No. 3 Free Money

The year is racing ahead without so much as a ‘by your leave’ and already the Catholic Pope has resigned in a vacuum of rumour, backbiting and accusation, whilst here in Australia the fire, flood and pestilence season has gotten off to a great start. The country divided with pleasing symmetry into the flooded North and the burning South.

The Japanese, in the spirit of Total Quality Management (TQA) are continuing their record breaking free money stint. The official interest rate alternates between nothing and ‘we’ll pay you take the stuff away’.

But it’s not just the Japanese who can’t think of anything productive to do with their money, it’s quite a widespread problem. That giant corporations can amass tens of billions of dollars in cash deposits and have not the faintest clue how to make productive use of these war chests, in my view, beggars belief. There are many micro-lending organisations across Asia, Africa, Central and South America that could no doubt put this money, hoovered up from across the globe, to good use.

Perhaps those who have buckets of cash and no idea what to do with it should hand it over to the entrepreneurial masses whom, one may be certain, would come up with something.

Meanwhile, here in Punchbowl the new ‘Plazza’ town centre shopping and accommodation complex, powered by Woolworth’s vision of urban perfection, is beginning to take shape with the shopping precinct opening in December.

But wait! A sobering dash of ice cold water has cast a long shadow over this otherwise idyllic hamlet; the shortage of barbers (a mere dozen within a 300 metre radius of Punchbowl railway station), is beginning to impinge upon our feel-good-factor.

Elsewhere, the Americans have retreated into their arcane national sport of tormenting people who have done something ‘inappropriate’. To do or say something not in keeping with the prissy social mores of the American elite, or at least with the social mores imagined by the American circus to be those of the elite, brings swift and immediate opprobrium, followed, inevitably, by death. The latest victims of this sport include various candidates for Barrack Obama’s cabinet.

The upside of this is that, for the time being, they are not trying quite so hard to be the saviours of Western Civilisation. On the downside, it is just a matter of time before they switch their attention from bating their internal political opponents and return once more to destabilising the world.

The current rampage and destruction of world cultural heritage by disposed mercenaries across North Africa was precipitated at least in part by the West’s unfortunate predisposition towards unseating dictators (Iraq, Libya, Egypt and now Syria) apparently without any thought as to the consequences. World News from Punchbowl (WNFP) has uncovered the amusing practice whereby the out-going American President hands a note to the in-coming President containing the name of the dictator he, or potentially she, is expected to topple. It’s a sort of a presidential game and failure to oust ‘your’ dictator is considered very bad form.

It is a matter of no small national pride here in the ‘lucky country’, that our practice of suckling at the breast of American democracy has enabled us not just to emulate our American mentors, but, in terms of banality and viciousness of national politics, to exceed them by a substantial margin. Our upcoming federal election promises to offer an exemplary display case for our new found skills.  Perhaps we should make it a display sport at the next Olympics?

But all is not sunshine and barbeques – right here in Punchbowl’s back yard, the Chinese, Japanese and Russians are back to squaring up against each other over a variety of barren rocky islands which are said to be strategic, or which might possibly sit over mineral deposits or good fishing grounds, or just ‘because’.

Those interested in sending a high-level negotiating team to break the deadlock should write to the editor or leave your name at the post office on The Boulevard (across from the medical centre).

Talking of Russia and the possible total destruction of life on earth; was it just me, or did it seem strange to you that there was nothing but a deafening silence from the astronomical community after a giant meteorite exploded spectacularly over Chelyabinsk in Russia? Had they not that very same night congratulated themselves and reassured us that an even bigger asteroid was going to miss the earth by a hair’s breadth? How come they failed to spot the Russian one, and how many others did they miss that night? The residents of Punchbowl demand to know!

For our readers with an interest in New Zealand, WNFP can report that New Zealand remains a stable, sensible, well run, reasonably open minded and pleasant country.

Our next edition may carry an in depth analysis of the global horse meat scandal threatening the pallets of discerning processed meat eaters and equestrophiles the world over. Or we may cover something more interesting.  Stay Tuned!