Wry & Dry

And the dummy landed on the moon. Pain in Spain. Virgin & China.

Wry & Dry has seen some massive dummy spits over the years, but this week's by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was one of lunar magnitude.  The Ruddster's dummy (or pacifier, as known in the USA) landed just alongside the American flag planted on the Sea of Tranquility by Neil Armstrong in 1969.

The Ruddster's disequilibrium was caused by PM Turnbull predictably failing to support his self-nomination for the top gig at the United Nations.

The whole event was quite risible: all and sundry in the federal Labor Party cheered for the same person against whose incompetent and dictatorial leadership style they previously rebelled.  And kicked him out.

The truth is, of course, they all still hate him.  The aim was to wedge PM Turnbull.  Which was obvious as the Rudd-for-global-leader cheer-squad only got to work after Turnbull's decision.  And which was successful. 

Just as entertainingly, if another former Australian PM can nominate HRH Prince Phillip for an Australian knighthood, so jolly well can departing UK PM Cameron nominate his wife's former stylist for the OBE*.   Nudge, nudge.  Wink, wink.  Say no more. 

It's official.  The Crazies are in charge!  Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party has four senators in the new parliament.  The last one elected, Brian Burston, said yesterday, "We're a Christian country, I know we have some Jews as well … but the Muslims, they kneel five times a day and it's not how we are in this country."  

"...some Jews as well."  Hmm.  At last count there were over 120,000 Jews in Australia.  And we have some Buddhists, well, err, over 600,000 in fact.  And we have some Hindus, over 300,000.  In fact, according to the last census, we have some non-Christians.  But only about 9,120,000 of them.  Some 38% of the population.

Perhaps it's time for Mr Burston to get out of Cessnock (NSW).  And see the rest of Australia.

The oops of the week is that the USA Olympic team, as usual thinking that no-one else really competes in the games, has a uniform (left panel) that resembles the Russian flag (right panel).    

Russian flag US uniformPerhaps a fiendish plot to get into the heads of Russian athletes.  Or just a stuff-up?

Still overseas, the University of Idaho is offering a university course that includes Pokémon Go (a popular 'augmented reality' game).  UI is #403 in Forbes' magazine's 2016 ranking of US universities.**  Not difficult to see why.

And US Presidential candidate Ms Clinton wants all American college (i.e. university) students to have zero fees.  Weep for the US taxpayer.

But W&D doesn't this week ponder, too much, the refusal of the Australian banks to pass on in full the cut in interest rates by the RBA.  The banks are free to price their products and services as they wish.  If they wish to use their oligopolistic position to gouge home loan customers, that is their business.  Just as if they wish to use their fiduciary position to gouge retail financial planning customers, that is their business.

All W&D wants is that they pay for the implicit guarantee they receive from we-the-taxpayer.

More comprehensively, this week, W&D ponders Virgin Airlines' Chinese shareholders; travels to Spain to see if they yet have a government; delights at Australia's global retirement index rating; and wonders what media company Fairfax's main business really is.

Follow The Money updates the odds on the US presidential race.   And it looks as though W&D's sleepless nights may be over. 

And, of course, Miscellany, to soothe your troubled mind.

Our sister publication, Investment Matters reviews US company profits reporting 'season', previews the start of Australia's company profit reporting 'season'.  Plus the markets and stock news (Emeco). 

*W&D thought OBE meant Out of Body Experience, and so couldn't imagine anybody working for David Cameron's wife having, indeed wanting, such an experience.  Although, Jeremy Corbyn's experience in such experiences might be another matter altogether.  Refer last week's W&D's footnote on Woodstock.

Perhaps, instead, OBE means, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an 'order of chivalry', rewarding 'contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations and public service'.  Clearly, 'styling', or whatever it is that a 'stylist' does, is one of the arts.

**Only just a little behind the top five: Stanford; Williams; Princeton; Harvard and MIT.