Is corporate greed going to drive Australia into recession?

I try not to write about the general economic circumstances, but I have to report back on this one. The company I work for deals with OneSteel an offshoot of BHP Billiton the mining and commodities giant. From March to June of this year we have seen prices rises of 44.9% on the steel we buy, with more expected to come in July.

The excuse from OneSteel is that it is there is a shortage in world supply. However reading the press, and their releases it seems like in Australia, they create the shortage by limiting shipping to their customers, this means that demand is always behind supply. Internationally it seems that they are trying to play the spot iron ore market in China to get better prices.

I’ve got to say that the chain goes like this: –

We buy steel – we increase our prices – our customers increase their prices – consumers pay more – inflation rises – risk of recession increases.

At the same time of coarse the bhp shareholders are raking it in from massively increased profits.

I’m not against capitalism, but you have to say that this is a really short term view from BHP. If they drive us into recession, they can forget house building, and many of the other industries they rely on for their bread and butter. I guess what I’m saying here is forget your short term profits and think of your market as a whole bhp. It’s up to you bhp, and many of the other corporates. Short terms gain and long term pain, or a more even market where you are more likely to still be here in 5 years time!

My iiNet VOIP problems

Another rant I’m afraid. Maybe I should use appropriate tags


I have an iiNet VOIP account which I swapped to recently. I have spent about 2 months going from one tech support to another trying to convince them that I have set it up right and that something just wasn’t working. Eventually I spoke to Belkin the router manufacturer and they confirmed that it was just broken and gave me a ref number to quote iiNet.

Up until that point everything was fine but long winded, but today I phoned them up, was again asked to go through the same stuff, and told rather shortly that if the next router didn’t work I should go elsewhere! Not sure that is great customer service! Not only have I had a faulty router for 2 months, had to wait for hours on the phone in their queue, but I’m then basically told that it’s my fault!

End of rant