ASX Investigations, Tax Evasion

ASX Investigations – Tax Evasion to Land Banking by Renegadeeconomists on Mixcloud

Renegade Economists show 366

In the build up to the G20, Dr Mark Zirnsak, Tax Justice Network discusses his report on tax evasion – ‘Who Owns the Commonwealth’. We finish with another report based on publicly available data (via ASX listed company reports), David Collyer reports on Englobo Land Banking Profits During a Housing Supply Crisis. See you at the Speculative Vacancies 7 report release, Wed Nov 12th.

Check more show notes on our sister Prosper Australia site.

The ABS a national treasure



Finding the Signal in the Noise by Renegadeeconomists on Mixcloud

Renegade Economists Show #365

Finding the signal in the noise: Dr Jack Barton & Dr Bob Stimpson ( join to discuss the good news story behind big data. We cover the macro analysis possible with geo-spatial analysis, the importance of quality data and the relevance of location, location to enabling better decision making. Elsewise we are flying blind!

Show Notes

Prof Robert Stimson’s brief CV – 49 books and 450 scientific papers!

During  the show Dr Stimson makes the claim ‘the Australian Bureau of Statistics is a national treasure.’ We couldn’t agree more and hope that its’ budgetary position can be prioritised.

Dr Michael Vardon, former head of the Australia’s System of Environmental Economic Accounting – a world leading report – has appeared on this show a number of times in shows 275 and 334.

AURIN is funded by the Australian Government through the Education Investment Fund, and the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). The $24 million AURIN initiative is building the e-research infrastructure to enable better understanding of the current state of Australia’s cities and towns and to meet the challenges they face.

AURIN is a national collaboration delivering e-research infrastructure to empower better decisions for Australia’s urban settlements and their future development.

I finished the show imagining what our future might be like if the geo-spatial analysis of seeing who has what disease (or which community has few parks)  is cross referenced with the cost-benefit analysis of various infrastructure projects. Citizens could click another layer on a website showing where the marginal seats are and who received what infrastructure spend. An enhanced sense of transparency will occur, bringing us closer to the type of economic democracy we demand.

Important links:


Englobo – Land banking profits during a housing supply crisis – on tonight.

The 7th Speculative Vacancies report, RSVP Nov 12th

Jack Barton informed that Anthony Townsend is a leading thinker on the interface between technology, planning and decision making.

Photo courtesy Pieter Pieterse


Taibbi’s Divide a warning to Australia

the Divide
An email from listener, radio show guest and long time Prosper member John Jamieson, too good to hide in my inbox.

I managed to track down a copy of “The Divide” written by Matt Taibbi and published by Scribe Publications earlier this year.

This book really offers an insight into where Australia is going, as we have set our agenda to following the USA down a similar path to disaster.

Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery (possibly rubbing off into our own ABS!). As poverty has gone up, crime rates have come down, but the prison population has doubled (I think OZ is following suit). Certainly our local regional prison in Albany is currently about 60%-70% over its design capacity at the last count.

Meanwhile fraud by the rich wipes out 40% of the world’s wealth – yet the rich get massively richer and no one has gone to jail!

In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where two troubling trends – growing wealth-inequality & mass incarceration – come together. Basic rights are now determined by wealth or poverty, allowing the hyper-wealthy to go unpunished, whilst poverty itself has been turned into a crime!

In his book “The Divide”, Taibbi takes us on a galvanising journey through both sides of the American justice system and uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse as well as the story of a whistle-blower who got in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, he shows how the newly punitive welfare system treats its beneficiaries as thieves, whilst stop-and-frisk practices have led to people being arrested for simply standing outside their own homes having a quiet smoke in the evening!

Taibbi lays bare America’s perverse new standard of justice – a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all. We in Australia are implicated by association, as we often blindly go “wham, bam with Uncle Sam!”

The book focuses on the banking and financial structures that have risen into a position where the large private banking cartel in the US & its connection with the UK banking cartel have completely corrupted the financial system, after the Clinton administration removed the Glass-Steagall Act from their legislation, which formerly had some semblance of stabilising the banking fraternity. [Glass-Steagall was introduced by the Roosveldt government to re-generate the US economy after the depression of the 1930’s].

He demonstrates how the derivatives market sponsored the massive real estate bubble that then led to the US government bailing out all the private banks who were “too big to fail” to the tune of about $3 – $4 trillion dollars; these banks then manipulated these “bank guarantees” to make further in-roads using methods that should have resulted in their owners and directors all going to jail for at least 200 years, instead they were simply given some small fines of a few million here and there (& probably the fines were paid from the money they were given by the government!)

It seems like our own financial system is closely aligned with the way the US & UK operates and we should be not supporting and giving any guarantees to all those banks that are supposed to be “too big to fail”. Even in the UK they are trying to re-institute Glass-Steagall, but so far without success. The US should have simply nationalised the banks along the lines of our old “peoples bank” Commonwealth Bank of Australia, or the existing Peoples Bank of China.

The Chinese government banking people, I understand, are at present financing a huge 633-unit high rise building project in Melbourne, I suspect to chew up quite a few millions of their US dollars that they currently hold and want to get rid of in quite a smart way to help their domestic pension funds. In the meantime the BRICS international finance group have been launching its own path into the future in global finance [BRICS is the “cooperative” financial model of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] with an Asian Infrastructure Bank. This has been set up to promote infrastructure and development in areas of the world previously being raped and pillaged by the “western democracies”.

When I’ve spoken to Asian business men they see the US as a “dying corpse” and that Australia is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

See if you can lay hands on a copy of The Divide and I’m sure it will give some food for thought on the Renegade Economists program, broadcast on 3CR, Melbourne. This book is a devastating account of the inequality in America’s justice, immigration and social-service systems; it’s probably what Abbott & Hockey picked up last time they were over in the USA, so that they could frame their new policy programs!

Image – Molly Crabapple

40% of UK MP’s own investment property, 94% in Australia

40% of UK MPs own real estate, 94% in Australia by Renegadeeconomists on Mixcloud

Renegade Economists Show 364

As broadcast on 3CR, Wednesday 22/10, 5.30 – 6pm
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Jacob Wills ( discusses the protest movement against the international property convention MIPIM, held in London last week. Some shocking stats are revealed in this candid discussion on the commodification of housing. (excuse the audio quality :(

Show Notes

The Radical Housing Network is at the vanguard of a global movement concerned about the rapid escalation in housing costs (read land prices). This is particularly the case so soon after the Global Financial Meltdown that was precipitated by the US fall in land prices in the June quarter of 2006.

Read more about the RHN’s MIPIM agenda. We sent a statement of support:

We at Prosper Australia fully support the UK MIPIM protest “Say NO to MIPIM: YES to housing justice for all!”
Rental Backed Mortgage Securities, the increasing use of Property Options and the control that lobbyocracy has over our MPs threatens our right to a place on this planet. The myriad of tax loopholes, derivatives and massive infrastructure projects delivering windfall gains to insiders can all be addressed with a very simple alteration to our tax code. Switch taxes off productive workers and onto landowners. Land Value Tax is the best and fairest way to share the naturally increasing value of the earth amongst all. The property that IS genuine theft is the rising value of the earth, the economic rents. Why? Because it is community created. If no-one lived in London, what would happen to the Duke of Westminster’s land holdings? Karl Fitzgerald, Prosper Australia

94% of Australian politicians own an investment property.

Boris Johnson speaks over the protest noise, mentioning that he bought an apartment for £93,000, now those in the same street are valued at £1.6m. An increase of £83,000 occurred in the last year alone.

My commentary on the video: Boris dispels the blame game behind ‘Bashing London’ and ‘Foreign investors’. He states the real solution – more housing. But his predictable response avoids the lightly taxed capital gains delivered to those who own prime locations on earth. With published vacancy rates ignoring those held empty for speculative gains, a better answer would be for more efficient use of our land, at prices more closely aligned to the earning capacity of people who live in the area. That’s whats possible with a Land Value Tax.

Boris is proud that (only) 100,000 houses will be built under his 8 year mayorialship. When investors can buy and sell from anywhere on the planet for great profit, that argument is old hat. More investment on a fixed land mass leads to higher land prices.

No MIPIM behind the scenes

Bursting the Bubble – Say No to MIPIM

Insider deals between councils and developers

39% of private renters in London live below the poverty line.

23 Advantages for Investors

Policy Fraud

Policy Fraud: with Matt Elliis by Renegadeeconomists on Mixcloud

Renegade Economists show 362

As broadcast on 3CR, Wednesday 15 October.
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Matt Ellis ( discusses his petition calling out Senator Nick Xenophon for pushing superannuation access as a vehicle for housing affordability. More money on a fixed land mass = higher land prices AKA a seller’s subsidy. Policy fraud must end!

Show Notes

Matt’s Petition
His open letter to Nick Xenophon
The report back on phone call

Here is the South Australian government body HomeStart Finance, offering risky 3% deposits or 97% LVR. Anything above a 90% LVR is frowned upon. Here’s another similarly named group with $2,500 deposits.

For Nick to be taking advice from HomeStart rather than listening to people like Matt and his incredible list of evidence compiled (on the original petition) is frustrating.

Let’s see if the Senator accepts our challenge to appear on the show and counter this discussion with scientific evidence. Will it be any different to what happened in Canada?

23 Advantages for Property Investors

Opportunity and Equity