Wry & Dry

The sky is falling. Dumb & Dumber. Secret societies.

The Sky Is Falling I

The large font headlines, normally reserved for the death of a princess (or the marriage of a princess), should have come as no surprise to astute Readers.  It was all well foreshadowed.

Yes, the AFL Grand Final 2020 is going to Brisbane! 

Cartoon afl gf

This is truly catastrophic for we-the-prisoners in Gulag Victoria.  Whilst lesser AFL finals [1] have in recent years occasionally escaped Victoria, the Last Day In September (in 2016 the First Saturday in October) has always been in Victoria.  And now "One Day in September"[2] becomes "One Day in Late October".

This is the unkindest cut of all.

But it's okay.  Really.  Victorians will get to keep the Grand Final Eve Public holiday.  Wuhan Dan has changed the date of the 2020 holiday to 23 October.  And the day will be known as Thank You Day.  Really?  Yes, really!   

Cartoon thanks for nothing 

[1] The AFL has a really weird system to see which is the best team in a year.  It's a blend of knockout, league and socialism; whereby some teams receive a 'second chance' i.e. even if losing a final, they get another opportunity to win the premiership.  It's all designed to confuse outsiders and to maximise revenue.  So the more sensible quarter-final, semi-final and final are replaced by Elimination Final, Qualifying Final, Semi-Final, the weirdly named Preliminary Final (Preliminary?  What? Not yet ready?) and the grandly named Grand Final.
[2] Written by Mike Brady.  Brady was half of the Two Man Band, the other half being Peter Sullivan; they had a one-hit wonder: "Up There, Cazaly".  Sullivan's role is often overlooked. 

The Sky Is Falling II

Readers have probably read enough of the gory detail of the June Quarter GDP data.  If not, Wry & Dry will sum it up:

(1) Nothing to see here; that is, this GDP data (-7%) was not a surprise.

(2) The data is better than the boffins in Treasury and RBA initially thought.

(3) Spending collapsed (hard to spend if one is in a Gulag).

(4) Household saving rate hit its highest since 1974.

(5) Australia has managed things rather well... 

Chart covid GDP   

Jericho Josh

The Treasurer will also have a One Day in October.  All by himself.  The May FY-21 Budget will now be presented on 6 October.  Wry & Dry's crystal ball shows a compromise budget: tax cuts brought forward, SGC increase pushed back, massive infrastructure spending, etc, but little on 'supply side' reform. 

JJ is all for reform, but Jimmy Morrison is not a reforming type. 

Secret Societies

There is probably a Secret Society somewhere of police states masquerading as democracies, for example Tsar Vlad's Russia, Sultan Erdogan's Turkey or Chancellor Lukashenko's Belarus.  Of course, Emperor Xi's China doesn't count - it has always been honest enough to admit that democracy doesn't exist in China.

Wry & Dry suspects that Chairman Dan recently applied for membership of this secret society.  Consider that Victorians are now under house arrest for 23 hours per day; there is an 8pm curfew; residents are restricted to a five kilometre radius of home; those who are required to work out of home must carry a "Permitted Worker Permit"; residents are encouraged to dob in neighbours for breach of rules, etc, etc.  Doesn't quite sound like a liberal democracy, Covid notwithstanding.

Readers will be aware of yesterday's news of a pregnant woman (in pajamas) being arrested in front of her children, handcuffed and her home searched.  All because of a Facebook post against Chairman Dan's lock-down.  In more enlightened times perhaps a phone call from the police would have occurred. 

Cartoon baby on board

Police said, "...this individual engaged in serious criminal behaviour..."  Good grief!

Actually, Wry & Dry wonders why the police bothered at all to get the search warrant, oil up the handcuffs, fill-up the divvy van, etc.  Surely a modern police state would have simply poisoned the alleged serious criminal with Novichok. [3] As is now The Tsar Vlad Preferred Method of dealing with those who protest. 

Chairman Dan's membership of the Secret Society is now certain. 

[3] Novichok is the poison used two weeks ago on Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who is now recovering in a German hospital.  Previously it was used in the attempted murder in the UK of Colonel Skripal, a Russian double agent, and Yulia, his daughter.  It was also responsible for the death of two Britons who came into contact with Novichok left from the Skripal attack.  Novichok, developed in the Soviet Union from 1971, is one of the deadliest chemical weapons ever produced.

Dumb and dumber

Some people are stupid.  Especially in the Yoo-Ess-Ay. 

Wry & Dry fails to understand why some people who are bitterly opposed to Virus-What-Virus-Trump are doing everything to get him re-elected.  It's almost foreseeable that the current anarchist uprisings by Antifa extremists and Black Lives Matter radicals will turn swinging voters to a law-and-order campaigner. 

Cartoon biden on fire

And that campaigner is not Sleepy Joe Biden.     

Readers with a sense of history will remember this as one of the main reasons why Richard Nixon was elected in 1968. [4]

[4]  Yes, yes, the absence of lugubrious incumbent president (Lyndon Johnson tossed in the towel) and charismatic Robert Kennedy (the standout of the brothers, sadly assassinated) meant that Nixon faced the old-school Hubert Humphrey.  But when the civil-rights and anti-Vietnam war demonstrations morphed into rioting, looting and killing Nixon was a shoo-in. 

Meanwhile, the score in the Turkey v. Greece game...

Readers will know that by 1460 the Ottoman Empire (i.e. Turkey) had conquered all of mainland Greece.  It wasn't until 1830 that the UK, France and Russia forced Turkey to give Greece back its independence.  It all gets rather messy after that, especially when Turkey annexed part of Greek-annexed Cyprus in 1974.

The point is that today Turkey and Greece are still not the best of friends.

The very short story is of a flash point brewing (mixed metaphor admission) in the eastern Mediterranean.  This is a blend of old-style territoriality in the search for oil and gas (by Turkey, in waters claimed by Greece) and some territorial nudging by Greece in the Aegean. 

And, as Readers might expect, Turkey's Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan has poured petrol on the flames with a speech last week: "It is not a co-incidence that those who seek to exclude us from the Eastern Mediterranean are the same invaders as the ones who attempted to invade our homeland a century ago". [5]  Nasty words, indeed.

The Sultan's knowledge of history is unfortunately blinkered - so often the case with despots.

As for the ongoing Turkey v. Greece game... it will end in tears. 

[5]  Referring to the acquisition of Eastern Thrace and Ionia by Greek forces through the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 after the First World War.  The territory was returned to Turkey by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.

Just doing the maths

In 2000, NAB (a large bank) bought MLC (a large retail financial advice and investment distribution company) for $4.5 billion.

This week NAB (now a smaller bank) sold MLC (now a smaller retail financial advice and investment distribution company) to IOOF (a wannabee large retail financial advice and investment distribution company) for $1.4 billion.  NAB's prima facie profit: $1.4 billion - $4.5 billion = minus $3.1 billion. 

More than money?  

Just when you thought it was safe...

...Nicola Sturgeon, the 'First Minister' of Scotland wants another referendum on Scottish independence from the UK.  Draft legislation would be published before next May's elections for the Scottish parliament.

Readers will know that this is symbolic.  The Scots can vote for independence as much as they like, but unless the UK government agrees (which it has said it won't) the outcome is as useful as a bicycle underwater.

Any way Readers might look at this, such a proposition is daft.  Scotland is economically unviable as a separate country.  The weird thing is that the Scots, a canny lot, know this.  Ms Sturgeon knows this.  Everybody knows this.

It's all rather like a teenager threatening to leave home.  Both the parents and the child know that the child will never go. And each is complicit in the pretence. But the child needs to boost its self esteem, negotiate bribes and keep on with the game.  Until he or she grows up.

Making hay

Wry & Dry dips his lid to Elon Musk, the President, Chairman, CEO and everything else at EV manufacturer Tesla.  Mr Musk is making the most of Tesla's share price surge.  And will raise up to $5 billion by selling new shares at or around these crazy prices.

Cartoon tesla funnel

What is crazy?  The stock is up 419% this CY, and trades on a P/E of... 300 times next years expected earnings.  The current market average P/E is 27.

Tesla clearly needs more capital to invest in a product pipeline that includes the amazingly ugly “Cybertruck” pick-up model and a semi haulage truck.  It is also expanding internationally, with a new factory recently opening in China, and plans for a European manufacturing and battery centre in Germany.

But Wry & Dry see this capital raising as making the most of the sunshine.  Tesla's share price is just not sustainable at a P/E of 300.  The share price will come back to Earth (it fell 9% last night).  Best to skin the investors in the meantime. 

Spot the photo

Photo chinese soldiers

The above is a photo:

a.  Of the chorus line from a new Chinese opera: Emperor Xi Beat Coronavirus Part 1;

b.  From a clip from a new movie: Chinese Gladiator;

c.  From Chinese Dental Weekly; or 

d.  Taken in a parade in Tienanmen Square.

Close, but no cigar.  The correct answer is d.  It is of soldiers in a parade to mark last year's 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. 

Cartoon wedgie

The photo is now doing the rounds on social media of what Virus-What-Virus-Trump would face if he provoked China any more. 

Puttin' on the splits

Weird.  If Wry & Dry splits a $100 note into five $20 notes, he is no better off.  Tesla splits one share into five each of one fifth the value, the shareholder is technically no better off.

Well, not quite.  Readers will be aware that Tesla has under taken a stock split.  That is, swapped five new shares for one old share (a 5-for-1 split).  On the basis of no other news, Wry & Dry's $20 note is worth $26.80.

Wry & Dry expects Amazon, with a share price of around $3,700, to be the next stock to split.   

Snippets from all over 

1.  America's debt hits 100% of GDP

US federal government debt will reach 100% of GDP by 30 September.

Wry & Dry comments:  Thereby equalling the Second World War peak.  

2.  New car sales hit stop light 

New vehicle sales in Victoria plunged by a massive 66% in August compared with the same month a year ago.  The national market fell 29%.    

Wry & Dry comments: Struggling to see why...

3.  No change

The Chief Teller at the RBA left the target cash rate and the target 3-year government bond rate unchanged at 0.25%.

Wry & Dry comments: Can't go down.  Won't go up.    

4.  Scottish forecasts

In an attempt to assuage Scottish voters' fears about the economic independence of Scotland from the UK, the SNP produced an economic study prior to the 2014 referendum.  That study forecast annual revenues from North Sea oil and gas in FY-17 at between £6.8 billion and £7.9 billion.  The FY-17 outcome was £157m.

Wry & Dry comments:   The Scots cannily voted no.   

5.  Buffett buys the sushi

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought stakes in five of Japan’s biggest trading companies (Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Sumitomo), adding to the billionaire investor’s wager on the commodities sector and marking one of his largest-ever forays into Asia’s second-largest economy.  The investments were valued at more than $6 billion combined.

Wry & Dry comments:  Go East, young man!.

And, to soothe your troubled mind ...

Miscellany 

Last words ...

“I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election.  If I win.”

 -  Virus-What-Virus-Trump, in the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Readers should brace themselves for the real possibility that if Virus-What-Virus Trump loses the election he will not accept the result.  President Chuck, come on down! 

A lightly salted absurdity ...

Deepak, Wry & Dry's Uber driver ... 

...sent a text.  He has been arrested and handcuffed for breaking the lock-down rules.  He has asked Wry & Dry to post bail, as each of Anjali, Damshi and his new father-in-law have refused.

 

   - From the quill of Mrs Wry & Dry.

 

Cheers

Anthony