Subprime mortgage crisis The s were the decade of subprime borrowers; no longer was this a segment left to fringe lenders.
Rod Sims, the ACCC chairman, has produced a report for the Turnbull government that is as solid a piece of analysis as you are ever likely to see, and if we cut to the chase, the report concludes that prices are high because governments, state and federal, have cocked things up.
Greenpeace and GetUp launch campaign to kill national energy guarantee Read more The report says in the nicest possible way that governments can go on making a mess of things — with the primary victims low-income households who pay a much higher share of their disposable income on electricity — or they can wake up, and unravel their past mistakes with a detailed program of reform.
As some wags say on the internet, huge if true. There was only one problem with this story. The ACCC had done no such thing.
The ACCC had proposed underwriting, yes, but not to boost one particular technology or another. The objective was boosting competition. So the ACCC said governments might want to consider underwriting debt finance for project developers seeking to supply power to commercial and industrial customers.
Think of this as guaranteeing a bank loan. If a firm generation product is a new concept for you, it could be a few things. Possibly new coal, yes, in some universe where someone is prepared to pay a premium and wait many years for the asset to be built and take the risks associated with the plant becoming a stranded asset as the world decarbonises.
But meanwhile, in the real world, this would more likely be a renewables project firmed by gas or pumped hydro, given that would be quicker and cheaper to build, without the long term downside risks that coal invites.
Neither was the word baseload. I know as soon as we enter the debate about climate and energy, some wormhole opens and we are thrust into a new dimension where culture war is king and facts no longer matter.
But even by those standards, it was pretty damn bizarre. In fact vindication was almost entirely absent from the exercise.
Sims also made it clear this week if governments want to compound the current problems with new ones, then the quickest way to do that is pick winners in the energy market. The Neg will either fly or die over the next month or so, but that mechanism is more about ensuring the national electricity grid is reliable and pollution is trending downwards than it is about lowering power prices.
The government has tried to mount a case that the passage of the Neg will reduce power prices, but that case is thin frankly, and the ACCC report helps call out the thinness of the case by pointing out all the actions that will need to be taken in order to address the problems sitting behind the inflated bills.
The Neg will go to state energy ministers in early August, and any one of them can sink it. Behind the scenes, stakeholders are trying to influence the final cut of the technical design, which will be circulated to the states in late July.
There are some small bunfights playing out as decision day gets closer. Over the coming weeks, the activist group GetUp, environmental groups and the solar industry will be trying to persuade either Victoria or Queensland to say no to the Neg, or to make support for it highly conditional.
There will be TV advertisements running in Victoria and Queensland to keep the pressure up. A number of stakeholders involved in backroom discussions about the policy for months think the ACT government — which has been the most volubly critical jurisdiction about the Neg — will be reluctant to sink it without one of the bigger Labor states in the no column.
Amongst Neg opponents, there is frustration that the Victorian government — which faces its own election later this year — has been running dead on the flaws in the scheme, principally the lack of ambition in the emissions reduction target, and there are mutterings behind the scenes about mobilisation against the Andrews government if Victoria signs up to the Neg in August.
One of the Neg opponents is the Smart Energy Council, which is a solar group.Further to the Club’s News Item of 31 August , Members are advised that BIMCO is due to publish its low sulphur recommended charter party clauses in early December and which the Club plans to publish on its website as soon as they are available.
International Expert Adviser to the UN on Democratic Governance, Human Rights and IHL-Spain Mr. de Cerón is a qualified lawyer and economist, PhD in Law and LLM in Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. Australian perspectives on global disrupters. If you enjoyed this article, please like or comment below.
You can read my previous articles on topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, blockchain and Milennials at my website Fintech Freak.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author in his personal capacity.
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