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The various unpleasant consequences of a Real Estate Bubble.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia)

#Real Estate bubble, 

The various unpleasant consequences of a Real Estate Bubble.

A self-sustaining economy is mostly propped up by its various interdependent sectors. The sectors include housing industry, transportation industry, manufacturing (consumer goods, machinery) industry, food and pharmaceutical industry, mining industries, health care industry, financial industry and some other add on industries like entertainment, tourism, etc…

The economy is just like a circulation through these various interdependent industries. Just a single restriction in any one of them will certainly slow down the circulation and will cause problems in all others.

The aim of any government is to have all these industries operating at compatible paces so that none will be starved of its required resources.

A Real Estate Bubble occurs when people in the economy pledge too much of their resources (current possession and future earning) into their housing, denying resources to all other needs. This disrupts the economy hence weakens employment, making most of the pledge from those people untenable.

Example:

A person pledge to pay 90% of his future income into his housing will have no money for transportation and food, therefore he cannot keep his job and his pledge becomes untenable.

1. The underlying cause of Real Estate bubbles.

a. Buying a house involves a large amount of money that is hard to compare to daily experience of new buyers. New buyers are thus susceptible to sale pitches by speculators.

b. Speculators claiming shortage of land due to population growth, neglecting all other factors such as population control, population aging, emigration, outmoded economy, innovation, restructuring of the economy.

c. Speculators/developers giving overstretched, optimistic prediction on the utility of some sites to inflate their values. For example, speculators may claim a deserted intersection to become a future traffic hub or the center of a new city to sell its surrounding sites to uninformed buyers. On a larger scale, even Australia had been predicted (in 1990) by speculators to become the Financial Hub of rising Asian economies! It looks hilarious now but people did talk about that with straight faces before the Asian Financial Crisis of 1990.

d. There is a rush to convert other forms of wealth storage (gold, cash currency, foreign currency, company shares) into Real Estate holding. The rush may be caused by a  government’s threat of confiscation of private gold holdings, threat of demonetization, threat of national insolvency, or caused by the rising risk of share market collapse,..)

2. Good time when the bubble grows and terrible time when reality returns.

Every property owner feels good when the bubble grows. They feel clever. The ratios of their investment debts to their total assets are becoming smaller and smaller as the months come. Their happiness, wealthy feeling and the increased spending spread to people around them, strengthening the economy.

Due to higher prices of properties, the construction industry can operate at full speed, building new houses everywhere, leading to increased demands for cars and other consumer goods. Local governments with taxing authorities increase their tax revenues and embark on their grandiose schemes. Related industries subsequently grow but even then their rises still cannot create adequate numbers of newly affluent buyers for the overpriced houses. The growth of all industries still cannot catch up with the sudden rise in house prices. This INABILITY TO CATCH UP causes the resulting bursting of the price bubble.

When prices come back to reality, recent or late property investors worry about the ratios of their investment debts to their assets growing bigger with time. The debts may become unserviceable. Property investors therefore reduces their spending, effecting the economy. A recession of the economy is now a reality.

Property Developers not able to sell their products at anticipated prices, while having to pay their contractors and interests on their business loans may be forced to liquidate their unsold stocks (houses). Optimistic housing investors cannot rent out newly acquired houses may have to resell them to cut losses. These releases of houses on the market may cause some panic and amplify the price drops. People then try to cut their losses and reduce their spending. Banks worry about bad loans and may increase interest rates to cover for any possible loss. Many (mostly new) businesses (without deep pockets) will come under interest rate pressure and may go bankrupt.

3. A few foolish buyers will be on their own.

When only a few people paid too much for some Real Estate property, they will be left to solve the problems on their own.

They may have to change their life plans or declare themselves bankrupt (depending on the custom and laws of their country).

4. A high proportion of tax payers buying overpriced/oversized properties may force the government into rescuing them. 

If too many tax paying, productive members of society have over-commited their future incomes on housing and Real Estate, usually the government will move in to slow down their purchases and make new laws to reduce speculators’ profit on reselling Real Estate with the aim of decelerating the growth of any Real Estate Bubble.

5. Any government can decelerate the growth of any Real Estate Bubble.

Any government can easily prevent the growth of any Real Estate Bubble with a number of actions.

a. The government may make transparent its town planning and acquisition compensation policies. This reduces site selection risk by its citizens and widen the selectability of housing sites for its citizens.

b. The government may increase central bank’s interest rate on housing loans to reduce availability of borrowed money feeding the Real Estate Bubble.

c. The government may impose some capital gain tax on property held only for short periods. It can also ACCELERATE ITS INFLATION to cause big, artificial capital gains on every change of ownership of a Real Estate and tax that artificial capital gain.

d. The government may build decentralized public housings to increase the number of affordable housings as well as improve transport system to reduce the need for “central living” close to city center and .

6. Inaction by a government may allow unfolding of unpleasant consequences.

If a government decides to profit from a Real Estate Bubble, it will have to face the risk of having its general economy collapsing due to misallocation of resources.

a. The new buyers of Real Estate may go bankrupt, unable to keep their pledges to their lender banks.

b. The new owners of rental properties may require sky high rents to recover from their excessive purchase price. Tenants may decide to change their life style (accepting longer drives to work, not working in the city,…). This may cause too much vacancy on rental markets, causing bankruptcy of rental property owners and house construction companies.

c. Bankruptcy of rental property owners may cause forced sales of their rental properties, lowering their prices suddenly, causing lenders to review loans to rental property owners, and forcing additional owners to sell their properties in an already depressed market, this may cause even further fall in Real Estate prices. The bursting of the bubble may be more severe.

d. Price of those Real Estate properties can then drop more than 30% from their peaks (as had happened in 1990 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

e. The bankruptcy of those rental properties investors may lead to the bankruptcy of their lenders.

The bankruptcy of Tricontinental in Geelong leading to the insolvency of State Bank of Victoria and after that, Victoria State Premier Jeff Kenneth had to impose once only property levy and one year petrol levy to stop the contagion of the crisis to the whole economy [1].

The development of a luxury brand new suburb with yatch docks in Melbourne nearly destroyed the lending bank Westpac (Australia) [2].

f. Insolvency of one single bank may make bank depositors withdrawing their money from all banks. This leads to the reversion to an all cash economy, upsetting many industries.

g. High inflation may then reduce trust on cash, forcing a gold or commodity based economy.

h. An economic recession may occur.

For the above possible consequences, the government may acts, bringing totally different consequences, which may or may not be any better.

7. Government fulfilling the overstretched projection by developers!

The government may alao avoid the sudden collapse of RE properties by fulfilling the overstretched prediction of speculators!

a. It may create unnecessary shortage of land by IMPORTING VERY HIGH NUMBER OF IMMIGRANTS, irrespective of their prospects of integration and prospective contributions to the well being of existing citizens. (The flood of immigrants is pushing up Real Estate prices in London (Londonmabad?), Sydney, Melbourne of Australia, Vancouver of Canada) as it has done in the past to Gold Coast of Australia (in 1970).

b. It may follow wild development ideas by speculators to create new towns where they are not really needed (The Vietnamese government’s plan (2015) to build an International Airport in Long Thanh, to push up land price in that area).

c. It may allow foreigners to buy RE Properties to prop up their prices.

d. It may print more money to SUPPORT the Real Estate Market.

e. The government may print more money to SUPPORT the BANKS. The government may lend banks so much money that they remain solvent but cannot pay the interest on those huge loans. So central bank interests remain low for subsequent decades (Japan has low interest rates for decades after the Asian Financial Crisis[3]).

f. It may indirectly give money to the banks by buying back unmatured bonds held by banks at face value! This is called QUANTITATIVE EASING.


8. Conclusion

An economy and its government may enjoy receiving stamp duties, capital gain taxes while the bubble grows but when Real Estate prices start coming to its sustainable level there will be unpleasant consequences. The latter far outweigh the benefits received when the bubble grew.

References

[1]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Bank_of_Victoria

[2]. https://penguinunearthed.wordpress.com/2006/04/02/book-review-westpac-the-bank-that-broke-the-bank/

[3]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_asset_price_bubble



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Beware of Fake WordPress.com sites.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).
#Trojan horse, #fake site, #WARNING, #DANGER, #cyber-fraud, #redirect

BEWARE of Fake WordPress.com sites.

When entering the word “wordpress.com” into the search box to carry out a Google Search, the results may give you a few fake sites. Any of those listings may trick you into entering it as a genuine site, but it redirects you instead to a fake site, from there you reveal your password and your account is compromised!

1. Always check the full heading in the address box of your browser.

Figure: Demonstration with an ACTUAL Google search for “WordPress.com” giving a result with the correct title line but redirecting to a totally different site sknvietnam.com (Screen captured on 2017 Oct 22-02h17GMT).

After clicking onto the search result, check that you have the address of the site you want.

In the example screen-captured here today, clicking on the result “WordPress.com/sknvietnam.com” (WordPress.com with sknvietnam.com on another line as in the photo) sends you to a login screen similar to WordPress.com login, but the address box has a long line appending after “https://wordpress.com/login “.

You have to be aware that appendage is usually not visible in the small address box of smartphones, tablets. In that case you may have your account and password captured by the strange site.

I carried out a Google Search and found that sknvietnam.com is only a fashion outlet, not a representative of WordPress.com. So things do not add up with that search result.

2. Only log in to the site with the correct address and with nothing else.

Sometimes a fake site can manage to stick a redirecting to the correct name to send your log in to a totally different site.

Sometimes a fake site also hides the front part of its long address from view leaving only the rear part visible, looking similar to a genuine address.

3. Immediately log out and change your password if the site looks differently.

Rather have false alarms than to have your sites or computers compromised.

Reference.

[1]. 

Added after 2017 November 3rd: 

[2]. https://irishinfosecnews.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/poisoned-search-results-deliver-banking-malware/
 

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Avoid Buying Zombie Floats on the Stock Exchanges.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#restructured company, #float, #zombie float, #zombie company, #IPO

Avoid Buying Zombie Floats on the Stock Exchanges.

As the Central Banks of major countries send interest rates to zero or even negative values, people have to take their retirement savings out of Government Bonds and they are tempted into sending their money into the Stock Markets of those countries. The people are not verse in calculating return and risks so they may grab any “established names” on the Stock Exchange and pay outrageous price for them.

There are schemers who lives off that ignorance and float the old loss making companies (zombies companies) into the markets and do creative accounting tricks to hide the losses (for few years only). Those buying the zombies at Initial Public Offer (IPO) usually lose most or significant parts of their money right after the contracts have been signed!

This blog reveals the tricks of selling zombies on the Stock Exchanges.

 

1. Tricks of the trade.

1. A schemer buys a long suffering loss making for next to nothing. Usually he buys it when it goes into liquidation by insolvency.

2. The schemer sacks most low level employees. They would lose their job anyway by the liquidation. The company then ceases trading for few months.

3. The company books are then scanned for any realizable, significant assets for the schemer to take.

4. The schemer draws up a contract between the newly acquired company with one of his other company (debt collecting disguised as management company) for a irrevocable, very expensive management of the newly acquired company.

5. The schemer provides a thin working capital to the newly acquired company from an expensive loan from his other company (debt collecting disguised as management company). The loan is characterized by complex conditions such that prospective investors would not understand.

6. New low level employees are hired and the company re-open its doors for trading (in a way which is precarious but is hard to be noticed by prospective investors).

7. The company is then called “restructured” and floated on the Stock Exchange for naive, unwary investors to buy in.

8. The money from new investors helps paying back the loans from the schemer and will make installments to the management fees (which are actually installments to pay off an additional debt to the schemer).

2. Analysis of the trick.

1. As management fees to another company at expensive rate are not classified as a debt, the restructured company is now debt free except for an expensive loan used as working capital.

2. The irrevocable management contract just keeps sending money to the other company (debt collecting disguised as management company) whether the management is effective or not. The contract is effectively an obligatory debt repayment scheme but is OFF the BALANCE SHEET.

3. Most capital raised from the float of the zombie will be used to repay the loan for working capital and then sent to the “debt collecting disguised as management company” over the time.

4. The director of the zombie company is untouchable by any company law or security law as the management fault lies with the management company (outside his control) but he cannot revoke the management contract.

3. Illustration by an every day example.

If someone got a wrecked car from a yard, refit it with an engine (on an expensive hire purchase plan from him) and sell it to you. Would you buy that car?

But why do you let your Pension Funds, Superannuation Funds buy the zombie companies on your behalf?

4. Zombie floats from Australian Stock Exchange.

The better known cases of zombie floats from the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) are:

The Dick Smith Electronic Company (2015),

The Myers Company (2009).

The floating of the zombies does make the Stock Exchange look like an arena for rigged games where novice investors are ripped off by schemers.

5. Avoiding Zombie Floats.

Investors have to check the trading records for the preceding three years of the floated company even if it is traded on the Stock Exchange.

A new float of an old company may be very risky as only the company name is established while the management and operation are totally untested. Investors are buying into only a dream, the dream may turn out to be a nightmare.

Any management contract of the floated company to any external company must be examined in details (How much fee per year, for how many year, whether it is revocable, what are the required termination conditions). The conditions are usually hard to obtained from any such prospectus. For this reason alone, any such float should be avoided.

Investors have to find out if the floater of the new float has a reputation in floating successful companies after claimed “restructuring”. Some floaters are known for only floating non-viable companies.

On the only basis of transparency, I would avoid any float of “restructured companies”.

References

[1]. dick smith blames-private-equity-owners-greed-for-collapse, http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-06/dick-smith-blames-private-equity-owners-greed-for-collapse/7069604

[2]. dick-smith-class-action-ready-to-launch, au.wordpress.com/business/breaking-news/dick-smith-class-action-ready-to-launch/news

[3]. https://www.crikey.com.au/2010/03/18/myer-over-priced-as-shareholders-find-out-the-hard-way/

[4]. http://www.smh.com.au/business/lessons-from-the-myer-float-flop-20091102-ht8c.html

[5]. the-private-equity-giants-the-greek-target-and-a-trojan-horse, October 28, 2015

[6]. report-says-big-buyouts-are-likelier-to-default, date 05Nov2009

 

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Calibrating food storage thermometers.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia)

#thermometer, #household thermometer, #fridge thermometer, #food storage thermometer, #calibration, #food safety,

Calibrating food storage thermometers.

Figure: A household thermometer with scale from -30°C to 50°C.

Keeping food safe for eating requires storing them at correct temperatures. This requires the use of thermometers as the difference between safe and unsafe temperatures is not easily perceptible otherwise. Household thermometers are usually of the range of -30°C to 50°C and they are made for managing the safe storage of food as well as managing the interior temperatures of houses. Any household thermometers in use must be accurate as faulty ones may cause food to be mistakenly stored in the dangerous bacterial growth zone (4°C to 60°C).

Thermometers can be bought at very low price (about $3 for a plastic thermometer of 40 cm, 16 inch in length, as in the photo) from general stores but they ARE NOT guaranteed to be accurate and users have to calibrate thermometers themselves before use.  The calibration is not simple to ordinary people as the ranges of these thermometers encompass only the temperature of melting ice (0 degree C or 32 degree F) but NOT the temperature of boiling water (at 100 degree C or 212 degree F).

This blog shows you how to calibrate household thermometers using no specialist instrument.

1. Required tools.

Calibrating a household thermometer requires:

a. Ice cubes to provide meting ice.

b. A large bowl to contain melting ice cubes and water.

c. One water kettle to provide boiling water.

d. Two identical cups or glasses

e. One bigger cup or glass with double the volume for mixing water from the above two identical cups.

2. Creating melting ice temperature.
Place some ice cubes in water drinking water in a glass or cup and let it melt. Stir the water thoroughly. The water is then at melting ice temperature. Dip the household thermometer into the water to verify its melting ice temperature.

The thermometer can now be used to check that some water is at the temperature of melting ice.

2. Creating boiling water temperature.
Boiling water is obtainable from the water kettle.

3. Creating half way (50°C = 122°F) temperature.
Pour one full cup of 0°C water contained in one of the identical cups into the bigger mixing cup.

Pour one full cup of 100°C boiling water contained in the other of the identical cups into the bigger mixing cup.

Stir the water thoroughly. The water is then at the temperature of 50°C. Dip the household thermometer into the water to verify its 50°C = 122°F temperature.

4. Usable thermometers 

A usable thermometer should give correct readings for both temperatures of melting ice and of 50°C = 122°F.

Any error at either or both these established temperatures will lead to errors at other readings of the scale. The errors may cause dangerous consequences when applied to food storage.

The following is a dangerous food storage thermometer I have kept to prove that dangerous instruments do exist.

5. An example of dangerous fridge thermometers.

Figure: A re-calibrated, previously  faulty (dangerous) fridge thermometer.

The fridge thermometer in the photograph here was actually outrageously faulty making it a dangerous food storage thermometer. Its original markings are still visible under my re-calibration marks (Red marks are for positive including zero and blue marks are for strictly negative temperatures.).
Readers can see that the original markings are quite faulty:

Original indicated  -28°C   is actually  -10°C

Original indicated   10°C    is actually   25°C

Just imagine what may happen to any trusting thermometer owner using it to prepare for the storage of his food at indicated 0°C, which is actually 10°C. The latter temperature is actually in the DANGEROUS bacterial growth zone (4°C to 60°C).

My re-calibration has been double checked using a laboratory thermometer. The original markings were unbelievably faulty.

References

[1]. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/food-safety-and-storage

[2]. https://www.foodsafety.com.au/resources/articles/safe-food-storage-tips

[3]. https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/Health/Food-safety/Storing-food

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Solar Electricity Installations look like a gravy train.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia)

#solar electricity, #solar panel, #home installation, #return on investment, #gravy train, #subsidize, #economically inefficient,

Solar Electricity Installations look like a gravy train.

With electricity price running out of control, anticipated to hit 40c/kWh in the near future, I have to consider investing in a home system of Solar Panels to reduces my expenditure. The good news is there are some Solar Panels on sale at $150 per square meter and my friend can install them for me at a cost of $150 per square meter. So I drew up the following financial analysis for the prospective installation of 1m2 of panel. The results are quite surprising: Solar electricity is not matured enough to be economically competitive. The Green actions by Australian Governments are mostly a gravy train with well connected, greedy people already having First Class seats on it.

 

1. Assumptions leading to prospective installation

All currency are in Australian dollars

1. Electricity is to cost $0.40/kWh (This is on the high side, the current wholesale price for gas generated electricity is still below $0.15/kWh),

2. Solar Panels can be bought at $150/m2,

3. Total installation cost is only $150/m2,

4. There is no heavy disposal costs for discarded Solar Electricity components which contains lead and other pollutants.

2. The physical figures for Solar Panels.

a/- Solar energy flux is about 1000W/m2 before sunlight reaches the atmosphere.

b/- Average over 12 hours of the flux of daylight on equinoctial day reaching a panel pointing directly at the Sun at its midday is

1000W/m2*(2/3.14).

c/- However, not every house can mount a panel pointing at the Sun at midday on the equinoctial days. The panel is either mounted pointing too high or too low and oriented too much away from the noon position along the North-South direction.

Average of flux through roof slope panel is therefore reduced by a factor of 0.5. The solar energy flux through panel is therefore

1000W/m2*(2/3.14)*0.5

 

d/- Not everyday is a sunny day. So the average flux on the Panel needs to be reduced for this weather effect.
Average over cloudy and sunny days is

1000W/m2*(2/3.14)*0.5*0.3

 

e/- Average Solar radiation energy that can be collected daily is
(1000W/m2) *(2/3.14)*0.5*0.3*12

f/-Average daily energy that can be converted to electricity  is (assuming 17% of radiation energy can be converted into electricity)

(1000W/m2)*(2/3.14)*0.5*0.3*12*0.17 = 194Wh

g/- Electric Energy produced per year= 194*365 = 70,800Wh = 70.8kWh

h/- Retail Market Value of that daytime electricity generated in a year:

70.8kWh*$0.40/kWh = $28.3

3. Financial return for Solar Panels.

Maintenance and Depreciation cost (assuming 10% of installed value. The Panel is assumed to have a useful life of 20 years and the increases in roof maintenance cost has been included in this estimate)

10%*$300 = $30.

Insurance cost (between 1% and 3% of replacement value) as the Panel may get vandalized, stolen or damaged by rare 5cm hail storms in Melbourne.

(1% to 3%)*$300 = $3 to $9
Possible State levy on electricity from the system (A high possibility, as State Institutions still love building their empires.)

(0 to 50%)×$28.3 = 0 0to $14.1

Cost of the installed panel is at a rock bottom value of $300.

Yearly return on my Investment on Solar Panel on my own roof is:

Electricity – (Maintenance and Depreciation) – Insurance – possible State levy
$28.3 – $30 – $3 -($6) – ($14.1) = -$4.7 -($20.1)

That is there is a minimum annual loss of $4.70 with a possible additional loss of $20.1 when if the Insurer and the State Government decided to gouge my Solar Istallation

Return on Investment = -4.7/300 – (20.1/300) = -1.6% -(6.7%)

So the return is -1.6% but it can worsen to a heavy loss of  -8.3% even when there is no borrowing.

4. Terrible loss on Solar Panels with borrowed money.

In the above financial analysis, the ROI (Return On Investment) has been based on own money.

If financing has been obtained from a bank, the ROI would have to be subtracted by interest paid on borrowed money (currently between 5% and 10%) and would be terrible. However the ROI may become positive if you can obtain Loan with NEGATIVE INTEREST (It is harder to find such loans than to extract kinetic energy from renewable earthquakes!).

5. Governments cannot do any better.

I believe that US$120/m2 is the best value for Solar Panel in 2017. If any reader can find a cheaper price please write a comment so that I can update the ROI calculation.

The installation fee of AUD$150 is believed to be the best as my friend only gave such a low price to help with my prospective experimental installation.

Economy of scale does not work with non-transparent governments. Economy of scale do reduce the cost on packaging, transportation and marketing but CORRUPTION INCREASES EXPONENTIALLY WITH SCALE there.

So if individual cannot make profit, no government can unless:

a/- It can obtain Solar Panels for free (such as asking for war reparations from a rich vanquished nation like Iraq).

b/- It can have cheap Prisoners Labor for installation.

c/- It can collude with either domestic Power Generator Companies to jack up Electricity price or with Foreign Governments or Organizations (such as Green Movements) to create artificial increases in Electricity price. (The figure of 40c/kWh is already a high price, the price excluding connection fee for domestic consumption is about 20c/kWh.).

6. Follow the money on Green Projects spent by Governments .

Australian Governments since 2004 have spent national wealth (left by the John Howard Government) on MAD, UNJUSTIFIABLE WASTEFUL plans:

Subsidized (100% subsidization at $2000, under Kevin Rudd’s government) costly conversion of car to dual fuel (petrol plus LPG), installing $2000 system on old, $500 cars which become not economically viable after only few years of usage (the old car was sold for only the value of the dual fuel system).

Subsidized (100% subsidization at $2000, under Kevin Rudd’s government) costly but sloppy glass wool insulation of old houses leading to many house fires caused by in glass wool impeding the ventilation flows of sunken lighting.

Government policy (under PM Kevin Rudd) to encourage costly, but ECONOMICALLY INEFFICIENT, installations of (Chinese) Solar Panels. The excess energy generated by the installation can be sold to the Grid at (crazily priced) 23c/kWh, More than Generator’s Electricity price of arpund 9c/kWh  (Locked in contracts of 2 years duration were signed under Kevin Rudd’s government). The price paid to uneconomically produced excess energy to those households must come from the pockets of normal electricity users.

(It has now been known that Former PM Kevin Rudd has some family connections with some people with Chinese descent)

Having built no Fluorescent Lamp Disposal Facilities even after making the whole nation using almost only Fluorescent light sources. Mercury from discarded fluorescent lamp have not been mentioned by any Environmental Protection Agencies or Green Movements. Mercury is now an unmentioned threat lurking in Australian Wastes.

Local governments (Councils, Shires, Counties, …) now don’t concentrate on Waste Collection, Local Road Repairs, Schools, Local Libraries as required but get into the Conservation movements: Maribyrnong Council send out their “chosen” Green advocates to every home (in Maribyrnong Council) to replace 2 globes for the house holders with 2 new energy saving globe. The globes do save energy but the house hold will eventually pay for the replacement of those 2 globes at about $100 (in increases of Council annual rates on each household) while the two globes are worth only $15 and the householders can easily do the jobs themselves.

6. Conclusions.

Solar electricity is currently not matured enough to be economically competitive. The Green actions by Australian Governments are mostly a gravy train with well connected, greedy people already having First Class seats on it. Just follow the money to find out the reasons for their actions.

References.

[1]. https://www.solarquotes.com.au/issolarworthit.html?utm_source=plista&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=aresolarpanelsworthitpl2

[2].  survivaltricks.wordpress.com,2017Sept28

[3].  , https://www.redarc.com.au/solar-faqs#7

[4]. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/energy-bills-households-paying-inflated-electricity-and-gas-prices/news-story/4f4c4ea257fddd0c1357546fa11dc470

[5]. https://superforest.blog/2017/10/18/way-to-go-greenies/

Added after 2017 October 20th:[6]. https://us-issues.com/2017/10/19/reported-plunge-in-renewable-costs-prompts-aussie-government-to-pull-subsidies/

[7].  https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/08/reported-plunge-in-renewable-costs-prompts-aussie-government-to-pull-subsidies/

[8]. https://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/wa-solar-tax-em5225/

[9]. https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/synergy-proposes-sun-tax-on-wa-solar-households/

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, posted on 17 April 2017 ,

, posted on 07 May 2017 ,

, posted on 10 Jun 2017 ,

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The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 5: Company Asset Strippers and Conspirators posted on 13 August 2017 ,

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 ,    , Cashless bartering for survival, Federal Reserve Bank charges undeserved fees to Americans., A satirical guide to signs of an impending crash for small investorsYour fiat money (Part 2)Your fiat moneyBankers given outrageous incomes by their boardsSigns pointing to an impending crash for small investors,Bankers earn more than interest margin on secured loansCan most pension funds last? … all

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Harvest Moon Festival in East Asian Calendar

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#harvest Moon, #festival, #East Asia, #Luni-Solar, #calendar, #leap year, #leap month, #equinox, #solstice, #month naming,

Harvest Moon Festival in East Asian Calendar.

The calendar in East Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam) is a Luni-Solar calendar. The months of this calendar begins with each New Moon. A month is named based on the position of the Sun in the Celestial sphere during that month.

1. Naming of months in a Luni-Solar year.

In summary, the months are named according to the following rules:

11th month must encompass the Winter solstice day 21st of December,

12th month always follows 11 month,

1st month of next New Year always follows 12th month.

2nd month must encompass the Spring Equinox day of 21st of Mar,

3rd month must encompass the day when the Sun has Right Ascention of 30°

4th month must encompass the day when the Sun has Right Ascention of 60°

5th month must encompass the Summer solstice day 21st of December,

6th month must encompass the day when the Sun has Right Ascention of 120°

7th month must encompass the day when the Sun has Right Ascention of 150°

8th month must encompass the Autumn Equinox day of 21st of September,

9th month must encompass the day when the Sun has Right Ascention of 210°

10th month must encompass the day when the Sun has Right Ascention of 240°

When a year has 13 months it will be called a leap year, the extra month will be called a leap month and that leap month will NOT satisfy any of the above conditions for naming. It will then bear the same name as the preceding month defined by the above rules. Due to the naming convention, there will be no leap month between month 11 and the 1st month of the following New Year.

 

2. Harvest Moon Festival.

The full Moon day of the 8th month is the day of  Harvest Moon Festival.

Therefore, East Asian Havest Moon Festival is always the Full Moon nearest to August 21st Equinox day.

3. Seasons in East Asian luni-solar calendar.

Seasons return after the stars in the sky have come back to their previous positions, that is after 365.25 days. Simple calculations [2] shows that each lunar month is 29.530 days. Two lunar months has a length of 59.06 days.

The luni-solar calendar used in China since ancient time has had Winter solstice falling on the 11th month of the year since more than 2000 years ago, since 113BC (Han Dynasty II p.38 [3]) .

4. Midnight stars can identify luni-solar months.

Country people often use stars to identify their luni-solar months. The following examples show how a bright star can be used to identify a month:

4th month must encompass the day when the Sun has Right Ascention of 60°, its midnight stars should be of 240 degree R.A., and Delta Scorpii (240.22° R.A., –22.60° decl.) is almost its midnight star.

6th month must encompass the day when the Sun has Right Ascention of 120°, its midnight stars should be of 300 degree R.A., and Altair of Aql (297.7° R.A., 8.85° decl.) is almost its midnight star.

1st month of next New Year always follows 12th month, Regulus of Leo (152.05° R.A., 12° decl.) is almost the midnight star for one night of that month.

 

References

[1]. tonytran2015, simple-determination-of-east-asia-lunisolar-new-year, survivaltricks.wordpress.com,

MoonShapesNAngles5C

[2]. tonytran2015, Finding North direction and time accurately from the horn line of the Moon, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/finding-north-direction-and-time-accurately-from-the-horn-line-of-the-moon/

[3]. Sima Qian, Records of History by the grand historian (translated by Burton Watson), Qin Dynasty, Han Dynasty I (Rev. Ed.) and Han Dynasty II (Rev. Ed.), the Res. Cent. for Transl. The Chinese Univ. of Hon Kong and Colubia Univ. Press, Hong Kong and New York, 1961.Han Dynasty II p.38 showed that in 113BC, month 11 has the solstice.

[4]. Helmer Aslaksen, The Mathematics of the Chinese Calendar, http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/calendar/chinese.shtml, accessed 19 Jan 2017.
[5]. Ho Ngoc Duc, Thuat toan am lich (in Vietnamese), https://www.informatik.uni-leipzig.de/~duc/amlich/calrules.html, accessed 19 Jan 2017.

Related HOW-TO blogs

[1]. tonytran2015, time-keeping-without-using-watches, survivaltricks.wordpress.com,

[2]. tonytran2015, Predicting-the-temperature-of-a-habitat, survivaltricks.wordpress.com,

Compass Versatile

 

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Gouging Insurance Premiums and possible State levies await Solar Panels.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#solar panel, #insurance, #sunlight levies, #solar, #levies, #return on investment,

Gouging Insurance Premiums and possible State levies await Solar Panels.

In the enthusiasm to install Federal Government subsidized Solar Panels, prospective owners of these Solar Panels may have forgotten two lessons of history. They are the gouging by Insurers and State Governments.

1. Gouging by Insurers.

Indeed,  the Installed Value of the Solar Panels must be included into the Home Content Values of the insured address.

The panels are in exceptionally exposed, easily damaged or stolen positions. Therefore Home Contents Insurers may require a premium worth about 3% of the Installed Value of the Solar Panels. For a $10,000AUD installed system, the premium would be about $300AUD a year.

However, Insurers may not use this easy argument but charge the maximum the market can bear. This has happened with turbo charged small engined cars. The result was that those cars had to pay higher premium than non-turbo cars with equivalent maximum power rating. For that case the market for turbo-charged small engined cars had collapsed.

So owners of Solar Panels should be prepared for the next move by Insurers.

2. State levies on Solar light received.

England has plenty of traditional houses with small windows. It was not that Englishmen did not know to build large windows but there was taxes based on the areas of windows of each house and Englishmen tried to reduce their tax liabilities.

Houses in Victoria, Australia generally do not have rain-water storage tanks (of the type used in Queensland, Australia). This is also due to State levies on rain water even when collected in private lands. Collection of these levies have now been enforced in Melbourne metropolitan area after the threat of the drought has subsided.

The precedents are there, do you think that the State Government of Victoria, Australia would ignore its easy to grab Levies on Solar Energy received ?

The State may arrogantly set the levies at 50% of local retail price of electricity. Who would be able to stop it? The State may say that it needs the money for its non-stop empire buiding!

3. Prospective Solar Panel Owners should beware of nasty surprises.

Everything is rosy when the Governments sell you. Once a marketing aim has been reached, the nasty surprises may surface.

When making calculations on the Return On Investments, prospective owners of Panels should consider Insurance Premiums and Possible State Levies on Solar Light along with their maintenance, wear and tear on the system.

Reference

Added after 2017, November 10th:

[1]. https://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/wa-solar-tax-em5225/

[2]. https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/synergy-proposes-sun-tax-on-wa-solar-households/

[3]. https://www.solargain.com.au/blog/sun-sets-wa-solar-tax

 

 

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The agonizing choice of Vietnamese food dishes.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#food dies, #industrial dies, #unapproved ingredients, #toxic ingredients, #Roasted Chicken with Crispy Skin, #Ga Chien Gion Da, #toxic food test, #rubbing on skin test,

 

When encountering a new food, the choice is sometimes an agony: Eating it may save your life or may also kill you or injure your digestive system. The following is an account of my real life experience. I quickly got over it by being alert and applying my learned habits for survival.

 

 

1. Nutritious or Toxic food?

Figure 1: Nutritious or Toxic food? Roasted Chicken with crispy skin served with rice from shop 1

Figure 2: Nutritious or Toxic food? Roasted Chicken with crispy skin served with rice from shop 2

This is an account of actual events happened to me.

There are two Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne selling two similar dishes (in September 2017). The dishes are for you to choose, they are both sold at $12AUD. Since I wanted to write some introduction to tasty Vietnamese foods, I usually take photos of any interesting dish I ordered before consuming it. That is why I happened to have the photos.

The two photos are taken in September 2017. The dish is name Roasted Chicken with Crispy Skin (Vietnamese Gà Chiên Giòn Da) served with Rice.

My friends and me went to the first restaurant, one dish of Roasted Chicken (one of the photo) was ordered and consumed by one of my friends. Two days later, we went to the second restaurant few doors from the first one, I ordered a similar dish from the second restaurant (the other photo). Three hours after eating it I had stomach cramp, diarrhea, burning sensation on the inside of mouth, ulcer lasting five days on my gum. The stomach cramps subsides after I pass out all the ingestion, assisted by my consumption of a lot of milk. About one week later, after my recovery, we went to the first restaurant and I saw my friend still eating the same dish with no problem.

So I thought that I may have had allergy with roasted chicken (The hypothesis had to be considered but it was highly unlikely as I have had no problem consuming chicken meat dishes in both Australia and Vietnam.), so I cautiously ate parts of the dish there (similar to that my friend had eaten and had no problem after consumption), and few days later I ate the whole dish, still with no problem. So I found out that I did not have any allergy with roasted chicken!

So WHY did I have the the stomach cramp and the burning sensation in my mouth after eating a similar dish at the second restaurant? You should think about it before reading any further. You should examine the two photos to find any possible explanation.

2. Please think to practice your survival skills.

 

You should think about it before reading any further.


Intentional blank space

Intentional blank space

Intentional blank space

 

You should think about it before reading any further.

 

Intentional blank space

Intentional blank space

 

3. The cause of the problem.

I did not have any allergy with chicken meat, as I has been eating lot of chicken dishes in both Australia and Vietnam.

As I had been to Vietnam, I had previously experienced some symptoms of ingesting unapproved food dies and food additives: Burning sensation on the interior of the mouth, ulcer on the interior of the mouth.

The problem may had been caused by the wholesales supplier to the second restaurant switching its supplies. Therefore, the second restaurant may had used some unapproved ingredients in its preparation of its dishes.

I suspected that I had consumed unapproved food dies in their dish of “Roasted Chicken with Crispy Skin served with Rice”.

When I rechecked the photos of the two dishes taken with the same camera, I noticed the unusual colour of the chicken pieces from the second restaurant (the second photo) and the bright colour of the sauce accompanying the dish (but I had not consumed any such sauce). Checking on the current number of clients frequenting the second restaurant (serving the dish in the second photo) I found out that it has dropped down to 1/4 of what it was one year ago.

So I have all reasonable reasons to believe that the second restaurant has used unapproved food dies (industrial dies instead of food dies). The problem is at plague level in Vietnam and now it has spread to Australia since Vietnamese food ingredients are specialty foods not subjected to rigorous testing standards when imported into Australia.

4. Lessons learned.

1. A trusted restaurant may still provide you with unsafe food when its wholesaler changed its supplies.

2. When an Asian food has unusually bright colours, it may have been died with unapproved, unsafe industrial dies (see figure 2).

3. Always think that any unfamiliar (especially Asian) food may be poisonous and test it by checking for your  allergy against it by smearing it on the inside of the elbow, on your neck, on your cheek, on the outside of your lips in that order. If no allergy reaction is found, start with consuming only a small amount of that food before eating the whole meal in the following day. (The tests may not be quite friendly to your party dresses!)

4. Only eat in a restaurant where you can see the owner and the cook eating that same meal as you.

5. When I was eating in Vietnam, I befriended and always shared my food with the pet cat of the restaurant owner. She has far more sensitive taste and smell than any human. Any change in taste or smell of the food would be noticed by my trusted four legged friend !  Be kind to animals and you may be well rewarded!

 

5. Notes from previous experiences.

” Always think that any new (especially Asian) food may be poisonous and test it by checking for your  allergy against it by smearing it on the inside of the elbow, on your neck, on your cheek, on the outside of your lips in that order. If no allergy reaction is found, start with consuming only a small amount of that food before eating the whole meal in the following day. ” has saved me from a Vietnamese “bubble cup” (Trà Sữa Trân Châu) in Saigon.
After biting the first grain, I noticed a swelling of my lips. Going through this test I discovered that the grains cause the swelling !

 

Many Vietnamese dishes of Roasted Quails are heavily laced with Mono-sodium-gluatamate (which still has not been banned!). I can tell if I have ingested monosodium glutamate by the following symptoms:

a. back of neck suddenly becomes hot (ingesting small amount)

b. following by Light Headaches (ingesting medium amount)

c. following by Severe Headaches (ingest large amount), severe thirst, swollen esophagus causing breathing difficulty and swollen ankles of day long duration.

 

Some years ago, one of my Caucasian friend consumed “Sweet and Sour Pork” laced with lots of Mono-sodium-glutamate and had her esophagus swollen to the point that she was sent to hospital in an ambulance.

 

Reference.

[1].

[2]. https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-09-05-top-8-carcinogenic-food-additives-and-ingredients-banned-nearly-everywhere-in-the-world-except-wait-for-it-the-united-states-of-america.html

[3]. https://freespeechtwentyfirstcentury.com/2017/05/12/parasites-could-be-lurking-in-your-sushi-doctors-warn/

Related HOW TO blogs:

Rice as emergency food., posted December 24, 2016

20161230_192839ricegrains2c60.jpg

Mung Beans as grains for self-reliance.

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Making money from Treasury Bonds with Insider Information

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#Treasury Bonds, #Quantitative Easing, #QE,

Making money from Treasury Bonds with Insider Information.

An insider can make outrageous amount of profit with his insider knowledge, at the expense of the tax payers. This blog gives the details description for such a process of transferring public money into private pockets.

1. Assumptions.

1. The going interest rate is 3% in year 2000.

2. The Federal Reserve Banks (FED) will rescue the economy by lowering interest rate on the “signals”.

3. The insider controls banks.

4. Insider has 200M.

2. Execution of plan.

1. Insider borrows 1000M from banks on a year to year basis, renewable up to 2005.

2. Insider buys 5 years Treasury Bonds at the price of 1000M*(1-5*3%)= 850M to be matured in 2005 at value of 1000M

3. Insider pays 4% interest to banks at the end of each year.

4. Insider puts his account of 200M (earning interest) and 1000M Treasury Bonds (to mature in 2005) as securities to banks.

3. Banks have secured loans.

The worse case for the bank is to keep the Treasury Bond until 2005 to obtain 1000M from the Treasury. Interest accrued to that date would be 1000M*5years*4%per-annum = 200M that can be deducted from Insider’s account of 200M.

The Insider still has some earned interest for his decreasing account of 200M left as security for his loan of 1000M.

The loan will be approved by banks as it is fully secured and interest payment is guaranteed by the account of 200M left as security.

4. Insider looks silly.

Without the loan, Insider would collect from his bank account an interest payment of (say at 2%):

200M*5years*2%per-annum = 20M.

With the loan, Insider has a decreasing account starting at 200M ending at almost zero. So the total interest would be

200M*5years*2%per-annum*0.5 = 10M.

Besides that reduction of 10M in interest earned, he earns only 150M from Treasury Bonds but has to pay 200M in interest to the bank. So he would lose 40M after 5 years with that loan.

The insider does indeed look silly with his complicated financial plan.

5. Insider wins big amounts.

The banks with connection to the Insider now behave recklessly and are threatened with bankruptcy ! This worries the Federal Government.

The government decides to bring interest rates down to 0.1% and buy back all affected Treasury Bonds (Quantitative Easing)  (to help the reckless banks and indirectly the Insider). Suppose that this happened in the year 2001.

1000M of Treasury Bonds to mature in 2005 is now bought back by the FED at

1000M*(1-0.1%per-annum*4years) = 1000M*(1-0.004) = 996M.

Insider now resell his 1000M Treasury Bonds maturing in 2005 to the FED for 996M and pays off his bank loan.

His out-goings are

850M buying Treasury Bonds in 2000.

40M interest paid to banks.

His incomes are

996M selling Treasury Bonds in 2001

4M Interest earned by his account of 200M left as security (assuming an interest rate of 2% paid to him)

So his net income after one year is

996M + 4M – (850M + 40M) = 110M,

that is an income of 110M on a capital of 200M after one year!

6. How can he earn that much.

The insider now wins because of the Quantitative Easing policy of the Federal Reserve Banks. He has bought Treasury Bonds at market price, hold them for one year then resold them at Government supported price.

His insider knowledge is that the FED will buy back Treasury Bonds at higher than market price. If there was no such thing he would certainly look silly with his plan.

7. Who has won? Who has lost?

The Insider won, the banks made profits on the secured loans to him while the tax payers have lost

The figure of 200M dollars is only an example figure, in reality the figure is much higher, it may involve trillions of dollars. The year figure was started at 2000 for ease of argument but it can be any year.

That is why any relationship between a powerful financial institution and a government should be looked at with suspicion.

References

[1]. Mish Mishtalk, Margin debts hit record high-coinciding with extreme-consumer confidence, mishtalk.com, http://mishtalk.com/2017/03/30/margin-debt-hits-record-high-coinciding-with-extreme-consumer-confidence-analysts-say-dont-worry/, 30 March 2017.

[2]. stock-markets-sit-blithely-on-a-powerful-time-bomb, sentinel blog, http://sentinelblog.com/2017/04/22/stock-markets-sit-blithely-on-a-powerful-time-bomb/, accessed 22 April 2017.

[3]. https://lplresearch.com/2017/04/07/margin-debt-worry-or-overblown-anxiety/

[4]. Yashaswini Swamynathan, Reuters, The S&P 500 is worth $20 trillion for the first time, business insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/sp-500-market-cap-crosses-20-trillion-for-the-first-time-2017-2, Feb 13, 2017.

[5]. The last time this happened the market crashed, sentinelblog.com, https://sentinelblog.com/2017/04/22/the-last-time-this-happened-the-market-crashed/

[6]. http://wallstreetonparade.com/2016/08/bailed-out-citigroup-is-going-full-throttle-into-derivatives-that-blew-up-aig/

[7]. https://bonnerandpartners.com/u-s-stocks-are-disastrously-overvalued/

[8]. Michael Pento, curve-inversion-and-chaos-to-begin-by-december-2017, Re-Blogged  https://us-issues.com/2017/06/10/curve-inversion-and-chaos-to-begin-by-december-2017/
By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From PentoPort

 

 

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Finding North by stars for beginners

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#find North, #finding North, #by stars, #star disk, #star map, #Mercator, #beginner,

Finding North by stars for beginners.

Beginners only need to know few stars to practice finding North by stars.

1. Common viewing instructions for all beginners.

1. From the following three maps select and print the one suitable for your zone.

Sky map Northern 3/4 sphere

Figure: Sky map (Inversion type) of the Northern Celestial 3/4-sphere showing only 20 brightest stars and some constellations. 24hr of R.A. is on the top and R.A. increases in the clockwise direction.

Sky map Southern 3/4 sphere

Figure: Sky map (Inversion type) of the Southern Celestial 3/4-sphere showing only 20 brightest stars and some constellations. 24hr of R.A. is on the top and R.A. increases in the clockwise direction. 

star map mercatorx1p6Figure: The Mercator map of the sky for inhabitants of Tropical Zone. North direction is on its top.  24hr of R.A. is near the center and R.A. increases towards the left (East) of the map. The map is to be read South side up in the Southern hemisphere.

2. Use a shadow stick or a compass to find out the (true) North direction at your location.

shadow stick to tell time and find North

Figure: A shadow stick for finding North and time is drawn here in blue colour. The shadow of its tip always move WEST TO EAST along a conical curve C (drawn in red). The axis of symmetry of the curve C is the terrestrial North-South direction.

3. Find out the latitude of your location.

4. Find out the current date in the calendar year.

5. Use the following simplified instructions to identify the stars at mid-nights.

2. Viewing instructions for inhabitants of Polar and Temperate Zones.

1. Place one of your straightened arm horizontally, pointing to North if you are in Northern hemisphere and South if in Southern hemisphere.

2. Raise your straightened arm by an angle equal to your latitude. Your straightened arm now points to the Celestial pole at your location.

3. Hold the circular star map on the hand of that arm, with its axis pointing to the Celestial pole and the MARKING FOR CURRENT MONTH ON ITS RIM AT ITS BOTTOM.

4. You can now see the images of stars on the map pointing to the actual stars.

sky disk alignment

Figure: Aligning the center of the paper star disk to the Celestial pole in the sky to identify the stars at midnight.




5. Beginners only need to recognize the circumpolar stars for their own hemisphere.

Inhabitants of Northern hemisphere need only to identify Little Dipper, Big Dipper (11hr R.A., 60° declination) and Cassiopeia (1hr R.A., 60° declination).

Figure: Finding North by stars for beginners (Northern hemisphere).

Inhabitants of Southern hemisphere need only to identify Agena, Alpha Centauri (pointer stars) and Acherna in the anticlockwise direction (all at 60° South declination). Acherna is 60 degree from the pair (alpha Centauri, Agena) and is on the opposite side across the Southern Celestial Pole.

Figure: Finding North by stars for beginners (Southern hemisphere).

6. The knowledge of other stars will follow naturally with time.

3. Viewing instructions for inhabitants of Tropical Zone.

1. Hold the Mercator star map above your head, with North direction pointing to true North.

2. The length of the map corresponds to 13 months. Select and view only 6 month centered on the CURRENT MONTH. The line for the current month is worked out from the markings along the vertical lines of this Mercator map.

3. You can now see the images of stars on the map pointing to the actual stars.

4. Beginners only need to recognize some bright stars near to the Celestial equator:  Orion Rigel. Betelgeuse, Procyon, Leo Regulus, Spica, Bootes Arcturus, Altair. They are associated with various different months of the year.

equatorial stars

Figure: Finding North by stars for beginners (Tropical zone). Click to enlarge figure.

5. The knowledge of other stars will follow naturally with time.

Bright Stars 20 Plus 2

Figure 2: Table of 20 brightest +2 stars in order of appearance.

4. Common Identifying instructions.

1. Beginners should observe the identified stars in subsequent night as well as at various different time.

2. The circumpolar stars will remain visible all year round for cold temperate zones. Beginners only need to know them well.

3. The tropical stars appear in sequences and tropical inhabitants have to associate tropical stars with their months in the year.

4. Tropical constellations are seen upright from Northern Hemisphere and upside down from Southern Hemisphere

References.

[1]. tonytran2015, Shadow-stick-navigation-and-graph-of-solar-paths, posted on August 19, 2016.

[2]. wiki, Astronomical_ceiling_of_Senemut_Tomb.

[3]. Suchow map, http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/exhibits/planetary-machines.

[4]. wiki, Chinese_star_maps

[5]. tonytran2015, Finding directions and time using the Sun and a divider, survivaltricks.wordpress.com , Finding directions and time using the Sun and a divider., posted on May 6, 2015.

[6]. tonytran2015, Finding North direction and time using the hidden Sun via the Moon, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North direction and time using the hidden Sun via the Moon . Posted on July 6, 2015.

[7]. tonytran2015, Finding North direction and time by stars, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North and time by stars. Posted on August 28, 2015

[8]. tonytran2015, Finding accurate directions using a watch, posted on May 19, 2015 .

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