January 26, 2009

Happy Australia Day

220 years later, it may all come crumbling down.

But you blokes do know how to have a good time.

Enjoy. While you still can.

Bukko, hoist a few for us.


Anonymous said...

Yikes ... say it aint so Joe ... Australia was my dream. Thoughts of miles of beaches and a cute saucy blonde on my arm complete with blue bikini is what gets me through these days ...

Don Payne

Mike Hunt said...

RIP BUKKO my friend.

Mike H.

Anonymous said...

Vitamin B in Kings Cross.

Anonymous said...


This blog is really getting boring!

Who cares about

that liverin Aussie swine?

Rue Britannia!


EU connection said...

Does Briton still occupy the Ausies?

area51 said...

---"But an economist for CommSec, Savanth Sebastian, said falling interest rates and the first-home buyer's grant would help keep prices steady.

"We are not going to see dramatic falls this year," he said."

OMG that is so precious! That is like a gift on a sterling silver platter.
Quick how can we short the Australia housing market???!!!

BTW for "EU connection"
I think Australia and Canada are still commonwealths to the UK.

ME said...

Area51 - you have a point. Public sentiment is still far behind reality here in Oz. Most still believe that we are "special" and "shielded" from the global rout. Property falls as seen in the UK and the US "can't happen here". Of course no explanation is given as to why that would be the case. Australia still offers a major shorting opportunity, particularly in real estate.

Anonymous said...


I bet former CA-union-parasite Bukko bought at peak, housing and AUD. bwahahahahaha


Anonymous said...

I bet former CA-union-parasite Bukko bought at peak, housing and AUD. bwahahahahaha

That would be nice and would also be poetic justice. BOOOOAAAAHHHH!!!

Aussie Girl said...

I live in Adelaide - a little city on the edge of the desert. It has been ranked as the 12th least affordable place to buy property in the world!! Why??? People here say there is no bubble, that prices will hold, blah, blah, blah. I say we are just a hick town, two years behind the rest of the world, trapped in our own little bubble. By the way, we are in the middle of a heat wave, we have water restrictions and the mining industry has just collapsed. Pass me a VB mate...

Shane said...

Im here in Australia too. We are just like the last kid in line to get his immunisation shots. We are using every little lie we can come up with to convince ourselves that it isnt our turn next as we listen to all the yelps and moans in the next room....

daharja said...

As an ex-patriot Aussie living in New Zealand, I don't miss any of it.

You can keep it all.

BTW, interesting comment from Aussie Girl on the housing prices in Adelaide, which is my home town. Average house price there is about Au $450K I'd guess, which is about US $400K. Crazy.

No bubble? Like hell there isn't!

Anonymous said...

I live in Adelaide - a little city on the edge of the desert. It has been ranked as the 12th least affordable place to buy property in the world!!

Aussie girl + interested in finance, huh.

How ya doin?

Noprogram said...

...and they're running out of water. Bugger.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Keith. I was hoisting some bud -- although not Budweiser -- at the Big Day Out all-day rock festival. Because we're old hippies, my wife and I mainly went there to see Neil Young, who ripped it up! I saw him play in the U.S. about a half-dozen times since the late 70s, and this was the second-best performance I witnessed. I caught some of the other more punkish Aussie bands, and had a hella good time.

Best thing was, we got in free! Mrs. Bukko and I are politically active with an anti-nuclear group and the rock fest organisers allow us and other left-wing groups to set up "stalls" (as they call political activist booths here.) We pass out propaganda, get people to sign petitions, sell T-shirts, etc. and when there's a good act, those of us who want to see it can head for that stage. Because our Prius has enough room to fit the card tables and boxes of pamphlets inside, we're the designated drivers. And when we ferry the merch in the night before, we don't have to worry about being frisked and passing through the police sniffer dogs. It is so cool being a shrewd, shifty political hippie!

One more thing for you Bukko haters -- I keep most of my money in Swiss francs and euros, with a bit in U.S. dollars to cover our credit card charges. But local money keeps piling up in my Aussie bank account. I don't pay the balance much mind until the number gets to five figures.

Last year, we transferred AU$ 7,500 back to the U.S. when the exchange rate was 93 U.S. cents for one Aussie dollar. That turned out to be a good move, because now an Aussie dollar is worth 67 U.S. cents. And the thing is, I wasn't even trying to profit from the currency speculation. I just wanted to move some spare money around. Like I said, 7,500 Aussie dollars is barely worth the time it takes to deal with it.

Not that I'm mega-rich or anything. I'm just a butt-wiping hospital nurse. But you know, if you "walk in the light" and try to do decent things for people, good karma will come your way. It's a shame that so many of you spend so much time radiating hate. Share my joy, mates. Life is sweet here. Perhaps if you would let go of your bitterness, more goodness would flow into your lives. Cheers!

Suomynona said...

From Darwin, Australia...

These remind me of the early days of HP:

This adorable 3 bedroom shack in a slightly run-down Darwin suburb listed for $450K ($301K USD @ 0.67) just sold!


Here's something for the budget conscious buyer - a little shack with a rustic interior, "stunning kitchen", and wonky carport extension.


It's yours for just $410K ($275K USD @ 0.67)!

So what does half a million buy? Behold!


People in Darwin are still well and truly in denial. The planned Inpex LNG plant (http://tinyurl.com/d35khu) which may not even go ahead, has convinced people that "Darwin is in a bubble".

Amazingly, when people say "Darwin is in a bubble", they're thinking of an indestructible bubble that will protect Darwin from the economic chaos spreading around the world, rather than something which will eventually burst.

I've given up trying to warn them, although I did have one success - I sent a guy I work with some links to Mish, Roubini, and this blog. Now he walks around the office telling people that there's a depression coming and he's buying physical gold (Perth Mint).

PS. (Beer) I'm a Coopers man myself.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bukko I had a freind like you in high school and you remind me of him. The cheerleaders used to kick his ass. By the way check out the baltic dry index. I would not want to be down under when those Chinese don't have money to give the Aussies for raw materials. They will take it. The Aussies will blame the yanks. Ya this could get interesting for Bukko. Karma baby.

Anonymous said...

Best thing was, we got in free!

Classic union parasite.

Anonymous said...

One more thing for you Bukko haters -- I keep most of my money in Swiss francs and euros, with a bit in U.S. dollars to cover our credit card charges.

You mean the money you stole from California taxpayers, right? After helping to bankrupt the California state, the union parasites are on the run, transferring taxpayer money into Switzerland. At least have the decency of spending taxpayer money in California, ultraliberal union parasite.

Anonymous said...

"Not that I'm mega-rich or anything."

Weren't you the person recently bragging about your diamond encrusted watch here in this blog? The old-hippie who wears diamond watches and moves money between AU and USA...Ladies & Gentlemen, I present you the typical Baby Boomer who loves unions to live off hard-working taxpayers.

I bet you loved when Neil Young played "Heart of Gold" or "After The Gold Rush", eh?

Bukko_in_Australia said...

How are you going, Anonymous who's so uncreative you can't make up a screen name? I'm delighted you read my comments so closely, mate. It lets me know that my words have crept into your brain. I appreciate the close attention you're paying.

As for the money I moved from Australia to the U.S., that was actually cash that I earned from my union job in Australia. I certainly didn't accumulate Aussie dollars in California.

If you want a ripoff to be angry about. consider this: when we gave those Australian dollars to our bank in the U.S. last August, the bank gave us 93 U.S. cents for each one. Now, if the bank still has those Aussie dollars in January, each one is only worth about 67 U.S. cents. The American bank got screwed so bad on that deal! (Of course I realise that money is fungible; it all goes back to cover terms of trade, yada yada.) And I profited so nicely. I hope you can share the happiness I feel with knowing I made a smart move at the right time.

Here's another fact you'll like -- it was taxpayers' money I transferred, too. I work for a public hospital, run by the state of Victoria, paid for by the national Medicare tax. I'm a union member who works for the government. And I make enough surplus money that I can shift it between countries. Union life is good! I hope you get a chance to join one.

Lastly, thank you for remembering my watch! Not only do you read my words, they stick in your mind. You compliment me with that, sir. It's not made of gold -- those go for upwards of 10,000 Swiss francs, not the 1,500-plus this cost -- just gold and silver coloured stainless steel on the case and band. The diamonds are tiny, one where each of the numbers should be, with five diamonds making up a Swiss cross where the 12 sits. It's not bling, just one of those thin, elegant Swiss timepieces that has understated class. People who are secure in their economic position don't have to flash it to the world in an attempt to prove it.

But again, thank you for remembering an offhand remark I made weeks ago. I can tell that I impress you. Because you are almost certainly a "conservative" who celebrates wealth, wearing an expensive Swiss watch is no doubt something you'd approve of.

Thank you Keith for providing me a chance to have an online conversation with someone who pays closer attrention to me than my own mother.

To get back to the main topic here, ditto to what the other Aussie commenters have said about the economic mood in Oz. People here are still in denial. The papers and TV are full of stories about the economic crisis. Average people have a sense that things are going wrong in the rest of the world, and that there might be slight problems here. But there's not a mentality of crisis.

I talk to a lot of people -- my workmates, hospital patients and their families, people at political events... When I galah on about currency collapses, mass implosion of commercial loans, how changes in the Baltic Dry Index is an indicator that they should have a stash of imported food because international shipments might grind to a halt -- they look at me like I'm a nutter. It's like talking quantum physics to people who are learning how to spell C-A-T.

And most don't want to hear it. The belief that Australia is "the Lucky Country" and "she'll be right" runs strong. Ironically, the ones who glom it best are the socialists I hang out with at protest marches. As the saying goes, "Socialists are great at diagnosing the ills of capitalism; they just don't have the right prescription to cure them."

Mitchell said...

Another Australian here.

"But an economist for CommSec, Savanth Sebastian, said falling interest rates and the first-home buyer's grant would help keep prices steady."

When I read that the other day, I immediately thought, Aha, our property market *will* crash this year. I don't think I'd had such a strong and immediate sense of a pundit being wrong since a long time ago when Brad Delong posted that the US would avoid recession, and I thought, OK, time to think about the implications of a new depression there...