Monday, October 30, 2006

At least the police can't trace me

A current theme amongst a few blogs, is the questions "What's the worst thing a sibling has done to you?"

Being the youngest of three boys, I could spend the rest of my blogging life writing answers to this question, but I best narrow the field down to just one.*

Whilst holidaying with the family in Tasmania, we stayed at a very nice little cottage with an open fire-place. It was all very quaint and loving, unlike my brothers. Let me set the scene, I took my evening shower as probably directed by mother (I have never been fond of washing). When I returned to the main room, the brothers were sitting down by the fire. They asked me to come over and play a game with them. Desperate to be liked and accepted, like all younger siblings, I agreed like a fool, that a game sounded lovely. Maybe we would play Uno, maybe eye-spy. Alas, we played neither. Now, I am particularly partial to money, always have been (in fact, I can remember admiring 'Alex' from the show growing pains for being such a penny-pincher). So the brothers pointed to three rocks sitting in front of us and told me that under one of these rocks was a dollar coin, if I selected the correct rock I could take the money. Playing on my weaknesses you see. But there was actually no money under any of them.

That doesn't sound too horrible I can hear you think, well, whilst I had been off showering, the brothers had actually placed all three rocks in the fireplace for around the 20 minutes that I had been off and had only just scooped them out with the little shovel and lined them up in a row. Burnt the skin clean off my fingers to their amusement.

On the positive though, when mum found out, she insisted that each of them had to each pay me a dollar. I probably didn't stop smiling for a week!

* Other incidents of note that are not included but deserve honourable mention as follows:

1. Asking an 80-year old lady if she has ever had an orgasm
2. Tying me by the neck to my bed whilst they went and had breakfast and only untying me on their return
3. Breaking my tooth out at the gum
4. Putting me in a wheelie bin and pushing me down the street

Still, I wouldn't have any other brothers than those two.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Too late, she cried...

So the CPI came out yesterday and showed a whopping 3.9% increase for the year. Some of you may remember my call for the last rise to be 50 bpt instead of the 25 bpt that we got. The RBA however believe that they are untouchable.

The background - The RBA is charged with the duty of maintaining inflation at a long-term average of between 2 and 3 percent. Now I don't know about you, but if I only had one aim in my job, and missed it by around 56% (being 3.9 when I was aiming for 2.5), I don't think my employers would be overly impressed. But yet, everybody tries to tell me they are doing a wonderful job and apply the following nonsense arguements.

1. It's a long-term average so it can go outside the range from time to time - Why bother having a board. The long-term average will always settle around 2 to 3 percent. It is there one stated aim to keep it there but they failed. It is similar to failing a subject at school and then trying to argue to your parents that at least your long-term average is a pass.

2. You have to look at the underlying inflation rate and take out volatile items like petrol and bananas - Crap! inflation is inflation. It is based on an average basket of goods being purchased by an average consumer, you cannot just pick and choose items as you like. If prices rise, it is because of supply and demand which is what you lot are meant to be looking after.

3. It would hurt to east coast too much to raise rates just to look after a booming WA - It is the reserve bank of Australia people, not just the bank of Sydney. I am quite certain that any rate rises in the past were not viewed in the context of how Perth would suffer when the East coast was flying.

I think that the RBA will move another 25 bpt in November, but again, they are missing the point....literally!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Building an empire

I don't think I have had enough photo's on my blog, in fact, I haven't had one yet.

So here is one.

I didn't take it, nor do I like it. Just thought I should.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It's my daddy's company, and I will sell if I want too

Whilst I do not think I have the share trading audience I probably need to make this an interesting post, I guess I have to start somewhere.

As a lot of you may know, James Packer has gone and sold half of his father's prized media assets. The proceeds from this sale will more than likely be ploughed back in to a ever growing gambling division. So that is the basis of the story, but here is why I think JP is a lot dumber than most people think.

Kerry spent many years building his media empire, which has a crowning jewel of channel Eddie. This gives PBL a public face through which to tell the public what to think. I can guarantee though, that if Kerry still had a heart-beat, channel 9 would not have been sold. People may argue that KP has sold channel 9 before to Alan Bond, which is true. But, that was when "Bondie" paid about 5 times what it was worth, held it for about 18 months and had to sell it back to KP for one-fifth of the original price when he went broke. That deal made KP very wealthy and very famous and showed that he was a very astute investor.

JP on the other hand, seems to want to prove that he is as good as his father. But clearly he is not (read as : OneTel). So he has sold-off, for a fairly average price, a cash-cow tv empire, that whilst not high growth, will produce solid returns year-on-year, in order to purchase into a risky casino operation in Macau. High risk for two main reasons being (a) Everybody wants to get a piece of that action so as a result the cost to buy in is reasonably high and effectively reduces returns on the portfolio. (b) It is not yet proven that people want to go to Macau to gamble, this is just what a few people have convinced the Macau government that might happen.

Now I am not normally the type of person who wants to see big business fail, because it creates havoc. But I think it would be somewhat entertaining if JP was to wipe out KP's legacy within 12 months of leaving the place. If James really wants to invest in casino's, surely Australia's richest man can raise funds a better way than this?

All this gives me another reason to not invest in PBL and maybe take an allotment in T3. At least JP is doing something for his country.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My opinion on socks.....Whilst I was pulling on my socks one morning recently, I bit of a conundrum appeared to me. You see, there is a little hard bit on the toe of the sock where the material has been sown together. Popular belief is that this little hard bit of the sock is to be on the inside, up against the toe. WHY WOULD THAT BE?!?!

Now I am not claiming that any sort of 'princess and the pea' type scenario's are playing out here, but surely the more comfortable option would be to have the hard bit on the outside, away from the toe's. It is not like anybody can see this through the shoe anyway. But if you are wearing socks with open shoes like thongs, then you already look like a moron and so it doesn't matter then either.

From now on, I am going to wear my socks 'the right way'.