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The Australian Alert Service is the weekly publication of the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia.
It will keep you updated of strategic events both in Australia, and worldwide, as well as the organising activities of the CEC.

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In this week's Australian Alert Service
17 January 2017

Economy running out of time

This issue of the Australian Alert Service documents more of the latest indicators that the "everything bubble" is about to burst (p. 6). The everything bubble includes the housing markets in Australia and other countries, the US stock market, global corporate debt, Bitcoin and crypto-currencies (currently plunging), and the global derivatives bubble. These bubbles have had the effect of buying time for the financial system, allowing banks to report inflated asset values that keep their balance sheets in the black, but the financial system is running out of time. For instance, this year Australia faces a tsunami of defaults on home loans, as interest-only loans made in 2013 reset after five years to interest and principal, requiring much higher monthly payments. As 2013 was the beginning of a spike in interest-only lending that lasted through to 2016, Australia may experience what the USA went through when subprime loans started to reset to higher interest rates starting in 2007, which set off the wave of defaults that culminated in the 2008 crash (p. 3). Australia's banks aren't the biggest in the world, but the "bail-in" enforcers at the Financial Stability Board in Switzerland have long identified Australia's collective financial sector as "globally systemically important", meaning a meltdown of Australia's whole financial system is capable of triggering a global meltdown. That's what is on the cards when Australia's housing bubble bursts—a meltdown of the entire Australian financial system. Time is also running out for a political solution to the cause of this mess. Outsider politicians like UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and US President Donald Trump, although very different, were elected in 2015 and 2016 by the same global voter revolt, or mass strike, against the neoliberal economic policies that everyday people recognised had ruined their lives. They were also elected on similar platforms, of national banks to fund massive infrastructure investments; the Glass-Steagall separation of essential banking from speculation; and an end to permanent regime-change wars. In terms of economic policy, Corbyn isn't yet in a position to act on his policies, but Trump has had a year, in which time he has become bogged down in the British intelligence operation to sabotage his desire to improve relations with Russia. Consequently, he has not delivered on the economic promises that motivated traditional blue-collar voters in the rust-belt states to support him, such as infrastructure and Glass-Steagall, and he is losing their support. Unless Trump breaks out of this dynamic and prioritises those policies, his party will lose control of the US Congress in elections this coming November, and the Democrats will move to impeach him—not to "save" America, but to restore the status quo for Wall Street. If Trump had prioritised Glass-Steagall, and delivered on it, that would have set off a global chain reaction of jurisdictions moving to separate their banking systems, including the UK and Australia. The fact that that hasn't happened is not a cause for despondence; it just means that we should see our efforts in Australia as having the potential to achieve the same outcome in reverse. The CEC's fight against the APRA bail-in bill, and for Glass-Steagall, including our efforts in the UK, can affect a global shift that forces Glass-Steagall onto the political agenda in most countries. This has the potential to strengthen the hand of the champions of Glass-Steagall in the USA and UK, which is crucial. The financial oligarchy of the City of London and Wall Street would hope that the mass strike is something they could wait out, until voters become disillusioned with the likes of Trump and return to the "devil they know". Our fight can provide the leadership to ensure that doesn't happen, and force through the needed financial reforms that address the crisis and lay the foundation for cooperation with China and other successful economies that will secure a prosperous future.

Articles include the following:

  • Call to regulate banking as an essential service
  • Interest-only tsunami approaching Australia's housing bubble?
  • Turnbull gov's latest hit at China draws rebuke from region
  • The tone of Chinese overtures to Pacific nations
  • Ominous signs in global economy
  • Derivatives clearing houses the biggest systemic risk?
  • Macron: France will collaborate on China's Belt and Road
  • Is dirty money pumping up the housing bubble?
  • UN Security Council rejects US bid for intervention in Iran
  • VIPS: Iran is not the sponsor of international terrorism
  • US coalition creates 'border security force' to partition Syria
  • New prospects for peace on Korean Peninsula
  • Behind Trump's Iran zig-zags
  • What you must do to stop bail-in powers
  • How Australia's government treats its island neighbours
  • ALMANAC: Replace APRA and 'bail-in' with a Glass-Steagall separation


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