Warning, cats! - Attenti al gatto!
Creative Commons License photo credit: funadium

Over the next few posts we will bring you a series of reminders about how we and our colleagues have been warning about the impending financial peril for many years.

The Depression
An occasional commentary
(for Australia’s federal politicians)      #1
4 December 2008


At last night’s Lowy Institute lecture in Sydney, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Ian Macfarlane, said that he found the events of the last year to have been quite astonishing.  Astonishing? But we foretold of this asset price deflation three and a half years ago!  In THE AGE of 15 June 2005, we warned the RBA not to increase interest rates because Australia was “primed to tank into a deflation” and “in the current deflationary environment” the next adjustment of Australian interest rates would more properly be down.”  

The RBA chose to ignore the warnings provided by this index though.  Also ignoring the looming price drop, it ratcheted interest rates up 1.75% over the next three years (seven times by 25 basis points). Now the RBA’s “seeing is believing” approach has witnessed it move into panic mode to lower interest rates by 3.00% in just three months! Surely this hopelessly dilatory action is the real ‘astonishing’ event, Mr Macfarlane?  It is a damning indictment of the very body whose raison d’etre is to maintain full employment and to protect Australians and their currency. By whom has the RBA been advised? Did the Bank take any cognisance at all of the Australian real estate bubble that we defined and quantified for it? No, it used its ‘experts’.

The Land Values Research Group (LVRG) hereby challenges any commercial economic forecaster, analyst or credit rating agency to match our economic forecasts. Alan Kohler noted in Secrets and Lies” on 2 December that Goldman Sachs admits to tailoring the truth a little in delivering it’s economic prognostications, because it is a commercial organisation, and, well …. it just has to! The LVRG isn’t a commercial organisation and we and our colleagues at Prosper Australia don’t have to ‘doctor’ any of our studies – so we’ll stick to telling people the truth about what they reveal.

OK, so Ian Macfarlane seems to agree with Christopher Joye and other bubble-deniers that people like us and Steve Keen are incorrect – that even though our real estate bubble may be bigger than all the others, ours isn’t about to burst next year.  Want a bet?

There are workable solutions to this horrible financial implosion.

Bryan Kavanagh
Land Values Research Group