’s but that horse has long bolted and to think that HK can be replicated is just more fairy farts.

    Singapore is already doing reasonable business and probably more centralised anyway.

  8. Tom

    Everything you need to know about Andrew Bragg, who is not only on the Australian superannuation gravy train, he and his missus, Melanie, a banker, are property squillionaires in Paddington.

    Bragg renounced his regional Victorian roots and moved to Sydney to start his political career by sucking up to failed prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in his rampage through the Liberal Party via the corrupt party subsidy miner and green left faction warlord Michael Photios:

    Newly-elected Liberal senator Andrew Bragg and his wife Melanie Evans have traded up in Paddington.
    The couple have paid $4,675,000 for their new home which comes with 450sqm of space.
    The state-of-the-art terrace has smart home automation system and cutting-edge technology.

    It has five bedrooms across its four levels, plus a studio above the rear garaging.

    The Braggs tried to sell their previous, more standard, Paddington terrace but failed. They instead leased it out at around $1500 a week, having paid $2,125,000 for it in 2013.

    His wife, Melanie has been ING Direct’s head of retail banking since early 2017 when she was headhunted from Westpac and before that at BT Super for Life.

    Bragg, of course, is an ambitious professsional politician and a party insider:

    Bragg was born in Melbourne and grew up in Shepparton, Victoria. He attended local Catholic schools before going on to study accounting at the Australian National University. Bragg’s father and three of his grandparents were born in the United Kingdom, and he was a British citizen by descent until renouncing it in December 2017 [to avoid being disqualified from standing for parliament in the wake of the 2017 eligibility scandal].

    Bragg is a trained accountant who worked in internal audit at Ernst & Young.

    He then served seven years at the Financial Services Council first in superannuation and asset management policy and later as head of policy.

    From 2014 to 2016, Bragg served as director of policy and global markets at the Financial Services Council.

    In November 2016 he became the policy director of the Menzies Research Centre, a Liberal Party think tank. He became the executive director of the Business Council of Australia in August 2017.
    During the period he worked for the Financial Services Council, Bragg completed a Master of Financial Regulation from Macquarie University.

    In April 2017, following the resignation of Tony Nutt, Bragg was appointed as the acting federal director of the Liberal Party. He was considered an ally of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. However, he was not chosen to fill the position permanently. Later in the year, he was the national director of the Liberals & Nationals for Yes campaign during the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

    Bragg was a candidate for Liberal preselection at the 2018 Wentworth by-election, caused by Turnbull’s retirement from parliament. He was considered the frontrunner for a period, but withdrew from the race due to concerns that the preselection of a male candidate would be poorly received [because] “the Liberal Party should preselect a woman and my withdrawal can pave the way”.

    In 2018, Bragg won preselection on the Coalition’s Senate ticket.[12] He was elected to the Senate at the 2019 federal election.

    In other words, Bragg is a member of the elitist Uniparty Canberra swamp and a professional organiser of the national superannuation scam.

  9. Jack

    If businesses aren’t based in Sydney they are camping out.

  10. Davidc

    my experience is government has never actually wanted to be a financial services hub. They just viewed it as a competition for tax cuts. ” we dont want to be the latest place people park their caravans” or soemthing like tha

  11. Pyrmonter

    @ TAFKAS

    Another significant difference is that until recently Hong Kong had a simple yet effective insolvency regime, modelled on the traditional English approach of liquidation and litigation: independent liquidators, pari passu distribution of the recoveries, and simple, effective and public ranking of creditors.

    However, there, as here, the spivs spouting the supposed benefits of ‘turnaround’ (all creditors for themselves in a game of jockeying for advantage, with the devil taking the hindmost creditors – mostly the revenue, consumers, staff, small suppliers) have prevailed.

    If there is one thing that undermines confidence in a market economy, it is that the trust upon which credit is extended is eroded. Yet, who in Australia would now be a creditor, when directors have been told there is no personal liability for incurring debt that cannot be repaid, and when it is impossible to approach the courts to enforce debts?

  12. Jock

    I still don’t get how austrac weaseled out of any responsibility in the westpac/cba problems. While I understand nothing was purposely done, I always presumed austrac either got feed from the banks and conducted audits or walked in the door and did spot audits. In any event no audits were done for years. How did no public servant lose his job? If KPMG had done the same slack job asic would be after blood.

  13. H B Bear

    Good luck doing it with Australia’s company tax rate – and that’s before the Covid splurge.

  14. Rex Mango

    Barman at the pub last week told me Sydney would be the new Hong Kong. I said too much red tape.

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