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Thursday, April 9, 2009

The best laid plans...

There is a kitchen clock at my place. It periodically stops working. Being a sufferer of Duck's Disease (my bum's too close to the ground) I have to clamber up on a chair to grab it and give it a gentle shake to get it going again.

So why does it stop like that? I suggested that perhaps the gears aren't rotating properly, that perhaps there was dust in the internals?

My housemate eventually decided to investigate. It is not like the good old days of tight-wound clock springs waiting to spring free. Surely it would not be that difficult to have a look?

So the back of the little black box was carefully levered off off, only to have small white plastic cogs drop out, the tiny motor fall out, the clock hands drop off - in short, bits everywhere.

Uh oh.

We both had a go at reassembling it. I managed to get cogs back in and driving each other in what looked like the right manner. But there was no way that the tiny motor would also fit in that space and the back clip on again. What on earth?

In the end, I decided that it was like a Rubik's cube. Easy to do if you know the trick, mind-bending fury if you don't.

The clock is still in bits, waiting to be replaced.

The best laid plans of mice and men...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Banking Bastards

I think we are definitely seeing signs that deregulation of our banking industry has some serious flaws.

The current economic crisis was significantly the result of a poorly regulated American financial system which allowed banks and other institutions to generate massive paper profits which eventually collapsed.

Here in Australia, these institutions are on a sounder footing. First, when interest rates are rising, they pass on more that the rate increases, which they are permitted to do. Now, yet again, when rates fall, they refuse to pass on all of that decrease.

The last time this happened, the banks overall only passed on 80% of the decrease with Malcom Turnball having the arrogance to basically claim that it was that only happened because he told them to. And now the banks are passing on even less of the rate cuts.

The banks and their shareholders profit but at the expense of the poor sods in the street. And it is all part of the same money-grubbing that brought the US system down. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has spoken out about international corporate greed, but look at what is happening in our own backyard.

Unprincipled bastards - nothing has really changed since my days in the banking industry during the hedonistic 1980s.