Wry & Dry

Barnaby. Brelection. Brutal laboratory.


It was quiet, out there.  Too quiet. 

And then along came the disastrous bush fires.  And all bets on rationality were off.  The question was which group that leads the world in global rankings for idiocy would first hit the airwaves?

No cigar for the correct answer.  A trio of Green troglodytes (Adam Bandt, Jordon Steele-John, Richard Di Natale) couldn't resist the temptation to put blame for the bush fires squarely at the feet of the government's carbon emissions policy. 

Cartoon save the kindling

Regardless of one's view on global warming and its causes, that is idiocy.  And the trio of Greens knows the fault primary lies with China, Yoo-Ess-Ay, India and Russia.  They also know that it's all about maximising publicity and ensuring that rusted-on supporters remain rusted on. 

Contrast the Greens deliberately spouting mistruths with that keeper of cartoonists' careers: Barnaby Joyce.  Barnaby took the worm, the hook, the sinker, the line and the rod as his disparate brain cells tried to link up to form a coherent response.  They failed.  Twice.   

Suggesting that two of the people who died in the fires were probably Green voters was not only in bad taste, its relevance was difficult, if not impossible, to assess.  And then he said that changes to the sun’s magnetic fields were linked to the bush fires.  Whaaaat!

Wry & Dry is impressed that Barnaby knows that the sun's magnetic field is generated by the motion of conductive plasma inside the sun.  And that the strength and direction of the sun's magnetic field can be determined by examination of the Zeeman effect lines.  He should also know that changes to the sun’s magnetic fields have a tiny effect on the Earth’s climate.

Cartoon barnaby suns magnetic field

Barnaby's pre-disposition to stick his head above the parapet and shout empty thought bubbles at any passer-by often provides entertainment in an often dull world.  But there are some times when he should just lie back and think of his sheep. 

A Wry & Dry aside

Wry & Dry hastens to add that Jimmy Morrison and his government would be foolish to turn a deaf ear to those linking bush fires to climate change to carbon emissions.  Politics boils down the court of public opinion.  The court of public opinion tends to be right in its direction, but not always magnitude or timing.  Astute leaders, with issues like this, hustle around to the front of where the people are going and lead from there.    

Brelection I

There is little doubt that the media are correct when commenting that the upcoming Borisconi v Jezza election is the most important since ... the last important UK election.  The reasons are many:

a.  Brexit

b.  Jezza has presented a manifesto of an extraordinarily socialist agenda, which would send the UK back to the 1970s when the Old Dart had the ignominy of being bailed out by the IMF, which at the time was the largest ever IMF loan. [1]

c.  Borisconi has presented a manifesto of Gaullist character [2], i.e. a nationalistic, almost romantic, view of British grandeur through a strong economy, a stable society and a centralised government.  It is pragmatic rather than doctrinaire or ideological.  The worry is that it will be whatever Borisconi wakes up thinking.  Each day.

d.  Scottish independence.  If Borisconi doesn't form government, there will probably be a minority Labour government.  The price of the support of the Scottish National Party will be another referendum on Scottish independence. And to get the Lib Dems onto Jezza's jalopy, he will promise another Brexit referendum.

e.  It's a December election, the first since the last one ... in 1923.  In that election, the Labour Party won government with the support of the Liberals.  It lasted 10 months.  The Conservatives won the next election by a landslide.  Histo-psephologists are excited.

[1] The 1976 IMF Crisis was a financial crisis which forced UK's James Callaghan's Labour Party government to borrow $3.9 billion ($20 billion in 2018) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
[2] Charles de Gaulle, the fiercely nationalistic and prickly French war hero and later President of France.  He was a chauvinist in the true sense of the word.  

Brelection II

Jezza Corbyn has come out with the most extraordinary policy announcement: a UK Labour government would nationalise Britain's broadband network and offer free internet access to every household and business.

This is a winner!  The millennials will love it.  And vote accordingly.  Wry & Dry dare not ask the question: "Who is going to pay?"

Brutal laboratory

One of the many issues that Wry & Dry has with so-called millennials is their disinterest in matters that do not directly affect them or events that occurred before they were born.  So the lessons of history are lost.  Sigh.

Is this because they are not taught the basic skeleton of history?  Like bones in a skeleton, all history is connected.  One thing leads to another.  And without a skeleton the body is shapeless.  As we would be without history.  

Or are millennials so self-absorbed they think there is no need for a structure - it's easier to be formless.

Either way, they might, with all of the 30th anniversary stuff, know about the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 but do not know of its significance.

The significance was not the actual wall fall, that was merely the exclamation mark on a sentence of multi-national (mostly) peaceful uprisings.  The significance was and is the proof of the failure of communism as an economic and political system and the success of the shout for freedom.

So, why should millennials care?  The answer lies in Hong Kong, where as millennials consider tomorrow's restful location of their poached eggs on smashed avocado, a brutal laboratory experiment is underway. 

Cartoon millenialls

The Hong Kong demonstrators are not yet under the oppressive yoke of Chinese communism.  But they can see across the border and know that it will be no more than 28 years before the yoke is screwed onto their shoulders. And their children's.

And the way that Hong Kong's Basic Law [3] is being eroded it will be much sooner than 28 years.  Sadly, the demonstrators are prodding the panda too much.  Readers of Sun Tzu [4] and Machiavelli [5] will know that there is a better way.

Either way, millennials should care, because this is the point of understanding the skeleton of history.  Wry & Dry notes that while the Hong Kong demonstrators have the courage to fight to keep their freedoms, he wonders if Australia's millennials would find it easier to be formless, or be formed by others.

Just askin'.

[3] The de facto constitution of Hong Kong.  The Basic Law was drafted on the basis of the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the Chinese and British governments in 1984. As stipulated in the Joint Declaration, socialism practised in mainland China would not be extended to Hong Kong. Instead, Hong Kong would continue its capitalist system and way of life for 50 years after 1997.    
[4] To whom The Art of War, a 5th century BC Chinese military treatise, it attributed.
[5]  Who did write The Prince, a 16th century political treatise.  It draws on two great exponents of the political art: the Borgia and the Medici families.    

Not the Archies

In his week away, Wry & Dry ventured to the showing of Archibald Prize finalists at the amazing Tarrawarra Art Winery in a sodden Yarra Valley.  Readers will know that the Archie is all about portraits of supposedly famous people.  Sadly, to Wry & Dry's rheumy eye, only five that were shown were worth viewing.  The concept of a portrait evoking the character of the subject seemed lost.  Instead there were many indulgent and yet rewarded pieces that reminded W&D of his own efforts, some decades ago, with his set of 24 Derwent pencils [6].

On the other hand, the locals in Healesville had their own exhibition of portraits: Not the Archies.  Most of those portraits gave Wry & dry a strong sense of the character of the subject.  Wry & Dry dips his lid.

[6] Only indulged pupils had the status-giving set of 144 Derwent pencils.

Time serving

Readers probably have never heard of Eric Abetz.  A somewhat-to-the-far-right-of-the-soup-spoon-in-fact-off-the-edge-of-the-table Senator, Abetz has taken his dosh as a Senator for Tasmania from we the taxpayer since 1994.  His career is littered with, well, time serving.  In those 25 years his achievements have been little, even when Minister for Employment he mostly sat on his hands. 

Cartoon abetz

A conservative by nature, he is also conservative by activity, i.e. always seeming to conserve his energy by doing very little.  Except to ruthlessly control the Tasmanian division of the Liberal Party.

Wry & Dry brings Senator Abetz to the attention of Readers as there is now a move to oust him from the Senate.  Hear!  Hear!  Surely any person with a sense of duty would make way for a younger person.  Surely.

Unemployment up 

Readers would have read that Australia's unemployment rate in October crept up to 5.3% from 5.2%.  The shock part of the data was the loss of 19,000 jobs.

Wry & Dry was not shocked.  In his local shopping strip a store now closes its doors every fortnight.  That's four or five employees for each store down at Centrelink.  More or less.

Do the math(s).

Pretty useless, but interesting

Readers will know that Wry & Dry is at the forefront of technology.  And so thought it useful to share this video link with Readers: click here 

Cartoon some backflip

Whatever next?

How to Win Elections 101

On Monday Jezza Corbyn (UK wannabee PM) left the world in doubt as to where he stood in international affairs.  Along with the presidents of Venezuela, Mexico and Cuba, he tweeted support for the just-kicked-out-office and somewhat-left-wing now former president of Bolivia, Evo Morales.     

The other notable backing Evo was Bernie Sanders, wannabee president of the Yoo-Ess-Ay. 

Wry & Dry admires Jezza for not only sticking to his principles in the face of the upcoming election, but also making his views widely known. 

Cartoon corbyn blaming the jews

But he's not sure it would mean passing How to Win Elections 101.

Not clear on the concept

Canada's Quebec province has denied immigrant status to a French citizen because she was unable to demonstrate adequate French-language proficiency.

Emillie Dubois was born in France, lived in France, speaks French and completed a doctorate at a French-language university.  She even passed a Quebec-required French test to prove she spoke French.

Cartoon you must be biligual in french

But, in an outcome entirely out of Yes Minister she was denied immigration status because she had not completed her education entirely in French.  The only part of her entire education not completed in French was one of five chapters in her thesis, which was written in English, for publication in a scientific journal (where English is the lingua franca).


First Hillary, now Bloomberg

Readers will know that the line-up of Demo challengers to I-Wanna-Another-Four-More-Years-Trump falls cleanly into three groups:

A. The unelectable far left of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

B. The unelectable folksy, forgetful but nice Joe Biden

C. The mostly unelectable others

Which is why supporters of Pantsuit Hillary ran the flag up the flag pole to see who would salute.  Pantsuit Hillary was the only one saluting.  And is still the only one saluting.

And which is why billionaire former mayor of New Yoik Michael Bloomberg ran his own silk flag up his own silver flagpole.  There was some saluting.  Outcome uncertain.

So, it's desperate times for the Demos.  Hillary, really? And Bloomberg's time has passed, he won't want his legacy ruined by failing to get the Demo nomination.

Wry & Dry sees the solution this way.  I-Wanna-Another-Four-Years-Trump has to go, for more reasons than there are stars in the heavens.  Every smart person outside of the Yoo-Ess-Ay knows that Senator Amy Klobuchar is the only electable candidate: centrist, smart and sensible.  But she will only win if a Steve Bradbury event occurs [7].

To make that happen Joe Biden must sacrifice his quixotic dream for the good of the world and deliberately fall over i.e. withdraw and then support Amy.  Sanders and Warren and the other Demos will crash into each other.  And Amy will skate through.

[7] Bradbury is an Australian former short track speed skater and four-time Olympian. He won the 1,000 m event at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics after all of his opponents were involved in a last corner pile-up. See here  

Pink Batts v 2.0

Readers would have seen that Jezza Corbyn, the wannabee UK Prime Minister, is pledging to cut UK carbon emissions by 10% through the largest home improvement programme for decades.  He is promising £60 billion of energy-saving upgrades, such as 'loft insulation', by 2030.

Wry & Dry suggests that he gives the Ruddster [8] a call, to ask how not to do it.

[8]  Aka Kevin Rudd, Australian Prime Minister in 2009, when his government introduced the 'Energy Efficient Homes Package', which became the 'Home Insulation Program'.  Sadly, the ill conceived and poorly executed Program led to the deaths of four tradesmen and also failed to stimulate the Australian economy, as was the intent.

Snippets from all over 

1.  Tesla lands in Germany

Just weeks after beginning trial production of cars in China, Tesla announced the location of its second factory outside the USA: Berlin, Germany.

Wry & Dry comments:  This is right in Volkswagen's backyard.  VW announced that it was going to invest €30 billion to electrify its entire product lineup over the next four years.

2.  Boeing 737 MAX

The plane maker said deliveries of the 737 MAX could begin in December.    

Wry & Dry comments:  That's a 'could'.  Not a 'will'.  And it doesn't mean the planes can fly.  What is does mean is that Boeing, which is still producing 42 737 MAX each month, has run out of room to park them in its back yard.  

3.  UK not in recession

The U.K. economy welcomed a return to growth in the third quarter as GDP expanded 0.3% following a 0.2% contraction in Q2.  

Wry & Dry comments:  Borisconi claimed credit.   

4.  China's 6G spot

Two weeks ago, China launched commercial services for its superfast 5G mobile networks, but the country is not stopping there. The government has charged 37 experts at various universities and institutes to oversee the research of 6G, according to a statement by the Ministry of Science and Technology. 

Wry & Dry comments: Readers know that 5G has transmission speeds at least 10 times that of 4G.  6G: all the better with which to spy on citizens. 

5.  World's most profitable company to go public

Saudi Aramco, Arabia's state-owned oil company. has confirmed it is planning to list on the Riyadh stock exchange, in what could be the world's biggest initial public offering (IPO). 

Wry & Dry comments:  Saudi Arabia has the second-biggest oil reserves after Venezuela. It is also second in production, after the US.  So far so good.  But the proposed dividend (US$75 billion) suggests a yield of 3.75%.  The oil world tends to pay about 6%.  Either the valuation of US$2 trillion goes down or the dividend goes up.   

And, to soothe your troubled mind ...


Last words ...

“Two people who died in the NSW fires most likely voted Greens."

 -  Barnaby Joyce, former deputy prime minister.

The gift that keeps on giving. 

A lightly salted absurdity ...

Deepak, Wry & Dry's Uber driver ... 

... smiled proudly as Wry & Dry clambered into the jalopy.

 “And?” Wry & Dry prompted.

 “Anjali is with child!”

 “Congratulations Deepak,” W&D announced, clapping him affectionately on the shoulder. “I am delighted for you both.”

“Of course that means…” said Deepak solemnly “that I must change my ways.  Anjali says no more horses, no more betting, that sort of thing. It’s a bit tiresome, you know don’t do this, can’t do that…”

“But perhaps Anjali is wise, and a wife should be treasured above rubies,” W&D sighed.

“That’s what my mother-in-law says,” Deepak grumbled.

 “Wisdom comes with age Deepak!” W&D quipped.  "What next?"

 “We are having a reveal party, Mr W&D.  Would you come?” Deepak evidently was done with the sage advice of Wry & Dry.

“A whaaaaat?” said Wry & Dry, always fond a of a party but entirely confused.

“Where we announce to our friends the gender, Mr W&D!”

“Ah, yes.” Wry & Dry had recently read an article about a reveal party disaster to now form a very clear picture in his mind. The thought of Deepak handling explosives in the rouge or the cerulean made the mind boggle.

“We would be delighted to come, but Deepak, you are just using balloons or such, aren’t you?”  Wry & Dry asked as he unbuckled his seat belt.

“Absolutely not, the gender of my child should be announced with a bang,”  Deepak replied proudly.

W&D grinned as he stepped onto the pavement.  What could possibly go wrong with Deepak and explosives, he thought.  And then happily strode towards his office.





First Samuel client events calendar


First Samuel Chief Investment Officer Events

"Managing for a Low-Interest Rate Future"

February 2020
Invitations are to be sent early December

11th Feb - ARIA, Sydney

12th Feb – Elyros, Camberwell

13th Feb – Hellenic Republic, Kew

25th Feb – Chin Chin, Melbourne CBD

27th Feb – The Botanical, South Yarra
(Lunch & Dinner)

28th Feb – Stillwater, Dromana