Wry & Dry

Black Jack back? Bye-bye Bernie. Stock-market stalls.

Wry & Dry returns from a left knee medial unicompartmental replacement* to find that plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose+.   Yawn.  

The RBA sat on its hands and didn't change interest rates; the World Bank cut its global economic growth forecast (to just 2.4%); and France's courts declared Uber to be illegal.  But Australia's politics gets weirder, with the Labor party announcing they will now pass some of the government's budget savings that have been stuck in the Senate for almost three years.  This follows its decision to agree to abolish the School Kids bonus and agree to tighter pension assets test.

W&D has the scratch pad out and is calculating the cost to we-the-taxpayer for the three year delay in these decisions.

To W&D's mind, of worthier note: It's bye-bye Bernie, as the ageing hippie socialist is finally beaten by Ms Clinton for the Democrat nomination; and Australian Senator Nick Xenophon has wound back the clock of economic commonsense to leave W&D with the nightmare of 'Black Jack' McEwan**.  The South Australian Senator wants to ensure that in the long-term others lose their jobs so that he can keep his.

The stock-market finished May with healthy uptick, but June has started like W&D on his first ever date: nothing happening; and W&D presents his first psephological-bookie review of the election campaign.

Follow The Money sees all three favourites (no Trump, no Brexit and no-body, sorry, Turnbull) firming even more.  And, of course, Miscellany, to soothe your troubled mind.

Read on, wryly and dryly.

*Another part of W&D's cunning plan to keep private healthcare costs as high as possible.  But another decade at the crease is assured.  However, what a truly ghastly experience, notwithstanding surgical, nursing and hospital excellence.

+The more things change the more they stay the same.

**John McEwan, arch protectionist and Leader of the Country Party (forerunner to the National Party) from 1958 until 1971, and Deputy Prime Minister from 1968 until 1971.  McEwan skilfully, if somewhat illegally, took the reins as Prime Minister for 21 days, when Harold Holt drowned in 1967 and before the Liberals could elect a new leader.

William McMahon, Treasurer and deputy Liberal Leader, was clear successor to Holt, but McEwan hated McMahon for the latter's free trade policies.  McEwan said that the Country Party would not be part of any coalition with McMahon as leader.  The Liberals showed their spine and chose to back down and elected Senator John Gorton as Prime Minister.  Gorton quit the Senate and stood in the by-election for Holt's seat, Higgins.  Higgins is the only electorate in Australia to have been held by two Prime Ministers.  It almost had a third when then PM Howard reneged in 2006 on an agreement with the then Treasurer and Member for Higgins, Peter Costello and refused to stand-down.  Rightly fearing party disunity and internecine warfare, Costello decided not to formally challenge Howard.  Howard failed at the subsequent election, losing not only the election for the coalition, but also his own seat. 

McEwan quit politics in 1971.  He committed suicide in 1980.  The federal electorate of McEwan is named for him.