Australia now an insolvent basket case

by PAUL COLLITS – THERE is an economic cataclysm afoot in Australia. There are signs the nation is a busted flush. Both on the surface and deep underground. 

You wouldn’t know it, if you rely for your news from the corporate media or the public broadcaster. 

Public servants pretend that the economy is okay. They hide the real recession Australia is experiencing, and all of the underlying structural issues.

Some of the real “on the ground” stories are reported, of course. They just never get developed into a sticking, higher level narrative.

Dots are not being joined, except in the alt-media, including by former insiders from the finance sector who have opened all sorts of cans or worms. They bear heeding.


Other distractions abound, mostly created in a “look over there” feint by those who claim to govern us. The Muslims. The Gaza war. Ukraine. The Aboriginal Voice. Brittany Higgins. The climate “emergency”. New footy teams in Papua New Guinea. Pride season. The ogre Peter Dutton. Budgets. New train lines. And the rest.

For three years we had a fake pandemic. The ultimate distraction.

Distractions help deflect grim realities. They stop questions being asked. We all do it.

The endlessly clever and flexible Australian Bureau of Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics plays its part in numbing us to the coming economic reckoning. As does the once mighty Treasury – the legendary Sir Roland Wilson would be spinning in his grave.

The now contract-based and massively remunerated public servants will simply produce the data that the government of the day wants in order to keep it in office and them in power.

They contribute to a narrative that pretends that the economy is okay. They hide the real recession that Australia is experiencing, and all of the underlying structural issues.

The Budget papers show a surplus. Where did that all come from, and where did it all go, we might wonder?

And a four per cent unemployment rate? They do think we are all stupid.

The real picture is more sobering, to say the very least.

Business bankruptcies are occurring by the truckload. Especially in building and construction, but not only there. Think hospitality and hotels. And retail. Any downtown business. Wherever there is discretionary spend.

Even the ABC is onto it.

It reported in April: “Business insolvencies hit record highs with worse to come, warns CreditorWatch.”

“According to data from debt monitoring firm CreditorWatch, more Australian businesses are now in the hands of external administrators than ever before, rising more than 22 per cent since this time last year.

“The pain is coming from all sides. Construction firms are reeling from a crackdown by the ATO, registering the most tax defaults, while also still facing rising building material costs and skilled labour shortages.

“CreditorWatch finds smaller sub-contractor businesses in the residential sector are most at risk in the construction industry.


“However, overall it is businesses in the food and beverage industries that are the most at risk of failure.

“CreditorWatch chief executive Patrick Coghlan says businesses under pressure from higher costs are being starved of revenue from consumers battling with cost-of-living pressures.”

There are fresh stories appearing every day. Mortgage failures are growing.

The ABC noted: “Australians are defaulting on their home loans at growing rates as the number of borrowers at risk of mortgage stress peaks at levels not seen since 2008, when the global financial crisis hit.”

Oh, and a rental crisis.

The ABC again: “Rental affordability in Australia is as bad as it has ever been, according to new Anglicare Australia report.”

Then there are the massively overloaded food banks in Footscray (Victoria, of course).

An alarmed Yahoo News reports: “Photos of crowded inner-city streets reflect ‘sad new reality’ in Australia.”

The reporters are not making this up. The working homeless is now a real thing. People in jobs – sometimes more than one – sleeping in their cars.


It is an issue in Byron Bay, playground of the beautiful people, surfers, greens and hippies.

The Guardian reports: “The number of people sleeping rough in Byron Bay (308) has spiked and it remains the NSW council area with the most people sleeping on the streets.”

The City of Sydney area had 208 in this year’s count. Statewide, the month-long count found 2037 rough sleepers.

What of the broader housing affordability crisis, now part of everyday life in Australia?

Well, three of our capital cities are ranked in the top ten least affordable housing markets in the world. (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide).

All against a backdrop of endlessly printed money that no one has, decaying infrastructure, woeful defence, money laundering as public policy, net-zero fantasies, farmers under attack and private and public debt that may never be paid off.

How could the USA ever repay its thirty-four trillion in gross federal debt?

Just about the only saving grace down under, if you can call it that, is that many Australians still feel “secure”, based on the inflated salaries they “earn” doing what the late David Graeber called “bullshit jobs” (which make them miserable), the out-sized value of their out-sized houses (built on massive debt accumulated during the great deflation) and the previously unheard of retirement incomes they are accumulating through superannuation (based on an artificially inflated and protected share market).

As we shall see, they would be wrong. It is a chimera.

But these are the privileged. The lap-top class, bourgeois bohemians, as David Brooks called them. Working from home, many of them.

The rest of us are not so lucky. Outside the multi-cultural city centres and the affluent suburbs, grim realities are all the more visible. Alan Jones used to call it “struggle street”.


All up, not a pretty picture. Especially when you consider we have a Leftist government that, back in the day, might have taken more than a passing interest in an ever-deepening cost-of-living crisis that affects its former political base the most.

I referred to “look over there” tactics being employed to cover up the economic cataclysm that is emerging.

Try “spreading disinformation” as a more accurate description of what they are doing. And the current Australian Government has the gall to put up legislation (so-called online safety bills) banning the rest of us from speaking our dissident minds. They are lying cheats.

The pretence that our economic is not teetering on the cliff top amounts to deliberate, calculated falsehood.

To borrow a phrase from the American investment banker/lawyer/author James Rickards, “you’re being instructed not to notice this”. (Rickards is the author of The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites’ Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis, 2016).

Why would governments and their allies do this? Obviously, to stay in power.

But there may be more to the cover-up than merely winning an election. There are far bigger fish for them to fry – or to have fried by their puppet-masters – in the “new economy”, the  financialised world we now inhabit, but never voted for and do not understand.

This is the giddy world of collaterisation, derivatives, swaps, futures contracts, options, positions, hedge funds, financial harmonisation and securitisation.

Where financial services now make up around a quarter of the global economy. And control the rest of it.

For example, banks and investors (like private equity companies such as BlackRock) account for a quarter of the world’s assets.

Financialisation has been described as “playing with money” and “voodoo”. And a whole other world. One to which we are all tethered, without knowing it.

We can’t say we haven’t been warned. If it all comes to pass, we will own nothing, but I don’t think we’ll be happy. To re-coin a phrase.PC

Paul Collits

Playing with your money

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Federal Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers. (courtesy Crikey)

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