Climate change and hypocrisy:

Greg Williams writes: Re. “Suddenly, the climate debate is going like the Kloppers” (yesterday, item 2). So Bernard Keane is a tad outraged with “What a terrible hypocrite Marius Kloppers is in calling for a carbon price”.

Bernard, if you are scouring the news pages for gold medal hypocrisy, try the esteemed, and oft-quoted-by-yourself Professor Garnaut.  The good professor’s major involvement in the probable environmental disaster in the sea off Lehir Island and the actual environmental disaster at Ok Tedi — both gold mines in Papua New Guinea, surely constitutes hypocrisy of the first order. (Reference the two lengthy segments on the ABC Kerry O’Brien’s The 7.30 Report this week and last.)

Come on Bernard:  presumably it doesn’t help your predilection for beating all and sundry over the head with the good professor’s “Garnaut Climate Change Review” — but be fair, mate!  If you (almost certainly, quite rightly) give BHP’s Marius Kloppers a serve for hypocrisy, then be even handed and whack Ross Garnaut over the ear as well.

At least Kloppers doesn’t pretend to be on a crusade to save the planet whilst oversighting alleged environmental disasters on a gargantuan scale. Bernard, your silence has been deafening. Either defend the Prof. Or express outrage. But say something. Please!

Oh! And it would seem the Prof supports Marius Klopper’s Carbon Price hypocrisy as well. So get stuck into him too, mate!

Banks and lending:

David Thackrah writes: Re. “Housing bubble and banks … time for disclosure and context” (Wednesday, item 22). Amongst the burgeoning home loan portfolios in the banking system’s Assets are a percentage of loans skating on thin or no ice.

Borrowers will realize, should property values “sag” that they are really paying a high rental (interest costs) for not having sufficient personal contribution to their property finance.

The recent intelligence gathering shows the high percentage of lending by the banks ( significant share of their loan portfolios) for housing is attracting concern should an “adjustment” occur in the Australian economy.

It would appear the banks have themselves exposed to short term borrowing from overseas to shore up their deposits level. It is natural for banks to borrow short, (hold deposits), and lend long (for houses) but if the loan levels get out of proportion say to lending for commercial purposes (usually over a shorter term) then a drop in deposits will bring on a freeze in lending until the banks re-work their portfolios and gather more deposits.

Such a freeze in lending  could seriously interrupt the economy.


Katherine Stuart writes: Re. “Nokia cuts HTC’s lunchbox” “Media Briefs: News Ltd sells Fiji Times, Nokia cuts HTC’s lunch, John Wood is old” (yesterday, item 19). I’m beginning to think NO-ONE at Crikey does basic checking of facts!

This small article by your intern Nick Johns-Wickberg refers to Nokia as a Swedish company (“After HTC sent buses to pick up journalists from a Nokia showcase event earlier this week, the Swedish giant retaliated…”). It is in fact a Finnish company, and I doubt the Finns would be too impressed with being mixed up with rival telecoms giant Ericsson, which IS Swedish.

And it wasn’t the Age’s mistake either. I checked. Are you a serious news operation or not?


Amy Huva writes:Re. Jim Hanna (yesterday, comments). While SEWPC is utterly tragic as an acronym, it’s definitely better than when we feared it was going to be SPCEW (Sustainable Population, Communities, Environment and Water, with a silent C naturally!)

We’ve been throwing a few alternatives around the office and think SEWPAC might be funnier.

At least then we’d sound like bad 90s rappers!