ASX: July jolly. Give Mexico's land back. Italian Job.
Wry & Dry thought that the Republican Presidential Nomination BBQ couldn't be beaten for internecine strife. And for a while it looked as though the Democrat's Nomination BBQ would outdo the Balkans in tribal feuding, as the narcissist-left felt betrayed by socialist Sanders not winning.
But then there was a burst of love-ins, à la Woodstock 1969*. Yes, and wasn't it awful to witness The Hug? Imagine the figurines: Clinton & Sanders; Clinton & Clinton and then Clinton & Obama.
So now the actual battle begins between the two most unpopular presidential candidates of all time. Gloom.
And now, the less important news of the week in this week's bumper edition:
The only policy with which wannabee US President Trump has been consistent is the building of Trump Wall, the 12 metre high barrier between Mexico and the Yoo-ess-ay.
W&D has done the research: the border is some 3,200 kilometres long (roughly the distance from Melbourne to Darwin, as the blow flies), but because of natural barriers (e.g. the Rio Grande) a wall of just about 1,600 kilometres will do the trick (think Melbourne to Brisbane).
So, let's build a wall from Melbourne to Brisbane. How feasible is that?
The problem is actually not the building of the wall. If America can put a man on the moon, etc, etc... And there is no CFMEU in the US. The problem is getting the Mexicans to pay for it, as Herr Trump wishes. See more on south of the border, later.
William Shorten, newly re-installed leader of the Federal Opposition, had more wannabee ministers than available chairs. So rather than exclude from the game those who didn't have a chair when the music stops, he simply increased the number of chairs!
Hang on. The laws caps at 30 the number of ministerial chairs the occupants of which get paid an extra $40,000 for being a minister/ shadow minister. To keep his paymasters happy, William had to keep Kim Carr, that aging rock star of the left, and also add the voluble Sam Dastyari. Which meant the talented, but factionally non-aligned, Andrew Leigh, found that when the music stopped he had kept his shadow ministry but his chair was separate from the other 30. And so takes a $40,000 pay cut.
Surely a union wouldn't stand for such a demotion: same job, $40,000 less. W&D's ear is to the ground, eye to the keyhole, waiting to hear of industrial disputation.
Last week's purge in Turkey has consequences. The general in charge of Turkey's second army, who is entrusted with securing Turkey’s southern borders, is in jail for his alleged particpation with the failed coup. So too are most of the commanders of combat units on Syria’s border. They are among more than 100 generals and admirals and 9,000 security personnel arrested since the coup attempt.
Turkey had been provisioning Syrian rebels fighting the murderous, and Russian-backed, regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
So, Tsar Vlad must be laughing. Well, doubly so, also at the International Olympic Committee. Not only has Tsar Vlad almost personally overseen the Bunsen-burners and Petri-dishes of the sporting science of drug cheating, but he will be further delighted (although it's hard to tell - his face is as animated as an Easter Island monolith) that his cronies have persuaded the IOC to allow Russia to compete in the upcoming Rio Olympic Games.
So W&D will nominate Russia for the upcoming Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Russia's amazing success at sports' drug cheating puts China's, East Germany's and Essendon Football Club's worthy attempts in the shade.
Back to locally, Australia's inflation rate fell to 1%. W&D is not sure it will stay there. Petrol prices fell 11.6%. As soon as the price of oil goes back up, so will inflation. Then the RBA will have to put up interest rates. And then home borrowers will have to pay ...oh, never mind.
And this week, W&D notes that the ASX has just had its second best July this millennium; thinks that Mexico should take back the land that the US stole in the 19th century; travels east of the wall to Russia to see if Tsar Vlad's good housekeeping is working and brings updates on the woes of Italy and Zimbabwe.
Follow The Money updates the odds on the US presidential race. And with the respective party's nomination barbecues over, the odds have shortened dramatically for...
And, of course, Miscellany, to soothe your troubled mind.
Our sister publication, Investment Matters previews the start of Australia's company profit reporting 'season'. Plus the markets and stock news (Heemskirk; TZ Limited).
*Woodstock, the name given to not the first large rock festival (that sobriquet probably goes to Monterey 1967) but to probably the most famous. The festival was the quintessential blend of sex, drugs and rock; those participating in the latter category included Jimi Hendrix, Arlo Gurthrie; Joan Baez; Santana; Canned Heat; Creedence; Janis Joplin; The Who; Melanie; Joe Cocker; Blood Sweat & Tears; Crosby Stills Nash & Young and The Band. But W&D doesn't remember the 60s, because if you did...