- Money Morning Australia

What’s The Real Reason Behind NAB’s Glitch?


Written on 29 November 2010 by Kris Sayce

What’s The Real Reason Behind NAB’s Glitch?

Before your editor carries on today, we’ll declare an interest in today’s article.

Thanks to last week’s so-called computer glitch at National Australia Bank [ASX: NAB], your editor hasn’t been paid.

So just bare that in mind in case we get a bit narky this morning – sorry, more narky than usual…

We notice NAB CEO Cameron Clyne has paid for a full-page ad in today’s Australian Financial Review (AFR) – and we dare say other newspapers – apologising to NAB customers for the problem in “processing some payments and transactions.”

That’s nice.  But what a dope.  Not a single mention of the fact that the glitch has affected non-NAB customers as well.

According to The Age, “Mr Wright [NAB spokesman] said the accounts of all but 19,000 customers have been fixed.”

That would be 19,000 NAB customers of course.  Not including the hundreds of thousands, probably millions of customers at other banks where transactions haven’t been received due to the NAB’s stuff up.

But here’s the thought that ran through your editor’s conspiratorial brain over the weekend… is this whole mess really the fault of a computer glitch?  Or is it something much more serious than that?

I mean seriously, a corrupted file bringing down an entire bank’s systems.  We wouldn’t have thought so.

Clearly they don’t have the calibre of IT staff at the NAB that most IT helpdesks have.  We wonder if the NAB has tried switching its machines off and back on again… or the ultimate solution, if they’ve tried unplugging the machine, waiting thirty seconds and then plugging it back in.

That usually seems to work when the printer in the office doesn’t work or when the wireless router has gone haywire.

Anyway, perhaps we’re naïve, but we thought the mega-banks had disaster recovery sites, and data back-up thingies, and erm, other technology stuff that helps prevent something bad from happening.

The banks spent millions making sure all their systems were prepared for Y2K.  And the banks have been heralded as safe and sound thanks to their – albeit taxpayer guaranteed bailouts – escape from the global financial meltdown.

Yet according to The Age, “NAB did not know the correct balances on some accounts in its investment banking division.”

And now you’re expected to believe that a “corrupted file” has caused the bank’s entire payment and processing system to collapse.

But then again, maybe it’s just a coincidence that the NAB’s computers should encounter a glitch at the time the Irish banks are being bailed out by European taxpayers.

Surely there’s no connection between NAB’s former ownership of National Irish Bank, which admittedly it did sell to Danske Bank in 2004.  But despite that being six years ago, can it be entirely discounted that there aren’t some hangover assets or liabilities still on the bank’s balance sheet?

According to Terry McCrann over at the Herald Sun, “NAB has had to provide around $1.2 billion for loan losses in its two small British banks.” This refers to NAB’s current ownership of Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank.

And what about the reports at the end of last year that, “National Australia Bank has amassed a $12.78 billion indirect exposure to the debt-laden Italian Government…”

The report in the Herald Sun in December 2009 claimed:

“NAB is believed to have been issued up to $12.78 billion worth of Italian bonds as collateral for taking on that obligation.

“The bank is exposed because if it has to take up the lending obligation it will be relying on the value of those Italian bonds as compensation.”

Then this:

“Disclosure of the exposure comes as ratings agencies have cast a spotlight on the rising risk of southern European governments defaulting on loan repayments to international lenders.”

You can see from the chart below how that the yield on Italian two-year bonds has soared from 1.5% to over 2.5% over the last twelve months:

Source: Bloomberg

Most of that gain in yield has come in the last month as doubts about the ability of European nations to honour their debts grows.

But why is a rising bond yield bad?  It’s not if you don’t own the bonds and you want to buy them, but if you already own them you take a hit on the capital.  Bond prices move in the opposite direction to bond yields.

If the yield rises then the price falls.  And vice versa.  As for the NAB’s current exposure to the Italian debt, according to a May 8th article in The Age, NAB’s exposure to the Italian bonds was down to $5.5 billion, “most of this in short-term maturities.”

Based on the chart above, if the NAB has sold down its position further it will have taken a hit on the transactions as bond prices have fallen since December 2009.

Of course, that’s not all.  The NAB would have copped it from the Aussie dollar increasing against the Euro:

Source: Yahoo! Finance

In December 2009, $12.78 billion would have been worth about EUR7.92 billion.  Today EUR7.92 billion is only worth $11.01 billion.

Of course NAB doesn’t have the same exposure today as it did then.  And the loss isn’t huge.  Not when you compare it to the total size of the bank’s balance sheet.

But the important thing to remember with banks is that it’s not the size of the total balance sheet that’s important, because that’s all built on leverage.

Leverage gained by taking depositor money, claiming that it’s held safely in a deposit account which is available on demand, meanwhile the bank is creating the same amount of money as credit and gambling it on an overpriced housing market and European sovereign debt…

Sovereign debt that turns out to be not as good an investment as originally thought.

So, as with all leverage, seemingly small losses are magnified.  A $1 billion loss on a bond transaction may seem small against the total leveraged position, but compared to the bank’s shareholder equity the loss is more significant.

Then add in the cash to bailout its two British banks… and it’s starting to add up.  And we’re still only half-way through the story.

And is it really stretching the imagination to think the bank’s exposure to Ireland could be just as bad?  I mean, the NAB did own a couple of banks on the island.

You’d think it would have some legacy investments there.

Below is a chart stretching back to 2006 that shows the yield on an Irish government 10-year bond:

Source: Bloomberg

Even just in the last couple of months the yield has soared from below 5% to over 9%.  Remember that a soaring yield means a plummeting price.

According to a May 8th report in The Age:

“Australian banks’ exposure to the euro area is running at just over $56 billion, including more than $3 billion to Spain and $4 billion to Ireland.”

What’s NAB’s exposure to this?  We’ve no idea.  But based on these numbers, let’s say it’s a quarter – about $14 billion.

That includes the roughly $5.5 billion exposure to Italy and then let’s say around $1 billion to each of Spain and Ireland.

But let’s not forget, that’s only the known direct exposure.  What about the unknown indirect exposure?  What about investments NAB has in other European banks which do have a larger exposure to Ireland?

And also take a look at the credit default swap (CDS) spreads on the sovereign debt of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy:

Source: Acting-man.com

In simple terms a CDS is like an insurance policy.  It’s the market cost to insure against the risk of default.

As you can see on the chart above, over the past year CDS spreads have bolted higher.  For instance, Spain (red line) has seen its CDS spread increase from around 100 basis points (100 basis points is the same as 1%) to over 250 basis points (or 2.5%).

In other words, insurance costs have taken off.  It’s reflective of the risk investors see in investing in sovereign debt.

That’s not good news for banks that need to source about 40% of their funding from offshore.  In a nutshell, what happens to interest rates in Europe does have an impact on Australian bank interest rates.

Simply because interest rates don’t work in isolation.  Interest rates act as a measure of risk to investors.  If an investor is choosing between two investments he or she will consider the yield.  If one is 5% and the other is 6% the investor would naturally prefer the one yielding 6%.

However, the 6% investment could be a higher risk than the 5% investment.  That’s something the investor needs to weigh up and decide if they’re prepared to take the risk in return for a higher income.

But if another firm – say an Australian bank – offers the same risks as the 6% investment, but the Australian bank only wants to pay 5.5%, then it’s going to be tough to attract investors.

Why would any investor accept the same level of risk for a lower yield?  They wouldn’t.

To the extent that the Australian bank may have to increase the yield it pays in order to attract investors.

That feeds back to what the bank charges to borrowers in the Australian market, and how much it can afford to pay depositors.

In other words, Australia and Australian banks aren’t isolated from sovereign and corporate debt problems overseas.

And let’s not forget that NAB has form with dodgy investments.  Remember the currency trading scandal a few years back?

And how about the bank’s secret CDO losses that it kept mum about.  As the Sydney Morning Herald report a couple of weeks ago:

“National Australia Bank is facing a class action from shareholders seeking $450 million in losses caused by a share plunge in 2008.”

And according to the law firm bringing the class action, Maurice Blackburn:

“Our case is that all of the indicators showing the deterioration in the US sub-prime housing market were available to NAB – it’s a bank after all – starting as early in some cases as 2006, going through 2007.”

Look, maybe it is just a coincidence.  Maybe it was a “corrupted file” that caused the bank’s systems to meltdown.  And maybe NAB will be back to normal tomorrow.

But what if there is more to it than the bank is letting on?  As I say, it wouldn’t be the first time NAB has kept quiet.

The bank didn’t think to tell investors about the potential $12.78 billion Italian debt exposure until it was sitting on its books.  And it didn’t tell anyone about the collateralised debt obligation (CDO) exposure until the last possible moment.

Why should you assume that NAB has been upfront on its exposure to European debt now, when it wasn’t upfront about its exposure to US and European debt two years ago?

Quite frankly, given the extraordinary lengths the major banks have gone to in recent months to not only deny the existence of a housing bubble, but to keep pumping it higher, it strikes us that the banks will take any step necessary to hide from the market the real extent of their liabilities.

Could that extend to blaming it on a computer glitch to prevent customers from withdrawing funds?

Conspiratorial?  Maybe.

Drawing a long bow?  Perhaps.

But based on everything we’ve seen happen in the market over the last couple of years we wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that the real problem for NAB is a question of liquidity rather than a glitch.

Make no mistake, despite the spin, Aussie banks aren’t the conservative and well-managed institutions they and the mainstream media would have you believe.

Cheers.

Kris Sayce
For Money Morning Australia



Already a subscriber to Money Morning... or simply, just like what you're reading? Then show your support and spread the word...
Share this post on...
Share

Kris Sayce
Kris is never one to pull punches when discussing market developments and economic events that can affect your wealth. He’ll take anyone to task — banks, governments, big business — if he thinks they’re trying to pull a fast one with your money. Kris is also the investment director for Australian Small-Cap Investigator, Diggers and Drillers and Revolutionary Tech Investor. If you’d like to more about Kris’ financial world view and investing philosophy then join him on Google+. It's where he shares investment insight, commentary and ideas that he can't always fit into his regular Money Morning essays. Read more about Publisher and Investment Director Kris Sayce.

Leave a Comment

Letters will be edited for clarity, punctuation, spelling and length. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not post all comments.

If you would prefer to email the editor, you can do so by sending an email to moneymorning@moneymorning.com.au


52 Comments For This Post

  1. Tim Says:

    Slow news day?

    Better get the metal alien beam reflector onto the old noggin’!

  2. Chris Simpson Says:

    Very well written. It is great to see a conspiracy theory aired with such potential evidence. These types of articles are always worth a read.

    As they say where there is smoke……

    You may have opened a can of worms here and it will be interesting to see how far the rabbit hole goes.

  3. RD Says:

    Oh come on. This takes your usual conspiratorial rants to a new low.

  4. Ri Says:

    Was it really a “glitch”?? Or was the bank a victim of hackers/ viruses and the bank does not want to admit the truth? We, peons will never know the truth but for all the money the Banks have ripped from their clients, you would assume they had the best systems. Do you think the bank will compensate us for not being able to access our own money, if we borrow from the bank they charge us for that right? Now I want access to my money and the Bank is refusing my right, What is that worth? more than I’m sorry!!

  5. SEAN Says:

    Totally agree Kris. Check the RBA site for “B4 BANKS-CONSOLIDATED GROUP OFF-BALANCE SHEET BUSINESS”
    In March it was 13.6 Trillion and now it is 15.2 Trillion. Going back overtime it cycles up and down but the overall trend is up, up and away.

    Maybe the first aussie bank to blow can change its acronym to “UXB”. Later rather than sooner the global pirate hedgefunds and others will arrive and the 4 pillar banks and the RBA will have their bluff called.

  6. King Says:

    Sounds logical and better dun keep too much cash in there just in case.

  7. lb Says:

    Kris, a good fish to fry on your next commentary:
    “Under pressure: RBA casts doubt over federal finance”
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/41548.html

  8. Sandra Says:

    anybody know why the AU $ is losing so much ground to the highly watered-down and feeble US $??

    Doesnt say much of the Ozzie dollar now does it?

  9. masalai Says:

    Ahhhh so many in total denial, reminds one of USA some 20 months ago…
    Is GATA, Max Keiser, National Inflation Association, and those contributing to KingWorldNews.com, Shadowstats.com, roadtoroota.com, usdebtclock.com and others wrong too – become a mouse and leave ostrich like behaviour to uneducated USAnians…

    Kris, You are definately found more fuel for the fire

  10. Nick Says:

    Sandra, it’s because the US$ is having a slight strengthening (USD Index. About 80.43 at the moment.) Don’t worry, it wont last long and the US$ will slide again. that will reflect upward movement on the AU$ side.

  11. Nick Says:

    Kris, you are putting pieces together. You are “thinking”.
    Where is the “credible evidence”??? That to the “illuminated” ones among us makes you at best, a resident of the mothership and at worst a “dangerous man”.

    Either way, welcome aboard!!!

  12. Sandra Says:

    Nick – i hope it happens soon, as i’d like to buy more silver.
    the price has pulled back quite nicely, but due to the AU dollar weakening there’s no net benefit!
    dam….

  13. michael francis Says:

    Have any senior bank executives been flogging off their share holdings lately?

  14. Mickey Says:

    Brilliant post, not to mention the new Basil increased reserve requirements which magnify hits like these.

  15. cb Says:

    Sandra @ 6 – Well, someone is obviously selling. Probably profit taking from the hot money hyenas. Even so, it is probably still overvalued and should come back down to around 65c – 70c.

  16. Barry Poole Says:

    I would be interested to know if this “computer glitch” has anything to do with the issue/s that NAB had with its computer system in 2000, when they acrimoniously dispensed with the contracted services of IT specialist Mr. John McConachie. I understand that the court case took many years and that the dispute was finally settled out of court, with “non-disclosure” conditions attached.
    There was much underlying tension from both sides at the time.
    Barry Poole

  17. cb Says:

    “Ireland’s misery carries lessons for all, but especially for Australia.

    Those marching in the streets of Dublin over the weekend, as well as more than a few economists, reckon the whole thing is a travesty, with bankers being bailed out at the expense of the living standards of innocent, ordinary people.”
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Will-Australia-follow-Ireland-pd20101129-BMSBP?OpenDocument&src=kgb

  18. Tony Says:

    You certainly have done your homework, I wonder if your critics, i.e. those who find the news unpalatable, have done the same amount of research before accusing you of being a conspiracy theorist ? I doubt it very much, their reaction is of the “knee jerk” variety.
    Do these people know how the top of the pyramid i.e. European bankers, alphabet soup agencies and their respective government people (compartmentalized) know that their PR people have given the term “Conspiracy Theory” a whole new meaning ?
    To ridicule anyone who speaks the truth that they don’t want to hear. They’re immediately ridiculed for making any statement that conflicts with the accepted paradigm so that nobody bothers to investigate. Why investigate if we all know it’s just a Conspiracy Theory? Yeah sure! Well I will.
    A useful tool indeed but those who understand the big picture and how this corrupt system really works don’t buy it at all.
    We know enough of this world to INVESTIGATE everything we are told before blindly accepting what our governments and the corporate world that controls them tells us, especially if it leads to feelings of discomfort and fear. The truth hurts, it always does especially in this matrix of lies they would call reality.
    I didn’t accept the “computer glitch” story at all, we’re being lied to,..again. Surprise surprise.
    Well done Kris Sayce.

  19. Beauner Says:

    Im with Bendigo Bank…..Im thinking of going with a Credit Union….

  20. arcobelina Says:

    you seem to have forgotten the eric cantona planned run on European banks on 7/12/10

    my bet was that the scheme to stop any problems with the Cantona thingy went a bit wring and brought down the whole system

    when there is a run on euro banks NAB will be in even more trouble (and ANZ and westpac not sure about commonwealth)

  21. cb Says:

    Max Keiser: Teutonic Genie out of bottle, America punches itself in face
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trmPJxk5954&feature=player_embedded

  22. cb Says:

    Who is getting away with murder, and who is getting away with fraud?

    Hasta La Vista: 100,000 mortgage files missing in US
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_mGAvaQWLQ&feature=channel

  23. N Says:

    cb – Max is spot on regarding the rise of Germany as a global super power, and without doubt the leading nation in Europe. An inevitability that was merely delayed by 100 years.

  24. cb Says:

    SHOCKING SILVER REPORT: Major Metro Coin Show Ghost Town!
    http://maxkeiser.com/2010/11/29/shocking-silver-report-major-metro-coin-show-ghost-town/

  25. James Norman Says:

    Working for a major bank myself I can see how this can happen, and it’s all down to lack of spending on the IT side. I deal with critical systems that are running on hardware that’s around 10 years outdated with bugger all in the way of backup.

    Without IT the banks are stuffed yet they don’t want to spend the cash

  26. cb Says:

    Hi N, yes, that is a very interesting thought, which not many of us at this point even pause to think about. But if Germany avoids a housing bubble and the economic devastation that comes from its bursting, and at the same time retains its industrial production capacity, along with R&D capability while the US and all the other idiots have de-industrialised their nations and off-shored it all to China, then the conclusion is, indeed, inescapable and most compelling.

    One question I am not clear about is the degree to which the German banking system is hostage to the City – Wall Street banking cartel, although their banning of synthetic derivatives when the financial hyenas took to the Euro earlier would indicate that the Germans are independent minded enough to simply send the scumbags packing.

  27. N Says:

    cb – I have no doubt that Germany is heavily exposed to bad debt across southern Europe, but as you say and in contrast to other European nations they have also invested in a world-class industrial machine that will secure future growth. Germany also has a wholly different social contract to that of anglo-saxon nations, where the objectives of corporations go way beyond “shareholder value” and aim to promote social stability, sustainability and cohesion. Very different to the myopic, short-term rape & pillage attitude of the great US and Australian corporations. I believe that this will be a major strength as the great credit cycle unwinds.

    The challenge for the rest of the world will be to ensure that Germany has an output for it’s industrial capacity, in the form of viable export markets. Otherwise, well, let’s just say we wouldn’t want them to start building the wrong things.

  28. Sandra Says:

    CB at 19:
    I dont think that Germany has misallocated funding into a property ponzi scheme the way all English speaking countries have.
    In fact i know they haven’t as i recall reading about how different property is viewed in Germany. I guess they’re intelligent enough to understand how stupid such a ponzi policy really is – of selling houses to each other at ever increasing prices – and having the government of the day having policies which actively create such an unsustainable property market.

    You also have hit the nail on the head regarding their differing approach to manufacturing as well, i.e. not exporting it to China.
    Their economy will continue to surge ahead and they will indeed become a superpower once again.

  29. cb Says:

    lol, N, you almost took that last one out of my mouth but put it much better than I would have done. I was thinking more of the supply side equation, the problem of accessing the raw materials necessary for production, but even if they secured all that by remaining on good terms with the world, there would still be a need for markets, as you say, which should not be too much of a problem with the massive de-industrialisation that the Anglophone clowns have worked on themselves over the past few decades. When you think of what these idiots have done, the expression “suicide bankers” gains an extra and even more serious dimension to its meaning.

  30. cb Says:

    Sandra, yes, that is a most interesting phenomenon about Germany staying an island of reason in a sea of speculative mania on property prices. It would be most educational to learn the specific differences between the policies that engendered such different behaviour from the population. I assume, obviously, that the average German Joe Blow is not above being sucked into get rich quick schemes of this nature, and that, instead, it has been a more enlightened government through taxation policy that has to be credited with the general sanity the world is bound to come to admire more and more as we grind ourselves through this destructive cycle. Would anyone know more of such specifics?

  31. cb Says:

    And it might be in part to lending policies as well into the property market.

  32. Sandra Says:

    yes CB, from the bit that i’ve gleaned on the subject, it would appear that government taxation and other policies do not encourage growth in prices as it does here, eg strangling supply, negative gearing for property investors, excessive government charges for development of new land etc.
    also lending practises are different, i.e. size of deposits require etc..

  33. Nick Says:

    “Bomb kills Iranian nuclear scientist.” Guess by who?
    Plus Russia’s association with Iran.

    The region is rich in resources, the new guard wants it all, the old guard won’t give it up. Old traditions of how wealth is really created are timeless. Production & a skilled nation. Wealth from “fluff” is a losers game. In these cultures, gold is king.

    http://rt.com/news/iran-nuclear-program-bomb-attack-scientists/

  34. Peter Fraser Says:

    Nick – hard to tell – a renegade state like Iran makes a lot of enemies even amongst the arab states.

    “cut off the head of the snake” Saudi King Abdullah

    King Hamad of Bahrain told U.S. General David Petraeus Iran’s nuclear program “must be stopped . . . by whatever means necessary.”

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad referred to as “Hitler” by Abu Dhabi

    So many close enemies, anyone could have done that, Israel is but one sworn enemy of Iran and their current leadership.

  35. Peter Fraser Says:

    But of course if you want indisputable truth – YouTube has that for you.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niOHVIuZz2k

  36. Nick Says:

    PF Israel has killed more of it’s neighbours and assassinated more people in foreign countries than Iran has. The world knows who the “renegade state” is.

    As for Saudi King Abdullah? He has much to lose.

    But you stick to your fairy stories and I’ll stick to fact.
    We have a running bet here in the office on “bet PF’s response”. It’s geart for laughs.

  37. Peter Fraser Says:

    Well thats funny you and cb were glowing in your support of wikileaks last time, but this time you seem a bit touchy.

    I wasn’t going to mention these points, but seeing that you introduced the off topic subject of middle east troubles, I thought that it was fair to reply with a very current news story.

    Do you think Ahmadinejad will be replaced soon – I heard a rumour about impeachment – can they do that? Sooner or later the youth of Iran will eject him, and his ilk.

    Cheers….

  38. Peter Fraser Says:

    Oh and for the record Iran killed up to 1 million Iraqis during the conflict in the Eighties, so your truth is likely to be factually quite incorrect.

    Better do some research.

    All aboard the mothership…..

  39. gutfeeling Says:

    Here here Nick.

    Iran hasn’t attacked anyone for over 300 years, unlike the two most rogue nations in the world – the USA & Israel.

    I’m personally much more disturbed about Israel having 300+ nukes, many of them aimed at Europe (and who have threatened to take down the whole world if they go under, AND who in 100% likelyhood have in their possession 2 “lost” nukes that went “missing” during an arms deal by the Israelis in the late 1970s, that they are no doubt waiting to detonate and blame on Iran or someone else), than I am of Iran – who from what I can see (through the bullshit we’re all subjected to in the West) doesn’t intend on attacking anyone.

  40. michael francis Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K8_jgiNqUc

    Speaking of jews, remember the uproar about this all those years ago. Remember they wanted to ban it so we all went and saw it to see what the fuss was about.

  41. cb Says:

    hahahaaa, MF. I missed that episode in history. what was the uproar about? It is a funny scene.

  42. cb Says:

    PF – Who is off with the pixies, now?
    And what is that allusion to Assange? The witchhunt they appear to be whipping up about him indicates to me that either he was genuninely independent from the start, or that he has double crossed his handlers. Accordingly, he seems to have gone into hiding. And most disgracefully, this country is about to throw one more of its citizens to the dogs. A fine government we have out of Tel Aviv.

  43. cb Says:

    Nick – I am puzzled. Do you still have fools in your office that are willing to take the other side of your bets on PF?

  44. Peter Fraser Says:

    cb @ 35 – It was a movie – “The life of Brian” – not anti jewish but it was a takeof on Jesus so some christians got upset – it was very funny in parts, so hire it from your local video store.

    My favourite part was this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso

    Everyone has a favourite clip from that movie.

  45. cb Says:

    hahahaaa, PF, that is bitingly funny. Did not catch though that very last thing they said the Romans done for them. Was it “brought peace”?

  46. Peter Fraser Says:

    cb – yes the last one was peace, but you have to watch the whole movie to grasp it all. In isolation some points don’t work, but in the context of the whole story they do. Remember these guys wrote and produced these movies on a shoestring budget, so it’s not a polished film, which really makes it more appealing IMHO.

    It is a poke at all on mankind really, not just Christianity, and the satire is quiet biting at times.

  47. Fitch Says:

    Ok here’s my favorite scene from that classic comedy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb_qHP7VaZE

    PF you’re comments regarding the Iraq/Iran conflict and your insinuation that Iran was the aggressor/invader is just plain wrong.

    U.S. backed Iraqi forces resorted to atrocities with the use of chemical and possibly biological weapons against Iranian soldiers and civilians as well as Kurds on both sides of the border when their American masters grew impatient with the long and drawn-out shooting war of attrition. Iran is not the enemy and never has been.

    Perhaps you have noticed that the last two major elections in this country have proven to be hopelessly deadlocked meaning that half the country is in disagreement with the other half and we call this health democracy. Yet in a country like Iran of whom we know so little and care even less we only need a few detractors to cast a dark pall over the rest of their people, their customs and their integrity.

    So I ask is it the three piece suit that makes the Israeli’s so trustworthy?

  48. Beauner Says:

    Wikileaks is awesome.

    This media circus is blatant bullshit. :D

  49. Ben Says:

    @ Fitch

    Nicely said. Whether your right or not on your historical statements I will openly admit I am not aware of all the parts played by all nations involved.

    As an Aussie of Celtic heritage (disclosure) that has lived in the Middle East for the past 6 years I will say that more compassion is needed and that it is not right to portray any country or race as the bady as so freely happens in the mainstream media.

    I have met many beautiful people from Iran & Israel. Perhaps the problem is the people in power. It does attract a certain type of person.

  50. Peter Fraser Says:

    Fitch @ 40 – read my post, no one ever mentioned anything about being an aggressor, Nick said “Israel has killed more of it’s neighbours and assassinated more people in foreign countries than Iran has”
    And I pointed out that Iran killed about 1 million Iraqis during the conflict – I don’t know who started that war, no one propably does anymore, but that isn’t relevant to Nicks claim.

    I don’t know how many people Israel has killed during the almost 50 year conflict, nor do I know how many Israelies have been killed.

  51. Peter Fraser Says:

    Fitch – by the way the government in Iran lost the last election, but refused to give up power, so much for their style of democracy.

    Mate I’m all for intelligent debate and the serious questioning of authority, but it should be kept real, and if we all simply go off making things up as we go along I doubt that we will end up in a good place.

    I have no great reason the trust Israel any more than another state, but I am deeply suspicious of Iran, they are not to be trusted for a minute under the present regime, although a change of regime should bring some modern thinking and a more open government.

    To think that everything that happens is as a result of a conspiracy aimed to get at us, and that every politician, public figure, every cop, every law enforcement office holder is out to get us, is counter intuitive. That isn’t how most people behave, although a few do.

  52. j mountford Says:

    At last, some commonsense strait talking honesty about whats really going on. thank you.



GET THIS NEW REPORT : 5 Things You Can Do To Boost Your Retirement Pot


In this report we’ll give you strategies, tips and advice to help you kick-start, or revive your retirement savings right now.

PLUS you'll get Money Morning every weekday...absolutely free.

Enter your email address below and hit the 'Claim My Free Report' button now.

Privacy Statement
We will collect and handle your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
You can cancel your subscription at any time

Diggers and Drillers

A 3-Point Plan to Re-Engage with the Aussie Mining Boom


This new video reveals a way for Aussie share investors like you to RE-ENGAGE with the next phase of the mining boom…while valuations are still dirt-cheap…


The plan centres round three specific stocks.


To find out what they are, click here.

Australian Small-Cap Investigator

The Australian wildcatter
exploring oil's 'final frontier'


The US Geological Survey says this area contains up to 71 billion barrels of oil.

Only a few explorers have secured licences to drill.

One of them is a daring little Aussie firm that begins drilling 'in early 2014'.

According to small-cap analysts Tim Dohrmann it's impossible to speculate just how high this one could go. Find out why here.

World War D

Couldn’t make it to our
‘War Summit’?


Don’t sweat it. Click here for the next best thing…


World War D was the most important meeting of minds of the decade so far. What came out of it will almost certainly force you to reshape your investment plan for the rest of the decade. There's no way to go back in time and get inside the Savoy Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt.

But you can do the next best thing…
to find out what it is, click here.

  • ^NDX3534.532+1.446 - +0.04%
  • ^FTSE6625.25+41.08 - +0.62%
  • ^AORD5444.800+32.200 - +0.59%
  • ^AXJO5454.200+33.900 - +0.63%
  • AUDUSD=X0.933
  • USDJPY=X102.445

Graphic Ad 1 – Blue Chip Stocks Report


Revolutionary Tech Investor

This report is about TECH MOON-SHOTS


Four of them, to be precise.


It's an early-days project. But one biotech aiming for the cancer moon-shot is already up - get this - 497.14% since tipped.


For four more tech moon-shots, click here.

Gowdie Family Wealth

WARNING:
The worst mistake you can make when handing wealth on to your kids


This brand new investor briefing shows you what your family’s in for if you don’t take care to leave your wealth to them in exactly the right way.


And it shows you precisely how to prevent infighting, recklessness and misunderstanding over money.


Read it here.

The Money For Life Letter

Holden. Toyota. Qantas. BUST


Do you really expect the share market to boom in times like these? That's why Nick Hubble says the best thing you can do right now is invest for safety and income.


This brand new video shows you how you can get predictable, reliable and rock solid cash flow no matter what happens in the wider economy.


You could lock in up to $20,000 a year - and that's just the start. See how here.



Sound Money. Sound Investments. [bullish prediction]

Greg Canavan's first bullish prediction in four years


Greg Canavan
doesn't make forecasts like this often.


When he does, it's because he’s found something that could make you money for years to come.


Read more here.

Is the Australian Housing Boom Really Back?

The Denning Report

2014 Predicted


Dan Denning accurately forecast 2013's flight from
bonds to stocks, the commodities crash and the
Aussie dollar top…to the exact week


In this brand new forecast report, he shares his
three critical predictions for 2014…

More Recommended Reading Below...

The Pursuit of Happiness & The Daily Reckoning

  • The Pursuit of Happiness
  • The Daily Reckoning Australia

Done properly, a retirement business can not only help fill a retiree’s time and replace their work [Read More...]

Free speech is no longer really a right at all. Governments, vested interests, and lobby groups are [Read More...]

Australian house prices are going to remain high. Perhaps finally, when the last baby boomer retires [Read More...]

Make sure that the changes you make to your financial plan are from a credible source. Otherwise the [Read More...]

It was day two of the World War D conference, and the final session was starting. We were closing th [Read More...]

Services will boom according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. Sales assistants and tour guides are [Read More...]

In the many years since the creation of the US Federal Reserve System as America's central bank [Read More...]

In business, as in other things, we are being roughened up… and toughened up. We promised a grim acc [Read More...]

The worry is that the Russian and Ukrainian economies are suffering badly while politicians enjoy th [Read More...]

During good times, convertible notes behave like debt financing. But if there’s a bank crisis, the b [Read More...]

TESTIMONIALS

"I think you're fantastic! I love to read what you write...you're so interesting and amusing and I've learned so much" -
Money Morning reader, Chris Gadd

"You guys are brilliant. I feel more relaxed about the future than ever simply because I know what is going on rather than floundering around with smoke screens and mirrors from the government and mainstream" -
Money Morning reader, Helen Carter

"Wow what can I say? I was an economically confused moron until I read your newsletter and even though I've been a subscriber for a short period I can now see how easy it is to understand, if you use common sense and can have the spin translated into everyday language. Thanks for an entertaining read." -
Money Morning reader, John

"Keep up the good independent and well thought out articles offering a view that often debunks mainstream myths." -
Money Morning reader, Craig

"I do admire your straight talking and simple analysis of the situation, I think of you as the Jeremy Clarkson of finance." -
Money Morning reader, Jeffery