The last few months have seen the price of oil dropping to $27.- a barrel. Some years ago, it was ‘peak oil,’ with dire predictions of shortages. People were hoarding it. Now, they are finding oil everywhere, even under our houses, the local cinema and park-land. People have signs in the window; ‘Close the farm-gate, we want water.’
World markets are reacting like the drunken sailor at Woolloomooloo before being chucked at the back of the Bumper Farrell Wagon. Bumper Farrell was a revered rugby player and policeman. (1916-1985) His first name derived, when as a schoolboy at the back of the school, he would be caught smoking used second hand cigarette butts, named ‘bumpers.’ He became a most feared policeman. His great grandfather was an Irishman who left the potato shortage for Australia in 1837 as a convict for having stolen a pig.
His fame as a rugby player grew in tandem with his rise in the police ranks to such an extend, the police paddy wagons (Irish again) were suitable named ‘Bumper Farrell wagons.’ It was a badge of honour to make a claim to have been picked up by such a wagon. Of course, if by the man himself, it would ensure an entry to almost everywhere that was unlawful, especially at illegal betting joints.
With the fluctuating money markets, the money men are back in full swing again. They are the ‘Short and Long sellers.’ They thrive on volatility. They are busy dealing in contracts of ‘options.’ An option is usually a contract in buying and selling shares ( or currencies) that the trader doesn’t actually hold. It usually has a delayed settlement date. This means that provided the market goes your way, either up or down, depending on going ‘short or long,’ you only pay for the option contract and not for the shares. And collect the difference! A single contract holds 100 shares. It is believed that the short sellers (and long sellers) are actually negatively manipulating markets. The leverage on options, both selling and buying (Puts and Calls) are much higher than with ordinary shares.
I wonder what the return of retirement funds will be this year? The return on superannuation income is for many retirees the income they have saved up for during their working years. Australia also has a pension system that pays roughly 30% of average earnings. Not a fat pot. Our pension is minimal because of the ‘means test.’ The value of assets and other income is taken in consideration and the pension gets deducted accordingly. I have a small pension from Holland. This resulted the Australian pension promptly being deducted. It seems a hand-out in Australia, instead of an entitlement that one has worked and paid for. I don’t know what happens if one has too many assets. Does one perhaps end having to top up the politicians to supplement their income?
It’s all good if health continues,…but what about if one gets ageing problems? I mean, a fall and lengthy hospital stay? The loss of eyesight and the driver’s license, a sense of direction or loss of not knowing where the fridge is, (where is my potato-leek bake)? I read a post whereby an old person needs a toilet every hour. I am not quite there yet! But, what then? So far so good. I can still take two steps at the time. I was told by a friend that I am merely old and not yet ‘old old.’ That is when eighty is reached.
And then there is that sweet couple, George and Irish, who both turned 100 years and still together. Have a look!