Gina Rinehart is a Bubble

Last week she said:

If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking, or smoking and socializing and more time working.

Today she claimed that Australians should be willing to work for less than $2 a day:

Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart has criticised her country’s economic performance and said Africans willing to work for $2 a day should be an inspiration.

Ms Rinehart is said to make nearly A$600 (£393) a second.

The richest woman in the world is making an increasing number of public appearances, and speaking of increasingly controversial topics.

I wonder why.

It couldn’t be that she is becoming increasingly aggressive and controversial because her core business is in trouble, could it?

Marc Faber suggests so:

There have been four mega bubbles in the past 40 years. In the 1970s it was gold; in the 1980s it was the Nikkei, and in the 1990s it was the Nasdaq. Bigger than all of them, though, has been the iron ore bubble, a tenfold increase in prices in less than a decade.

Here’s iron ore priced in dollars:

Julia Gillard’s denial seems to confirm the inevitable:

Australia’s mining boom is not over and its ‘death’ has been exaggerated.

That is her “subprime is contained” moment.

Larry Elliott explodes the myth that this time is different:

Commodity-rich countries, like Australia, have never had it so good. China takes 25% of Australia’s exports and iron ore accounts for 60% of all the goods Australia sells to China. One reason Australia avoided recession during the global downturn of 2008-09 was that it had a well-run banking system. A much bigger reason was that the country had become a giant pit from which China could extract the minerals it needed for its industrial expansion. Money flooded into the country from sovereign wealth funds and hedge funds looking for AAA investments. The Australian dollar has soared, as have property prices.

China’s economy is now slowing, and although the economic data is not particularly reliable, it seems to be slowing fast. The country has two million unsold homes, with another 30 million under construction. There is a glut of iron ore and the price is falling. Where does that leave Australia? Horribly exposed, quite obviously. It has an over-valued currency, an over-valued property market, and its major customer is now desperately pulling every available policy lever in the hope of avoiding a hard landing. Whatever happens, the Australian dollar is a sell. Just how big a sell will depend on how successful Beijing is in reflating the Chinese economy.

Perhaps Gina Rinehart should spend less time drinking, socialising and writing awful poetry and more time preparing her business for the inevitable iron ore bust?

55 thoughts on “Gina Rinehart is a Bubble

  1. China is now slowing? As I understand it, China is still growing at a rate the West would kill for. We could say the rate of growth is reduced I suppose.

    • Even if China has a soft landing (possible) the level of overcapacity suggests that there will be much, much less construction. A successful Chinese soft landing would consist of China rebalancing its economy to consume more and build less.

      • China is a mercantilist economy [export-based]. It must balance its trade [which will necessitate a balance between consumption and export].

    • There’s a special formula for Chinese growth rates:

      Actual Growth Rate = (Reported rate) – (Lack of transparency penalty) – (Public relations exaggeration rate) – (Ponzi debt bubble growth rate) – (Brand new empty cities factor) – (Corrupt officials from top to bottom factor) – (Growing civil unrest penalty)

      But for some reason the Actual Growth Rate keeps resulting in a negative number…

  2. What exactly is she supposed to do to prepare her company for the end of the bubble?

    Well, I guess the economic thing to do to prepare for the end of the bubble is to Lay Off Thousands and Thousands of Workers. Right?

    I hope you get lots of thank you notes from the workers for advising the lady.

    Why are you picking on her?
    The whole country is in a bubble they are denying. I’d be willing to bet the union chiefs representing all those aussie workers are living like kings, too.

    • Diversify. You don’t have to make any net layoffs to do that.

      And she did invite this on herself by saying mean-spirited things about people accepting $2 a day.

      She claims to believe in the free market? Well, great — me too. And in the free market, people have the ability to negotiate. I’ll sell my labour for $2 a day when she does the same thing.

      Not all Australians are in denial, either. Though to be fair, my impression is that most are.

      • Come on, Aziz! It would appear that, for the first time in these blogs, you are deliberately misinterpreting a quote — “AFRICANS willing to work for $2 per day”, NOT Australians or you. I don’t need to educate you that cost-of-living in most of Africa is << in London, nor that low income is better than none. Do you favor minimum wage laws? Do you favor long-range unemployment "insurance" to anyone who doesn't like the wage or the work?

        • I favour free markets.

          Free market means that employer and employee should be able to negotiate whatever compensation suits both parties. Negotiation means the right to unionise and strike (etc).

          I don’t favour minimum wage laws because that’s price fixing. I do favour some limited form of unemployment insurance, but not for people who just don’t want to work.

          But even though I don’t really favour minimum wage laws, I think the idea that working for $2 a day is inspirational is mean-spirited. And more than that, I think she is just ranting because she knows that her business faces massive problems in the future.

          Also, if we’re gonna get rid of minimum wage laws in future, we also must simultaneously get rid of various other market-rigging laws like corporate personhood.

  3. The future of global education is…private, as the pioneering scholar James Tooley has shown, through his own commercial enterprises plus his wonderful book – “The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey into How the World’s Poorest People are Educating Themselves”

    http://www.omega-schools.com/

    Instituted already is a global competition to see which elites can be serve their local communities through peaceful and commercially advantageous ideas

    • All truly great people have educated themselves. How could it be any other way?

      As Mark Twain wrote: “I never allowed school to interfere with my education.”

      • I am an autodidact, and I think a significant number of readers here are too, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the rest of the world to be…

        • Really? It is only through self-education that you stand a chance to break free. This, above all ideas, should be encouraged.

      • All truly great people have educated themselves.

        Except for all the things they were taught by others. Like, say, how to speak, read and write.

        Not to mention all the resources they use that were created by other people. Like, say, the books that fill libraries.

        Let’s not forget the experiences of other they leverage for their own enlightenment. Like, say, all of known history.

        • Could there be another* epiphany (for me, at least) buried in this discussion of self-education? It’s always risky to argue with Mark Twain (although a less acerbic “limit” or “constrain” could have replaced “interfere”). Drsmithey’s defense of accumulated knowledge reminds us of super-visionary Isaac Newton’s tribute to predecessors on whose “shoulders I stand” to see see farther. Aziz’s, “the… difference is the delivery mechanism”, hits home in contemporary USA, where collectivist and racist ideology and teachers’ unions have dumbed-down public schools and created a boom in “home schooling”, and where I watch cable TV documentaries teaching more in an hour than my or my grandchildren’s schools delivered in a semester. And of course higher education is as bad or worse: “deep pockets” has replaced justice under law as the focus in law schools; journalists — once trained to report truth in the form of who/when/where/why/how — now learn to find “a hook” on which to hang their point of view.

          * I’m anxious to get into “corporate personhood” (any substitute?), and can national unions be a medium of true negotiation.

  4. Who gives a rat’s ass about a woman who obviously is a complete dufus…or for that matter, anybody else?

    Don’t be distracted by the cult of personality. In a world of 7B humans, people have become plug-in modules. Have a bad [fill in the blank], hell, plug-in a new one.

    True individualism exists outside of all of these absurd social matrices.

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  6. Aziz, see my email regarding a letter I wrote to the Chairman of the Age Newspaper, that Gina tried to buy and get a Board seat to influence the articles and the Australian public.

    Due to other concerned citizens complaining, she was denied a Board seat, and then subsequently tried to sell down her shares in Fairfax newspapers. At a loss.

    Cost of doing business!

      • It has been sent.

        BTW I tried dealing with her Roy Hill mining company. The one that wanted to bring in thousands of foreign workers. I said I was an agent for skilled local workers. They showed no interest. It is clearly a cost factor. She wants cheaper wages to compete with Asia and Africa.

        In fairness Australia has very high cost labour. Strict Union rules and in some cases a closed shop. We don’t have a Mining University, so most people get into the industry through a friend, who then gives them on the job training. It is a lucrative industry. I can’t just pack up my bags, drive to WA and get a mining job. Despite the skill shortages. It is obvious the Miners were finding it hard to compete with Africa. Australians won’t work 60 plus hours a week in 40 degree C plus heat. So the costs to keep them “comfortable” are very high on the world labour market.

        I wrote to Politicians warning of the impending Bubble collapse. I said we need a National Mining University so these now unemployed Miners can become trainers and the school can prepare the future miners for the future mining boom. We have is so backwards here in this country. That is why I am compelled to go into Politics. Nobody here has foresight and a long term plan for the country.

        We blew our Surplus and now when we need a true Keynesian infrustructure “G” in GDP stimulus, we have run out of bullets. Who will fund our Government deficit?

      • Wayne is just ranting against Gina to keep the Union members of the Labour Parety happy. The reality is Labour is a spent party. The greens picked up the Labour left, and the Liberals picked up the Labour right.

        Independents and “Katter’s Australia Party” are making inroads.

        Nationalism of Australia’s assets, and appointment of Corporate Managers with KPI goals to prevent the flabby waste and mismanagement of typical government run organisations. If you investigate how her family really attained their wealth, you will understand why I am the Convener of the “Australian Nationalist Party” We meet up at Pubs (Bars) and network the old fashioned way. Good old debate over a glass of red or beer. Do you know how many people are sick of this 2 party and oligarch debate? We are just biding our time.

        We have more “unofficial members” than the Australian Communist Party. We’ll make it unofficial until we get critical mass.

        • “Unofficial” sounds just like our U.S. Tea Parties. Going back in time, U.S. political parties did not exist during the founding and President Washington years. For decades I have harangued, “Republican politics are bad, Democratic politics are worse; Bi-partisan is NOT Non-partisan; It’s Washington, D.C. versus the people”.

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  8. Gina Reinhart is a fat cow but you seem to be unaware that the current Australian government has been doing its level best to siphon off as much of the profits of mining companies as it can lay its greedy hands on; to the point where the government has publically proclaimed that the minerals these companies dig up, flat out don’t belong to these companies & the government will take as much it pleases.

    That’s the source of Gina’s ‘aggressive and controversial’ stance. Sure she stands to lose a bucketload on her investments but whose inflationary policies has driven this so called ‘mining boom’?

    • As Buddy Rojek pointed out to me, Hancock gained the mining rights through political corruption.

      Whose inflationary policies has driven this so called mining boom? Ben Bernanke & Wen Jiabao more so than any Australian.

      So there you go.

      • You believe everything this Buddy Rojek tells you? The same guy who proposes a “National Mining University” yet calls Wayne Swan a communist?

        So what if Hancock gained mining rights through political corruption? Whose fault is that, Lang Hancock’s or the government?

        Nor have you evidently studied the balance sheet of the RBA, if you had you would know the inflationary policies of the Australian government.

        So there you go, you haven’t a clue, but then I wouldn’t expect anything more from someone who thinks Nigel ‘tanks on the streets’ Farage was anything but kook.

        • I am not a Communist. I am a Nationalist, and frankly we do need a National Mining University. We need to keep the skills from the old miners flowing to our younger generation. It can be run as a Government Institution just like our other Universities are. It is just a properly targeted industry place of higher learning.

        • Corrupt Government MPs and the businessmen who benfit should be jailed in Long Bay jail. Then they can meet the Aboriginal prisoners they had so much disdain for.

          When I am in Power, we’ll have enough seats to “retrospectively” pass a criminal law to have these people jailed.

          My nose is clean. I have deliberately underclaimed tax expenses so I can never be accused of any crime ( I am a long term Politician). I bet every MP is a criminal under the Tax Act of Australia. I challenge all to a full blown tax Audit going back 10 years!

    • Gina Reinhart is a fat cow but you seem to be unaware that the current Australian government has been doing its level best to siphon off as much of the profits of mining companies as it can lay its greedy hands on;

      Well, some of them would have liked to, but an industry-funded PR campaign got a Prime Minister replaced and a tax that had the potential to “siphon off” a large amount of revenue to benefit everyone in the country instead replaced with a pointless replacement tax that will be unlikely to collect anything.

      It’s a mind-boggling tragedy for Australia. We could have been another Norway.

  9. So what if Hancock gained mining rights through political corruption? Whose fault is that, Lang Hancock’s or the government?

    Predominantly the government, but it’s hardly propitious that Gina Rinehart continues to profit from something gained from political corruption.

    Nor have you evidently studied the balance sheet of the RBA, if you had you would know the inflationary policies of the Australian government.

    The point is that the excessively huge demand for iron ore is coming out of China which is being stuffed full of cash by the US. No QE and Chinese demand for steel would have collapsed, meaning that the boom of the last 3 years that has seen Rinehart’s wealth exponentiate so much would not have happened. So there you go. The property bubble — at least in my interpretation of the data — has gone hand in hand with the iron ore boom, which is a Chinese-oriented phenomenon.

    So there you go, you haven’t a clue, but then I wouldn’t expect anything more from someone who thinks Nigel ‘tanks on the streets’ Farage was anything but kook.

    When did Nigel Farage say anything about tanks on the streets? I googled it but I’m not getting anything.

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  15. drsmithy writes:
    “Except for all the things they were taught by others. Like, say, how to speak, read and write.”

    Knowledge, like all things intellectual, is relative. Assuming that you are going to be taught how to read and write, … . Otherwise, this would be like say that a great marathoners owes his/her accomplishments to the people who taught him to walk [not exactly, though].

    Whatever point in history one finds themselves is irrelevant. Great people are those who refused to conform by having the courage to seek their true nature [path], regardless of its outcome.

    The greatest people who have ever lived will never be known, by definition [and the way it should be :].

    • Knowledge, like all things intellectual, is relative. Assuming that you are going to be taught how to read and write, … . Otherwise, this would be like say that a great marathoners owes his/her accomplishments to the people who taught him to walk [not exactly, though].

      No, it would be more like saying he owes some portion of his accomplishments to his coach(es).

      A principle most athletes readily agree with.

      • Hey folks! I have some timeless wisdom to offer on greatness, knowledge, intellect, etc. IN THE LAND OF THE BLIND, A ONE-EYED MAN IS KING.

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  18. Without making things complicated, she is clearly not intellectually astute and quite stupid in addition. Trying to argue with her or helping her learn broader paradigms is waste of time since she has only one objective in life which is appropriate at all levels.

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