There are very few certainties in life beyond death and taxes but one can make a solid fortune by betting against any economic prediction offered by the former Australian Prime Minister.
We can’t be certain that his woeful predictions are due to incompetence or whether he’s got the McGrath-Bouris merdeus touch (everything they touch turns to shit) of being able to pull suckers in to their scheme of handing over wealth.
After all, this is the Prime Minister who had such a poor understanding of basic supply and demand that he unintentionally opened up an entire murderous business opportunity for Indonesian people smugglers to sell unseaworthy end of life fishing boats to Africans make a perilous thousand mile journey.
He also oversaw the Australian response to the 2008 global financial crisis which, arguably postponed what could have been a minor domestic recession to something with the potential to be much worse in the near future. But hey, people got a new TV and some house insulation out of it.
Reading Rudd’s opinion piece today reminds us of the gaping intellectual hole that has been left in Australian political life by his quiet and statesmanlike retirement;
This time last month, I was having breakfast with a Chinese friend in Chengdu, the prosperous provincial capital of Sichuan, discussing the increasingly toxic US-China relationship.
Not just a friend, but a Chinese friend, because he’s Kevin Rudd, Mandarin-speaker extraordinaire.
As for the increasingly-toxic US-China relationship, relative to what? Pre-Nixon in China, days? The years immediately following Tiananmen Square?
Well, if things are toxic now, viva toxicity because the two countries are fairly deeply linked these days.
Rudd can’t help himself by chucking in a little bitterness at his opponents;
Mysteriously these also happened to be the headlines in every newspaper in China that day. I hadn’t seen such editorial discipline since Murdoch’s coverage of the Australian elections.
This is worth looking at in more detail for a quick diversion. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the NewsCorp (Murdoch) titles don’t attract as many eyes as the Sydney Morning Herald. And that’s before we count the various media outlets of the ABC, the Guardian, and most other media outlets landing to the left.
Frankly, any left of centre Prime Ministerial candidate who fails to win an election when the majority of the media is on their side ought to have a good long look at themselves in the mirror. Being a famous narcissist, Rudd looks in the mirror more than most, yet struggles with self-awareness.
Back to Rudd’s panic about the trade war…
His hypothesis is that China has reached the end of their patience and will not offer anything more in negotiations:
My prediction is that the Osaka G20 Summit will see a “reboot” to the negotiating process. And after Osaka, Trump will yield on the first two of China’s new red lines. And Xi will increase the quantum of the proposed Chinese purchasing agreement from China’s previous offer, although not by as much as Trump has demanded. That way, enough face will be saved all around.
Kevin Rudd knows a lot about China, he has a greater Mandarin vocabulary and speaks with a better dialect than anyone I know who isn’t ethnically Chinese.
His knowledge and understanding of negotiation, supply and demand and matters commercial have been demonstrated, at Australian taxpayers’ chagrin and expense, to be disastrous, however.
Fortunately, few of our failures cost lives. Unfortunately, Kevin Rudd’s poor grasp of basic human nature and economics has cost millions of dollars and hundreds of lives.
Maybe China will back down, maybe they won’t. It’s more likely they will though since Mr. Rudd is convinced otherwise.
The Australian 26th and 28th Prime Minister, brought to you by Dunning and Kruger.