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16 July 2017


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Dear Chris,
Much of this was highlighted by Steven Keen before 2007. The average American dies owing over US$ 60,000.
The entire airline industry leases its planes from Boeing or Airbus and buys fuel on credit, which is a recipe for disaster.
Many years ago Tiny Rowlands did a hatchet job on Alan Bond and unsurprisingly it found he was a billionaire in debt. I strongly suspect if an asset and liability statement was conducted on Richard Branson, it would reveal a similar situation.
Barbarians at the Gate..

All the while gas goes. Great galleons of generated wealth. And where? And for what?
Dinau is in wealth now gone and more going, but also in the trust. Trust invested via election. And to whom?

In leadership of many nations, ‘trust’ is a balancing mechanism that took centuries to evolve. Those who attempted to lead were encouraged and are encouraged still, but also constrained. In its newness as an independent state, PNG may yet evolve a mechanism (or more?) for reign restraint especially of the rampant secrecy of the secretion of national wealth.

So concealed is the loss accruing now by the borrowings 2013-2017, that national dinau is still a whisper and even may not emerge as rural spik in 2022. What honour is there in the concealment? What honour to such leaderslip?

That said, brinkmanship in international trade is of tactic more fierce than fracas merely tribal and miserly criminal.

Thank you for this. I sat at a form in Goroka in 2015 and heard a very succinct statement by the Branch Manager of the national Development bank. He said "you Papua New Guineans have no shame when it come to Dinau. You literary beg, and promise to pay, never pay up and still come back and beg again for another dinau".

I have had to deal with these everyday. The borrowing is ok, but that lack of shame or embarrassment. We go back to the person we borrow and ask for things or get drunk in front of them. Yet we have a debt. We drive a fancy land cruiser and fill up the tank and still owe people money. We never see repaying debt as a noble thing and free ourselves from the shame or owing something from some one. That SHAME or GUILT is absent.

This is the same thing happening at the higher levels of society, the money lenders, the micro finance institutions, the shops, the banks and now at the international levels. Pita onil has no shame and so are most of the members of the parliament. Pita and mobs gave money to Tonga for this and that and owe so many other institutions ( including rental outstanding for Foreign offices worldwide, the NZ companies etc). No shame of guilt.

How do we bring that SHAME and GUILT back. almost impossible. we need to start with the children and instil that shame into their spinal cord so they grow up taking care of their business and not depend on anyone or get dinaus. \

Just for the record - my Micro finance company had a rate of about 1.03 percent for completion of repayment of loan. I survive because I have some idea on the dinau culture in PNG.

I recall, from childhood years, that my parents on the dairy farm would not have progressed if not for an Aussie style of Dinau. Many a month the credit extended from the local grocery store enabled us to eat pending the issue of a pay-cheque from the Co-op milk facory.

On one occasion, my mother spoke of a pastoral visit from the local Vicar. She had only 1 egg in the pantry to offer him as morning tea.

Unlike the old Aussie dairying community, PNG is saddled with an extra layer of Dinau dysfunction.

I refer to the crippling influence of crumbling infrastructure that renders the functional maintenance of the supply chain nigh on impossible.

No doubt, that situation may be sheeted home to the corruption afoot historically, and presently.

While I think that Patrick is onto something here, it is fair to say that the dinau concept may be alive and well across the whole globe.

At last count, global debt amounted to somewhere around $US217 Trillion or 327% of global GDP. That is a simply gargantuan level of debt and far in excess of anything within historic experience.

PNG's total debt is trifling even compared to that held privately by Australians.

Australian household debt has steadily risen over the past three decades as more of us aim to own homes and continue to rely on products such as car loans and credit cards. In fact, the ratio of household debt to income has more than doubled between 1995 and 2015, going from 104% to 212%, according to the OECD Data released in 2015. This means if the average person earns $80,000 net, they are spending $169,600 per year.

This is an obviously unsustainable situation.

What all this debt reveals is that the relaxation of credit requirements that has fed the last 30 odd years of global growth has also created a proverbial mountain of debt that cannot ever be repaid.

It is simply inconceivable, for example, that Greece can ever repay its 334 Billion Euro debt to the IMF, EU Central Bank and others. Yet European policy makers insist that it must and will do so. This is utter madness but remains the avowed policy position.

In China, the true level of internal debt is carefully hidden but informed sources say that it amounts to over 304% of GPD or around US$30 Trillion. Yep, that is not a misprint.

So, Patrick, it is time to relax. PNG's debt is so trifling that if the whole international house of cards comes tumbling down, no one will notice if you quietly slip out the door muttering "we'll pay it next Tuesday".

You see, no-one else can pay either. It is all just a game really, albeit one where the players all suffer horribly when the music finally stops.

Ah Capitalism! Beautiful one day, a goat fest the next.

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