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Interest rates 5-0

03/11/2010

Okay so it’s actually 4.95 as far as the CBA is concerned. Also in the news incidentally is the death of James Macarthur who played the original ‘Danno’ in the show Hawaii 5-O. And in his memory I can play this now that he and Steve are patrolling the island in the after life together.

Joe Hockey’s day finally arrived! He had been talking the doom and gloom interest rates are rising speech for about a year now. And today wasn’t he happy!

But he may have gotten a little too enthusiastic in his exuberance.

“I outlined a nine point plan on behalf of the coalition to get greater competition into the banking sector. They are nine levers that are available to the government today.” – Joe Hockey 3/11/2010

Whoopsie daisy! There is that levers word again! Oh Joe.

There you were… riding that wave you have been trying to catch for over a year now. Finally! There it was! Your wave Joe! Your chance to stick it the government! And you had to go ahead and use that word again. Now…. wipeout.

You see you mentioned levers a couple of weeks ago and then you took it back and then you came out with your nine point plan and pointed out you didn’t mean to call them levers so much as reforms and there you are talking levers again.

You keep talking about the ‘big four banks’ and how they have some kind of unfair advantage due to the government guarantee. But Joe. That is not true is it?

In your speech Joe that outlines your nine points you had this to say.

The government was forced to offer guarantees of all bank funding sources, including both deposits and wholesale funding.

The RBA was compelled to extend unprecedented ‘lender of last resort services’ to the banks that no other private companies get the benefit of, and which the RBA had never utilised before (for example, lending against mortgage-backed securities).

And more broadly, the ACCC waived through mergers of lenders it would never ordinarily permit, as it has acknowledged.

These actions have irreversibly changed our financial landscape. Once truly independent concerns, such as:

·        St George,

·        BankWest,

·        RAMS, and

·        Wizard, are now gone.

That iconic brand, Aussie Home Loans, is now one-third owned, and wholly funded by, Australia’s largest bank, CBA. And what was Australia’s biggest non-bank lender, Challenger, has divested its lending business to NAB.

In short, the four major banks have largely become the Australian financial system. I should add in there the fact that major international players who have reduced their activities in Australia has also contributed to the reduction of competition.

FROM: http://www.joehockey.com/mediaHub/speechDetail.aspx?prID=1078

Woah Joe! I think you are not quite being honest here. See, unlike the average joe that hears Joe speak, I decided to do a little research into those government guarantees. As it turns out, RAMS and Wizard were never really banks at all. So they were not eligible, In fact on their web page they proudly display

Non-Bank Lender of the year 2009 & 2010

Money magazine has just announced that RAMS Home Loans are baaack to baaack winners of their non-bank lender of the year Award for 2009 & 2010!

FROM: http://www.rams.com.au/

Wizard was sold to Aussie home loans. Its on their webpage.

On 27 February 2009 Wizard Home Loans was sold to Aussie

FROM: http://www.aussie.com.au/wizard/index.htm

And you keep talking about an advantage for the big four. Try again Joe.

List of Eligible Institutions for the Guarantee of Wholesale Funding and the Guarantee of Deposits (not exhaustive):

Australian-owned banks

* Adelaide Bank Limited
* AMP Bank Limited
* Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
* Bank of Queensland Limited
* Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited
* Commonwealth Bank of Australia
* Commonwealth Development Bank of Australia Limited (a subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia)
* Elders Rural Bank Limited
* Macquarie Bank Limited
* Members Equity Bank Pty Limited
* National Australia Bank Limited
* St. George Bank Limited
* Suncorp-Metway Limited
* Westpac Banking Corporation

Foreign subsidiary banks

* Arab Bank Australia Limited
* Bank of China (Australia) Limited
* Bank of Cyprus Australia Limited
* BankWest (the trading name of Bank of Western Australia Ltd)
* Citigroup Pty Limited
* HSBC Bank Australia Limited
* ING Direct (the trading name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited
* Investec Bank (Australia) Limited
* Laiki Bank (Australia) Ltd
* Rabobank Australia Limited (a subsidiary of Rabobank Nederland from October 1994)

Building Societies

* ABS Building Society Ltd
* B & E Ltd
* Greater Building Society Ltd
* Heritage Building Society Limited
* Home Building Society Ltd
* Hume Building Society Ltd
* IMB Ltd
* Lifeplan Australia Building Society Limited
* Maitland Mutual Building Society Limited
* Newcastle Permanent Building Society Limited
* The Rock Building Society Limited
* Wide Bay Australia Ltd

Credit Unions

* Alliance One Credit Union Ltd
* AMP Credit Union Ltd
* Austral Credit Union Limited
* Australian Central Credit Union Ltd
* Australian Country Credit Union Ltd (trading as Reliance Credit Union)
* Australian Defence Credit Union Limited
* AWA Credit Union Limited
* Bananacoast Community Credit Union Ltd
* Bankstown City Credit Union Ltd
* Berrima District Credit Union Ltd
* Big Sky Credit Union Ltd
* Broadway Credit Union Ltd
* CAPE Credit Union Limited
* Capital Credit Union Ltd
* Capricornia Credit Union Ltd
* Central Murray Credit Union Limited
* Central West Credit Union Limited
* Circle Credit Co-operative Limited
* Coastline Credit Union Limited
* Collie Miners Credit Union Ltd
* Community Alliance Credit Union Limited
* Community CPS Australia Limited
* Community First Credit Union Limited
* Companion Credit Union Limited
* Comtax Credit Union Limited (including the former Security Credit Union)
* Country First Credit Union Ltd
* Credit Union Australia Ltd
* CSR and Rinker Employees Credit Union Limited
* Defence Force Credit Union Limited
* Dnister Ukrainian Credit Co-operative Limited
* Electricity Credit Union Ltd
* Encompass Credit Union Limited
* Esso Employees’ Credit Union Ltd
* Eurobodalla Credit Union Ltd
* Family First Credit Union Limited
* Fire Brigades Employees’ Credit Union Limited
* Fire Service Credit Union Limited
* Firefighters & Affiliates Credit Co-operative Limited
* First Choice Credit Union Ltd
* First Option Credit Union Limited
* Fitzroy & Carlton Community Credit Co-operative Limited
* Ford Co-operative Credit Society Limited
* Gateway Credit Union Ltd
* Geelong & District Credit Co-operative Society Limited
* GMH (Employees) Q.W.L. Credit Co-operative Limited
* Goldfields Credit Union Ltd
* Gosford City Credit Union Limited
* Goulburn Murray Credit Union Co-operative Limited
* H.M.C. Staff Credit Union Ltd
* Heritage Isle Credit Union Limited
* Holiday Coast Credit Union Ltd
* Horizon Credit Union Ltd
* Hunter Mutual Limited
* Hunter United Employees’ Credit Union Limited
* Industries Mutual Credit Union Limited
* Intech Credit Union Limited
* Karpaty Ukrainian Credit Union Limited
* La Trobe Country Credit Co-operative Limited
* La Trobe University Credit Union Co-operative Limited
* Laboratories Credit Union Limited
* Latvian Australian Credit Co-operative Society Limited
* Lithuanian Co-operative Credit Society “Talka” Limited
* Lysaght Credit Union Ltd
* MacArthur Credit Union Ltd
* Macquarie Credit Union Limited
* Maleny and District Community Credit Union Limited
* Manly Warringah Credit Union Limited
* Maritime, Mining & Power Credit Union Limited
* Maroondah Credit Union Ltd
* MECU Limited
* Melbourne University Credit Union Limited
* MemberFirst Credit Union Limited
* MyState Financial Credit Union of Tasmania Limited
* New England Credit Union Ltd
* Newcom Colliery Employees Credit Union Ltd
* Northern Inland Credit Union Limited
* Nova Credit Union Limited
* NSW Teachers Credit Union Ltd
* Old Gold Credit Union Co-operative Limited
* Orange Credit Union Limited
* Phoenix (N.S.W.) Credit Union Limited
* Plenty Credit Co-operative Limited
* Police & Nurses Credit Society Limited
* Police Association Credit Co-operative Limited
* Police Credit Union Limited
* Polish Community Credit Union Ltd
* Powerstate Credit Union Ltd
* Pulse Credit Union Limited
* Qantas Staff Credit Union Limited
* Queensland Country Credit Union Limited
* Queensland Police Credit Union Limited
* Queensland Professional Credit Union Ltd
* Queensland Teachers’ Credit Union Limited
* Queenslanders Credit Union Limited
* Railways Credit Union Limited
* RegionalOne Credit Union Limited
* Resources Credit Union Limited
* R.T.A. Staff Credit Union Limited
* Satisfac Direct Credit Union Limited
* Savings and Loans Credit Union (S.A.) Ltd
* Security Credit Union (which was taken over by Comtax Credit Union on 1 October 2008)
* Select Credit Union Limited
* Service One Credit Union Limited
* SGE Credit Union Limited
* Shell Employees’ Credit Union Limited
* South West Slopes Credit Union Ltd
* Southern Cross Credit Union Ltd
* South-West Credit Union Co-operative Limited
* St Mary’s Swan Hill Co-operative Credit Society Limited
* StateWest Financial Services Limited
* Sutherland Credit Union Ltd
* Sutherland Shire Council Employees’ Credit Union Ltd
* Sydney Credit Union Ltd
* Tartan Credit Union Ltd
* The Broken Hill Community Credit Union Ltd
* The Gympie Credit Union Ltd
* The Police Department Employees’ Credit Union Limited
* The Summerland Credit Union Limited
* The TAFE and Community Credit Union Ltd
* The University Credit Society Limited
* Traditional Credit Union Limited
* TransComm Credit Co-operative Limited
* United Credit Union Limited
* Victoria Teachers Credit Union Limited
* Wagga Mutual Credit Union Ltd
* Warwick Credit Union Ltd
* WAW Credit Union Co-operative Limited
* Westax Credit Society Ltd
* Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union Limited
* Wyong Council Credit Union Ltd

Other ADIs

* Cairns Penny Savings & Loans Limited
* Australian Settlements Limited
* Cuscal Limited
* Indue Ltd

UPDATE: that cache link no longer works, but a full list of ADIs is available from APRA’s website

See Joe, that’s a bigger list than just four Joe. And you can clearly see St George and BankWest were both included.

Also Joe, Bendigo Bank announced an interesting net profit of $240million. That’s up from last year’s $89million. In fact at around almost 200%+  more. Kind of makes Westpac’s 80 odd percent rise look like chicken feed really. And here I thought that the big four were making it uncompetitive!

Joe. Dear Joe. You are looking more and more like a Hoss to me.

The L-NP Ponderosa posse of you hunting down them big ol’ nasty bank ‘injuns and Scott ‘I’m not a racist’ Morrison hunting down plain old ‘injuns are a wonderful team. Keep it up fellas! It gives me a lot to talk about!

Oh dear. I think I have gone too far. I did not mean it. I feel I owe you guys an apology.

Here is one you both deserve. In fact it’s one most politicians deserve.

But having said all that, I do agree with you on your ninth point of your nine point plan. In fact I consider it point number one. It is time for another full review and assessment of the financial sector. One that clearly helps delineate what their role is supposed to be and what actions the ACCC , the RBA and APRA can take. Once that is done and only after that is done can we then let these organisations have the powers they need to do what they must do.

It’s pretty petty to call for them to do something now when we have no idea what it is they can do or what they are allowed to do or even what they should do.

So there it is Joe. I do support 1/9th of your nine point plan at this stage. Please though big guy: less loud talk and screaming. It makes you look impressive on TV and such, but when people actually go through the details, it also makes you look a little financially naive. Holy cow! You are making me agree with John Howard!

Yes I understand its your job to make the other guys look shaky, but in your overwhelming desire to do so, it makes you look even more shaky.

But there is something else too. When Scott Morrision says he is not racist, I can truly say that this is true. He is not and has never been. However his rhetoric feeds those in the community who ARE racist. They flock to his words and use them feed their own racist agenda. That is the danger in such talk Scott.

Likewise when you talk doom and gloom Joe, you create the impression that this is true to some who do not know any better can have them create ripples that have devastating effects on the community and on the financial sector.

Luckily though Joe, those who actually understand the markets smirk at your talk, but the average joe on the street feeds off the anger you inspire. They may not take it out on the banks, but they may just join forces with the racists inflamed by Scott’s words and then you have a serious issue.

Yes do your job. But do it without creating a rising tide of anger that can raise that tide into a tsunami you and Scott can not stop or even hope to.

A. Ghebranious   2010        All Rights Resevered

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