The Boomer Legacy

Commerce

The doctrine of market infallibility

Choices which faced society could only be framed in economic terms.

Wealth creation was seldom could only be achieved by hard work and balancing of risk. All decisions were made by unfailingly rational agents. Everyone rose or fell according their own efforts. Riches were always nearly always seldom never acquired by inheritance, nepotism, hypergamy, corruption, rent-seeking or asset-bubbles.

“Market Failure” was an oxymoron and GDP was the only true measure of progress. The sole purpose of society was to serve the economy and any attempt by governments or citizens to meddle in its course was regarded as a direct attack on growth. Only monetarism, globalised free trade, deregulation, privatisation, liberalised capital, shareholder value, privity of contract, small government, nimble competition, resilient optimism, flourishing foreign investment, robust micro-economic & productivity-enhancing reforms and — obviously — completely unfettered investment-friendly markets could never always determine the fair value of everything, and deliver significant benefits for oligarchs CEOs family-trusts investors stakeholders all.

Sample #2091
Clip service    (Jan 2019)

Topic Images

There are currently 128 photographs in this section.

Agile entrepreneurs: Surveillance cameras [✓]  Motion-activated floodlights [✓]  Canvas-covered windows [✓]  3m high fencing [✓]  Steel chained front gates [✓]  Threatening no-trespass signs [✓]  Resourceful SMEs servicing a niche-market [✓]

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Domestic security on Neville Street in Marrickville [Sep-2012 422kb]

Forging a new deal: The transition from manufacturing to a service-based economy was completely seamless

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Derelict Ford truck at The Grounds of Alexandria [Apr-2018 649kb]

Remarks…

How do you depict the systematic dismantling of industries, with their associated well-paid employment for working-class people, without being blatantly didactic?

Flags of convenience: Our vision was to create a better everyday life, by getting our customers to do all the work for free

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The united nations of IKEA, at Tempe [Sep-2012 147kb]

The boom in retailing: Sell everything, take on even more debt and cancel Christmas

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McEvoy Street pop-up retailer, Alexandria [Mar-2018 240kb]

Forget your past: Architectural awards counted for little when it came to prime development sites

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Darling Harbour Conference Centre demolition, Sydney [Apr-2014 238kb]

Remarks…

This image is a classic example of the importance of always having a camera with you. The original intention was to walk from Town Hall to Central via Darling Harbour. Being an architecture enthusiast, it was ironic to discover that a collection of buildings which were lauded in the 1980s for their innovative design, should thirty years later become yet more fodder for redevelopment

The best that money can buy: Of particular interest to ICAC has been the planning decisions along Canterbury Road and Charles Street, which saw some Liberal and Labor councillors voting together to approve developments which council's planning staff had previously rejected due to non compliance (SMH, 2017)

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Apartment construction at Charles Str, Canterbury [Oct-2015 329kb]

In Goldman, Sachs We Trust: The financial sector was the bedrock of our entire social structure and facilitated massive cultural progression. Whereas the 1960s were squandered on aerospace and NASA, the 2010s had asset growth via cheap debt and the ISDA

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The financial district in eastern Sydney, with the rocket-shaped 1 O'Connell Street in the middle background [Jul-2011 128kb]

Covid Safe: Restricted trading hours [✓] Patron number limits [✓] Temperature checks [✓] Sign-in attendance records [✓] Perspex table-shields [✓] 1.5m social distancing [ ]

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The Celsius Cafe at Kirribilli Wharf adapts to business conditions under COVID-19 [Nov-2020 325kb]

Click and collect: Socially responsible trading during yet another level-four lockdown

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George Street boutique, Sydney - which closed within a year of this photo being taken [Jul-2021 109kb]

Have a go to get a go: We voted conservative and lived modestly within our means. We studied and worked hard, scrimped and saved, spent wisely and made prudent investments. So we deserved to keep more of our own hard-earned money

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Hopetoun Road Toorak, Melbourne [Apr-2019 185kb]

Defenestrate your livelihood: We mortgaged the future and bet it all on there not being one

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Waverton Coal Loader wharf [Feb-2022 668kb]

Remarks…

Although epic ruin porn is a photography cliché, sometimes you cannot ignore it. Here a barbed wire fence had to be scaled to obtain the overhead shot. The 19mm ELMARIT (11329) lens appears to suffer from pincushion distortion, but look at the foreground planks, everything is as straight as it should be

Scaffolding to pierce the sky: To better embrace necessary change, our cities were framed within a matrix of sidewalk sheds

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One Circular Quay construction site, Sydney [Jan-2018 213kb]

Down from the mountain: … and into the markdowns

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Leura antique store [Oct-2018 198kb]

Jobs & Growth: Social cohesion was a luxury we could no longer be afford

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Wall markings behind Parramatta Road, Strathfield [Jul-2014 564kb]

Quality by design: Exclusively appointed apartments riddled with gross structural defects

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Nevada Apartments remediation at Darling Point [Dec-2018 278kb]

Financial kinesiology: Despite all the underlying momentum and near-zero interest rates (until 2022), it appeared we didn't survive the crash

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Outside the Sydney branch of the Deutsche Bank in Hunter Street.

A security guard tried to prevent this photograph from being taken “due to copyright reasons”. A detailed and patient lecture on photography-rights disabused him [Jan-2012 135kb]

Fierce, Wonderful & Closed: What little trade remaining ended up bleeding out slowly

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Cafe shop-front during a level-four lockdown, Katoomba NSW. It closed permanently eighteen months later during another extended lockdown [Apr-2020 224kb]

Go for growth mate: We'll get an army of casuals to collect our night-soil, just like a hundred years ago

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Outdoor toilet and “dunny lane”, Lithgow NSW [Jun-2019 588kb]

The shadow workforce: The solution to mass unemployment was as simple as redefining what was meant by “unemployed”

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Red flags at the Circular Quay promenade [Jul-1992 475kb]

Remarks…

Taken from the Cahill Expressway, looking down at the tiles at Circular Quay. What appears to be a huge knife or machete was actually the shadow of a banner flapping in the wind

Non-pharmaceutical interventions: A command economy emerged in everything but name

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Taped off seating, Sydney Centrepoint [Apr-2020 203kb]

The customer was king: Everything you could ever possibly desire, at your fingertips

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Supermarket checkout, Nepean Village Penrith [Apr-2003 119kb]

Remarks…

Taking candid photographs in supermarkets was not easy. You were constantly monitored by staff and management, who were worried you wanted to steal commercial information about their pricing and product displays. Consequently, a special candid rig had to be used which, although it had my rangefinder camera clearly visible, looked like it was merely transporting the camera instead of being used for photographs

Knowledge-based economy: If you could no longer make a profit by making things, then you could profitably spend your time making things up

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The interior of the Queen Victoria Building, near Sydney Town Hall [Jan-2012 246kb]

Back in the CCCP: The centralised command economy disintegrated almost straight away

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Street vendors on the day the Belavezha Accords were signed, Tverskaya St Moscow [Dec-1991 248kb]

Remarks…

Moscow at the end of the Soviet Union. A lot of patience was required to capture this image. Scores of people were milling around the vendors, looking at the luxury goods. So you had to wait a long time (45 minutes, in the freezing cold) for the crowd to part just enough to reveal the sellers behind. It turned out that most of them had lost their jobs in the post-communist dislocation, and were trying to hawk their valuables to supplement their incomes

Practise social distancing: So we stayed home, most of the time

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Townhall Arcade foot court [Jul-2021 165kb]

Curate your educational passport: Research suggests that the uncapping of university places accomplished exactly what it set out to achieve

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University of Sydney main quadrangle [Oct-2017 507kb]

Braving the abyss: Despite challenging market conditions, and a negative return for your superannuation this year, we continue to deliver strong long-term returns. […] Significant market falls can be worrying, but staying invested remains vitally important. […] When we invest your super, our approach is focussed on the long term, to help maximise your retirement savings. But it also manages short-term risks in times like these. I want to reassure you, our members, that we remain committed to investing to help you achieve your best retirement outcomes. Bulk email from the CEO of Aware Super, 2022-07-08

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Waterrun cliff-side, RNP [Aug-2020 627kb]

Remarks…

Waterrun is a dramatic rock-shelf in the Royal National Park. Due to unstable geology, the small river running through the middle is surrounded by 50m cliffs, the tops of which allow an overhead view. So far so easy, but you have to climb out to the very edge of these cliffs to get the best shots. Have done it twice, there won't be a third time…

Potemkin Prosperity: The central irony of the financial crisis was that while it was caused by too much confidence, too much borrowing & lending and too much spending — it could only be resolved with more confidence, more borrowing & lending, and more spending (Summers, 2011)

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Fields of green shoots at the Westpac plaza in Sydney [Jan-2014 520kb]

Remarks…

The image is actually a composite, with two shots joined via a false horizon. Although always fascinated by the glibness of the expression green shoots, it took a lot of scouting to find a corporate environment which actually had them

North to Avoska: Before mobile phones, perhaps-bags accompanied us everywhere

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Totes diptych at Hornsby and Wynyard, Sydney [Apr-2005 248kb]

Remarks…

Behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, people always carried shopping bags in case goods become available. Here in the west there were rarely any shortages, but people carried similar bags nevertheless

This weight of calorific delights: Just a spoon full of HFCS helped the processed food go down (Hyman, 2014)

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Candle wax at a Kent Street wine-bar, near Town Hall [Jan-2014 284kb]

Everywhere the glint of gold: Vibrant cities crammed full of soaring casinos, buzzing with energy and excitement

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Microflite City Helipad, Yarra River Melbourne [Apr-2019 314kb]

The Moneyland luxe vibe: Prestige brands rode out the pandemic rather well

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Luxury goods store entrance, George Street Sydney [Nov-2020 252kb]

Dog-boxes in the sky: Mate, phone-in punters bought them off the plan like it was Christmas

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Spacious and exclusively appointed apartments at Broadway, near Central [Jul-2016 226kb]

Keep doubling your money every 7–10 years: Dr Wilson said that Sydney was likely to have a $2 million median house price by 2030 and a $3 million median by 2038 (Daily Telegraph, 2018)

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Hopscotch squares at the Woodcroft housing estate, in Blacktown [Dec-2012 491kb]

Living in a film-set: Months spent wandering through a terrain filled with shuttered restaurants and disoriented diners

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Deserted food court, Centrepoint Sydney [Apr-2020 175kb]

The shadow state: Our top-down globalist system will endure forever

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North from the Empire State Building [Oct-2017 474kb]

A million jobs Mr Speaker: Decades of monetarism and offshoring provided enormous economic benefits for all to see

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Shepherd Street factory yard, at Marrickville [Sep-2012 337kb]

Attainder by process: The most efficient way to neutralise dissent was by levelling the playing-field

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Philip Lodge Motel demolition at Haberfield [Jun-2016 391kb]

The one sure bet: One of the interesting things about the years 1982—2023 was that markets always boomed, no matter what. By the early 2020's an army of commentators and economists all agreed that equities were irrationally overpriced, and yet the bourses still kept on rising…

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Financial reporter at the Sydney ASX [Oct-2018 152kb]

Remarks…

The original intention was to get photos of the predicted market collapse for that day — presumably the same reason the financial reporter was there. Unsurprisingly, the crash didn't happen and the market actually rallied. Again

Canyons of gold: The decision to pour billions of dollars into commercial property turned out to be spectacular

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Castlereagh Street buildings, Sydney [Jan-2019 128kb]

The retail ziggurat: The domestic-consumption model was the ideological apex of our economy

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Shopping trolleys huddle beneath the mobile-phone towers on top of Marketplace Leichhardt [Sep-2010 374kb]

Wealth always trickled down: Our system endured for so long because enough of the electorate believed they still had some chance to get rich (Citigroup, 2005)

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Begging for loose change near Sydney Town Hall [Sep-2016 421kb]

Rent not Enterprise: […] that we here highly resolve that these mortgagors shall not have borrowed in vain — that this realm, under Banks, shall have a new birth of fiefdom — and that government of the landlords, by the landlords, for the landlords, shall not perish from the earth

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Vacant commercial land at Lawson in the Blue Mountains [Jan-2012 56kb]

The golden hoard: Our cities were filled with built-to-flip empty apartments for yield-desperate offshore investors

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The construction boom at Wentworth Point [Sep-2016 286kb]

Franchisee nation: The nature of employment changed. We didn't know what the new jobs would be, but we knew that they would surely come

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Food cart on 37th Street, NYC [Oct-2017 328kb]

The road to zero: A globalist market where all tastes were equal and we voted only with our dollars

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William Street beverage hoarding (since rebuilt) at Kings Cross [Oct-2012 326kb]

Stake your claim: A large number of neighbourhood micro-businesses flourished when manufacturing was taken offshore, resulting in vigorous employment growth among non-employees

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Small business badge window display, Wentworth Street Port Kembla [Sep-2014 598kb]

Unearthing the past: The house was gone and the yard excavated so deep that every trace of your childhood was obliterated

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What was once 12 Kensington Street, Kogarah [Apr-2011 424kb]

Multi-million dollar slums: Disintegrating verandahs + Cracks big enough to fit both hands + Aspergillus from foundations to eaves = The bones of the property seem pretty decent and it's got a fair bit of character

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Ex seminary on Forbes Street, Newtown [May-2022 595kb]

Clip service: Legacy media could always revert to nostalgia for a past brimming with promise

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Testaroossa Sammy-Santino Mens Hairstylist, Double Bay [Jan-2019 364kb]

Cargo Culte: We lounged about in ill-fitting uniforms, languidly pressing buttons on small screens… waiting for the day He would return, bearing great gifts

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Palm tree outside the abandoned St Mary & St Mina's Coptic Orthodox Church at Sydenham, near Sydney airport [Sep-2012 355kb]

Remarks…

An early Hasselblad 120-film image which required a lot of patience to shoot. Part of the problem was getting the timing right WRT the aeroplanes, who would often approach from slightly different directions and thus spoil the composition. Or you would get a small turboprop when what you really wanted was a thundering 747. Either way, when shooting digital it wasn't an issue, but A12 film backs can only give you 12 exposures

In the circle of FIRE: There were such vast sums of money to be made from rents & fees & short-term leases & collateralised debt & asset bubbles & asset stripping & short-selling & bear-raids & related-party transactions & spoofing & layering & democratising currency & Hummingbots & whale-trades & mergers & demergers & gambling wagering & grey-rhinos & black-swans & shiny tech unicorns & beanie babies & overcooked profit projections & 300-year visions & peer-to-peer lending & off-balance-sheet funding & liar loans & narco-state money-laundering & flipping cities to rideshare & family trusts & anonymous offshore trusts & Shanghai aged-care schemes & concealing petrostate billions & cloud mining tokens & golden moons & cash-for-visas & child-pornography & coal mining leases & terrorism financing & insurance fraud & lying to corporate regulators & rewriting independent reports & unenforced enforceable-undertakings & dismantling Bretton Woods & quashing Glass-Steagall & hiring ex-ministers as senior regional advisers & influence peddling & door-opening & impunity spells & moral-hazard exceptions & guaranteed bailouts & suspending customer withdrawals & using courts to overrule insurance claims & friendly Wagyu-beef-washed-down-with-finest-shiraz judgements & swaps & options & swaptions & binary options & unregulated crypto-loans & coaxing punters to “buy the dips” & “growth phase” IPOs & CDOs & CMOs & CDFs & LDIs & FICCs & REITs & FAANGs & SPACs & BATs & ELPs & PGUCs & P2Es & NFTs & BAYCs & BNPL & NFSC & FOMO & FONGO & concocting ever more abstruse financial instruments to conjure “assets” out of nothing to ensure money kept raining in torrents from the sky, that there was little point in doing anything else

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The Elizabeth street facade of the Commonwealth Bank Building [Oct-2020 433kb]

Segregation now, tomorrow & forever: Only the most privileged could afford the right to live in their own city

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Distillery Drive cutting at Jacksons Landing, in Pyrmont [Jan-2013 321kb]

Taming animal spirits: There is something more systematic about the way people behave irrationally, especially during periods of economic stress (Greenspan, 2013)

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Lunchtime in a George Street amusement arcade, Sydney, demolished a few years later [Sep-2003 326kb]

Remarks…

Having worked in high-pressure corporate environments in the 1990s, it proved difficult to find analogues or metaphors outside. But then sometimes you get lucky

Strength through joy: Everyone denounced the enemies of growth

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Suburban Toorak, Melbourne [Apr-2019 199kb]

From blue to fluoro collar: Vast sums were borrowed to create a cornucopia of employment opportunities

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Re-tiling the Sydney Opera House forecourt [Jul-2014 159kb]

Ponzimonium: Names, darling, names!… Bernard Lawrence Madoff (Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC); Satoshi Nakamoto (Bitcoin); Ruja Ignatova (OneCoin); Sam Bankman-Fried (FTX); Changpeng Zhao (Binance); Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi (MMM Global); Jeffrey Keith Skilling (Enron Corp); Walter Forbes (Cendant Corp); Elizabeth Anne Holmes (Theranos Inc.)

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Wedding Cake Rock, RNP [Jul-2019 211kb]

Remarks…

Wedding Cake Rock was a social-media tourist hotspot at the northern end of the Royal National Park. Simple fences were erected to stop people from posing on the rock's edge, not only to prevent them from falling to their deaths (there had been a few), but also to preserve the geological structure for as long as possible. The irony was that selfie-lovers were still scaling the obstructions to get their snaps. So a few months later a higher, stronger, cliff-edge to cliff-edge Maginot-like barrier was installed to finally stop the mayhem

Keeping interest rates low (until 2022): No matter what happened, cheap debt could not be blamed

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Used car-yard at Parramatta Road Granville [Apr-2017 206kb]

Remarks…

Global interest rates were kept artificially low for decades to encourage economic growth. Finding metaphors for the deterioration in lending standards and subsequent mountain of consumer-debt turned out to be surprisingly easy

Extremely well serviced: Only the wealthiest suburbs had regular bus, rail and ferry services

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The F5 Neutral Bay ferry leaves Kirribilli wharf [Nov-2020 192kb]

Both feet on the ladder: Everyone became millionaires by inheriting properties and flipping them at government-guaranteed prices

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Renovations in suburban Stanmore [Sep-2012 119kb]

Waiting for the great leap forward: From blue-collar schooner heroes to the Kings of Kowloon, the third-world was just around the corner

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Central Park development, at Broadway in Sydney [Jul-2012 160kb]

Reflating the economy: Old debt could be easily retired by taking on new debt

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Tumbalong Park attractions, Darling Harbour [Jul-2014 220kb]

Practical streetwise living: Stretch out in hygge comfort and swaddle beneath an extra blanket

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Pitt Street Mall food-court entrance, Sydney [Jan-2019 439kb]

Delivery apps were so convenient: HungryPanda, Foodora, Uber Eats, DoorDash, EASI, Menulog, Deliveroo, Hey You, GrubHub, goPuff, EatNow, Yelp… We imported an underclass of temporary-visa independent contractors to zip around on bikes delivering burrito bowls, bubble-tea and authentic pad thai to their famished customers

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Online food delivery rider at Haymarket, near Chinatown [Apr-2020 135kb]

Remarks…

Home delivery riders were suddenly everywhere. Most of them were third-world “students” on temporary visas and they tore through plazas and along inner-city footpaths at breakneck speeds. During the lockdowns their numbers multiplied to the point where, at certain locations, there were more of them frantically zipping around than there were pedestrians dodging them (ABC News, 2020)

The emporium struck back: Department stores battled heroically against an invisible enemy

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Storm-troopers at the David Jones lift-well [Jan-2019 71kb]

Espresso Kultur: The al fresco revolution gave tantalising significance to our busy lives

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Outdoor cafe seating at Little Eveleigh street, Redfern [Sep-2020 394kb]

Stroking the hidden hand: Everyone was free to choose their own circumstances

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Tents for the homeless at Wentworth Park, Sydney [Jul-2017 604kb]

No map and a broken compass: Cheap goods and MTV were more effective than détente and ICBMs

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Stall on Tverskaya St, Moscow [Dec-1991 244kb]

Remarks…

Moscow December 1991, a couple of days before the end of the Soviet Union. The command-economy had collapsed, while early attempts at market capitalism were stalled because consumers didn't have enough money to buy anything more valuable than soft-drinks or bric-a-brac.

Frictionless intermediation: Because the Sharing Economy sounded so much nicer than Government Regulation Evading Extractive Capitalism (NYTimes, 2017)

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Subterranean ingress and egress aperture cover at Watsons Bay [Dec-2014 902kb]

Not a house of cards then: People's jobs depend on confidence and trust in the financial and banking system. And I can assure [everyone] that, despite the very disturbing and, indeed, shocking revelations we have seen in the Royal Commission, particularly of late, that these issues, while as abhorrent as they are, are completely separate from any question about the stability and strength of [our] banking and financial system. (Morrison, 2018)

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Pedestrian footbridge at Barangaroo [Apr-2016 203kb]

In a fugue world: Feel the love through the acquisition of merchandise

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St Collins Lane shopping arcade, Melbourne [Apr-2019 182kb]

One country, two systems: There was endless argument about Income Inequality, but careful silence about Wealth Redistribution

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Woodcroft housing estate versus Harris Street Ultimo [Jan-2013 177kb]

Bubble watch: Rising property prices were carefully manipulated to create more economic winners than losers

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Spectators on the steps of the former CBC Bank, Martin Place [Apr-2006 278kb]

Remarks…

One of the most significant impacts of the Boomer generation was the proliferation of asset bubbles. For this shot, taken during the 2006 Anzac Day march, everyone on the bank's steps looked up suddenly to watch planes fly over. What made getting the shot difficult was not just the timing, but also using a film-based Hasselblad, mounted on a monopod and triggered by a mechanical cable release

Luxury was a human right: Stand on principle on the way up and you would miss the stampede; stand on principle on the way down and you would be run over

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Even the pigeons lived in style at Hogben Street in Kogarah [Apr-2011 98kb]

Filled with delight: Non-inclusive apartment developments on the site of an old gasworks

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Breakfast Point apartments (formerly Mortlake Gasworks), Sydney [Jul-2014 229kb]

Within Skinner's Box: Anyhow…™ we Thought Different™, Opened Happiness™ and Flew the Friendly Skies™ because We Were Worth It™

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Wall advertising, Pitt Street Sydney [Mar-2021 250kb]

The engine of growth: Our generation reaffirmed the notion that markets could remain irrational for much longer than investors could stay solvent

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The window-display for Central Autohaus in Alexandria [Jun-2015 180kb]

An intricate system of inefficiency: Our elites were more focused on growing the pie than on how it was divided

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Darling Harbour Marina [Jan-2017 139kb]

Consumer karoshi: A culture had to be created in which our customers were prepared to die

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Market Street escalators at Centrepoint, Sydney [Jan-2016 260kb]

Remarks…

A side-benefit of being treated for amblyopia as a child was that you learned to notice patterns everywhere. Here the escalators bore an ironic resemblance to a Japanese Samurai Kabuto

Tulips in the rough: Tax laws were scrupulously rewritten to ensure the price of land-banked property could increase by more each day than most people could earn in a week

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Irelands Road in Blacktown, western Sydney [Dec-2012 532kb]

Creating value: From warehouses to office blocks to strategically empty short-term leases

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Motorways and the former Caltex building, Sydney [Sep-2016 122kb]

Financial ouroboros: Australian banks are [indeed] very exposed to the housing market. Around 60 per cent of their lending is for housing. And housing is also common collateral for loans to small and medium businesses. A decline in housing prices impacts the value of that collateral but of itself does not necessarily lead to losses. (RBA, 2021)

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Ex-bank branch waiting to be re-purposed, Newtown [Jan-2022 187kb]

The user-pays model: We rejected the so-called “generational bargain” because we couldn't see any reason to pay for things we would never live to use

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Government hoarding at Westpac Plaza, Barangaroo [Aug-2016 492kb]

Too big to fail: It took a long time to establish a perfectly balanced equilibrium between collateralised debt and rising property values

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Barangaroo office construction, Millers Point [Aug-2016 364kb]

Roses of Picardy: The marriage industry flourished despite the cynicism, malaise and lockdowns

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Private wedding ceremony at St Marys Cathedral [Mar-2019 371kb]

Plan for robust & inclusive growth: Keep doubling the population every 35 years → boosted aggregate demand → vigorous GDP growth → buoyant budget outcomes → more apartment pre-sales → snowballing property values → windfall capital gains → wealthier property-investors → bustling streets → more toll-roads & shopping malls → more bathhouses, nail-salons & shisha lounges → less industry → more construction & business services → more mortgages → more prosperous banks → more stamp-duties → more negative gearing on property investments → more wealth-effects → more tourism & international students → more university & private college enrolments → more waiters, maids, au-pairs, fruit-pickers, concierges, nail-artists, migration agents & community-liaison officers → more subclass-482 & spousal visas → potentially higher rates of workforce participation → projected supply-side potential → likely productivity benefits → forecast greater aggregate income → increasing remittances to family & sponsors overseas → more money in everyone's hip pocket

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Front-yard garden gnomes in Summer Hill, Sydney [Oct-2016 569kb]

Flygskam: One cheap long-haul flight produced more CO2 per passenger than driving an SUV for four months

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Runway approach lights, Sydney International Airport [May-2019 74kb]

A licence to kill: There was nothing on your dinner table that wasn't put there by highly skilled transport professionals

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The “roo bar” of a prime-mover at Kings Langley, near Blacktown [Aug-2015 414kb]

Look back in covfefe: Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that's more productive (Trump, 1987)

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Trump impersonator on Broadway, NYC [Oct-2017 335kb]

Remarks…

The 2016 election of the 45th US President unleashed a wave of anti-populist invective. Progressive activists, academics and newsmakers incessantly railed against “Trumpism” from every conceivable angle, for years and years, as if all the impeachment attempts and special counsels and op-eds and hashtags and pussyhats could reverse what happened

Easily within reach: With interest rates at five-thousand-year lows (until 2022), affordable mortgages were flying out the door

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Art Gallery of NSW window looking east, Sydney [Mar-2019 251kb]

Right on track for Soylent Green: Shots in the arm for the tourism industry: 2019 — months of raging bushfires; 2020-1 — pandemic lockdowns; 2020-3 — torrential rain & flooding from three La Niñas in a row…

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SOH Tour group during the 2019 summer bushfires [Jan-2020 265kb]

Borderline conundrum: Self-service was self-defeating when there was no service to serve

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Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, unused self-service check-in and baggage drop facilities at Sydney Airport's T1 International Terminal, Friday afternoon 12:30 pm [Oct-2020 194kb]

Tyburn revisited: Decades of infrastructure deals and back-room favours continued with impunity

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Sydney Metro Project construction site, Martin Place [Jul-2019 286kb]

The carnival is over: The market faithfully rewarded those who took a long-term view

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Luna Park Hair Raiser ride, in the rain [Jan-2019 126kb]

Remarks…

Night photography is difficult, especially in the rain. Here the rain was persistent enough to penetrate my 35mm LUX (11144) lens, necessitating a round-the-world trip to have it disassembled, cleaned and recalibrated =/

City of forgotten men: There's class warfare all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war and we're winning (Buffet, 2006)

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Unhoused on George Street, Sydney [Aug-2014 463kb]

Driven by unceasing mobility: Remember the physical-distancing rule and only travel when essential

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Waiting for the Cronulla Ferry at Bundeena Wharf [Aug-2020 297kb]

Remarks…

During the lockdowns we were subjected to continual messaging about social isolation and avoiding “unnecessary” travel. This image was taken at the end of a 28km Royal Coast Track walk, and the exhaustion of the photographer was mirrored by the weariness of the commuters

Surrogate activities: The illusion of economic activity was sustained by creating archipelagos of empty construction sites

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Green Square hoardings at Zetland [Nov-2018 310kb]

Structural Ugliness: Ironically regress the trend curve to make the feeds pop

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Orthopaedic sandals at the QVB Arcade, Sydney [Nov-2020 351kb]

Good sports with your money: Thursday night drinks with the GPS boys after the Dragon Boat Race; City lights twinkle far below the 32nd floor; Fetch whole legs of ham from the firm's kitchen to hang in the partners' dining room, then stash the original artworks in the ladies toilet a couple of floors down; Piggyback steeplechase around the associates' floor, using upended desks as obstacles; Grab an old jockey cap from a senior-partner's office and use our neck-ties as whips; And then whooping and hollering and running and falling all over the place and pissing ourselves like it was the best night of our lives…

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The ghosts of corporate lawyering at Martin Place [Oct-2014 876kb]

Creative Destruction: The most efficient way to boost productivity was by reducing the number of workers

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The abandoned White Bay Power Station at Rozelle [Jan-2013 206kb]

Incentives to succeed: These truths were held self-evident: that the Rich were job creators and property booms were an efficient way to redistribute wealth

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The rear of a Korean restaurant, in a Pitt Street Lane near Town Hall [Oct-2012 324kb]

Α Ω: Every last particle of our faith was poured into equities & real-estate

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Birrell Street front yard, Bondi Junction [Oct-2018 448kb]

Play the Tradie's Game: Contract for a knock-down-rebuild and then wade through years of excuses as to why it took so long to construct a simple suburban house

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Debris removal at Warrimoo. The original house was demolished in April 2020 and the replacement was still unfinished two years later… [Apr-2020 523kb]

Forever in Golconda: This time it really was different

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Charging bull statue, NYC [Oct-2017 252kb]

Business service industries: The only way to counter economic headwinds was by being more nimble than the market

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Finance workers at Australia Square [Dec-2004 280kb]

Exit strategy: How could we have been anything other than healthy, prosperous, secure and optimistic?

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Fig Street tunnel, Ultimo [Jul-2017 403kb]

All snakes, no ladders: We stuck to the plan, even though we kept changing it

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Subterranean utilities footpath markings outside the QVB [Apr-2015 773kb]

Outside the property bubble: Runaway house prices were regarded as being not only acceptable, but necessary

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Toorak Road for-sale sign, Melbourne [Apr-2019 575kb]

Dutch disease done right: Not to worry. If the economy works the way the textbook says, the gain to miners should flow through to the economy, causing higher wages and tax receipts (Gittins, 2017)

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Remnants of the 2000's resources boom at Lithgow [Aug-2012 304kb]

Back-to-back meetings: Office work turned into being little more than just sitting around and talking

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Queen Street office building at night, Melbourne [Apr-2019 147kb]

A pattern of abundance: Full automation was the next stage in our collaborative journey

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NTP Forklifts (since relocated), at Woodville Road Granville [Apr-2017 237kb]

Positive growth model: A modern 24-hour economy filled with baristas, bloggers, interns, cash-in-hand hospitality workers and itinerant artisans

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Lower Baldwin Street, Dunedin NZ [Nov-2017 294kb]

Twilight's last gleaming: We slid down the Phillips Curve until we reached the Minsky Moment

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Construction hoarding at Barangaroo, Sydney [Sep-2016 163kb]

Unyielding positivity: The ship collided with the iceberg → While acknowledging there may be evidence of unsettling optics and regrettable client experiences, there are also glimmers of hope and reassuring signs of optimism; The ship then rapidly took on water and listed dangerously → As part of our vision to create a non-zero-sum paradigm, it may be sometimes necessary to relinquish ground to guarantee future team success; Some passengers ran about screaming → Team members were pro-actively incentivised to facilitate collaboration; Passengers then had to fight their way topside to escape → Partners scaled peak-less mountains to cultivate growth mindsets; There weren't anywhere near enough lifeboats → The final number was an on-balance judgement and we are comfortable with where the setting lay; Only wealthy passengers could secure a place in the half-empty lifeboats → Personal on-boarding of inexperienced users meant there may have been misaligned, or perhaps even flawed, metrics to evaluate success; The ship sank, no-one came the rescue, hundreds drowned in the freezing water → Clearly there may have been organisational shortcomings, but we sincerely believe we found the right balance between upholding our high standards and the needs of stakeholders. Furthermore, it should be noted that there are always a few statistical outliers, where unforeseen technical and systems failures may cause processes to fall a little short of expectations

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Boutique shop-front, Leura [Aug-2021 123kb]

Practising our future: There was always plenty of money for whatever appealed to our sense of adventure

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Abandoned front yard yacht, Kirribilli [Jan-2020 566kb]

Tourism added value: Tourism contributes towards complete growth and development of a country: one, by bringing numerous economic value & benefits; and, second, helping in build country's brand value, image & identity (Market Width Blog, 2018)

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Christmas Day tourists at the Sydney Opera House [Dec-2001 296kb]

Remarks…

An unexpected afternoon at the Sydney Opera House. The “2001 Black Christmas Fires” had flared again in the Blue Mountains, so the western sky was turning dark red. Most people were staring at or photographing the sun getting obscured by smoke, but it's always a good idea to look around to see what else is happening. This particular couple were oblivious to it all and were much more interested in each other

Rust belt potential: Our suburbs were rife with agility, propagation and replacement

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Lett Lane, Lithgow [Jun-2019 483kb]

The cranes were flying: At one stage there were more tower cranes along the Australian eastern seaboard than in all the major cities in the USA (ABC News, 2016)

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Tower crane jibs at Lewisham [Sep-2015 149kb]

What this little black rock could do: We have to make sure this economy works. We have to export dollars. We have to realise we have a moral responsibility to other people in other nations to keep their lights on (Joyce, 2017)

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The Steelworks and Coal Loader at Port Kembla harbour [Sep-2014 66kb]

Remarks…

Port Kembla, along with Newcastle, featured some of the largest coal export and handling facilities in the world. Unfortunately it was difficult to shoot interesting views of generally ugly industrial locations. Sunsets help, as do telephoto lenses and silhouettes

Ghosts of the CBD: Governments had to resort to upbeat slogans, pleading and bribes to entice voters to return to the city

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Commuters at the new Central station concourse [Jun-2022 281kb]

Remarks…

Candid people photography is a much riskier business today than it was twenty years ago. Luckily people are so accustomed to mobile phones being used that when they see someone walking around with an actual camera, they assume it's only being used for mundane things like flowers or grandchildren

Epistemic insouciance: Full speed ahead for the fly-in fly-out money-launderers high-rollers in the sky (ABC News, 2020)

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Crown casino construction, Barangaroo [Jan-2020 183kb]

Remarks…

The erection of Packer's Pecker. It's difficult to exaggerate the thrall in which gambling held politicians, advertising-hungry media and most of the general public

Consumer kaizen: A culture had to be created in which our customers were prepared to kill

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High Street bus-stop, Penrith [Feb-2017 556kb]

Stakeholder: One could either use General Relativity equations to derive the Schwarzschild metric in n-dimensions, or else go shopping

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Supermarket freezer aisle, Katoomba [Dec-2003 98kb]

Remarks…

Again a custom Leica candid rig had to be used, with the added complication of having a supermarket employee discreetly following me around to ensure I wasn't taking photographs

Thrusting for yield: The ubiquity of synchronised growth led social experiments imposed from above

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Tower cranes at Australian Technology Park [Mar-2018 217kb]

Exuberant expectations: Great success and performance created its own reality (Pfeffer, 2015)

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Church Street car dealership, Parramatta [Apr-2017 278kb]

Zero sum game: The link between free trade and rising global prosperity was self-evident: designed in the USA → marketed from the UK → manufactured by Uyghur forced-labour → shipped via Panama → channelled through a Singaporean marketing-hub → transfer-priced through Luxembourg → laundered in a Melbourne casino → banked in the Cayman Islands → stashed away in a Geneva Freeport vault → splurged on trophy homes, super-yachts, racing cars, helicopters, private school fees, casinos, parties, mistresses, divorce lawyers, bribes and political favours… in New York, Beijing, Bucharest, Riyadh, Lagos, Monaco, Sydney and Londongrad

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Shipping container facility at Tempe, near Sydney Airport [Sep-2012 286kb]

Life in the Bunkercene: The lockdowns caused us to cocoon just that little bit more

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Martin Place hoardings, Sydney [Mar-2019 277kb]

Back to the Futuregate: It was a fairy-tale ending for the history books. Needless to say, we were trapped between a rock and a hard place, and looking down the barrel of a perfect storm. For everyone on Twitter was talking about how we could remain relevant in world filled with user-generated content

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Sports reporters at the Sydney Opera House [Jul-2014 328kb]

Ford to city: Drop Dead: Moses & Le Corbusier's bastards enjoyed the fruits of socialism in one class

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The southern ramp to the Anzac Bridge expressway, at Pyrmont in Sydney [Jan-2013 150kb]

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