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PEACE & TRUTH

VETERANS DAY AMERICA 🙌

Today was Veteran’s Day, and I had the high privilege of speaking to the students and faculty of the Valentine Independent School District. For anyone who doubts the effectiveness of a small, rural school and what they accomplish on a day to day basis, I suggest some time spent here.

Perhaps I am prejudiced in that respect, as I am the product of some rather small schools myself. But to see the involvement, the courtesy, the respect and the mastery of the building blocks of education, even at grade school level, is something to be experienced.

It is not millions upon millions of dollars spent for buildings and overinflated sheepskins on a wall, denoting worn out platitudes with no real meaning. It is the simple hard work on the part of faculty and students, and the backing of involved parents who truly love and care for their children.

All, as well as the community of Valentine itself, should be proud of what I saw there today.

Thank you for having me!

(Photograph: Ben, Trooper Thompson, THP Alpine and Superintendent/Principal Debbie Engle, Valentine ISD
Photo Courtesy of Nancy Donaldson)

And for those who might be interested in what I had to say, the transcript goes as follows:

“Good Morning, and thank you for inviting me. I consider it an honor to be here, and to talk with you a bit about the meaning of Veteran’s Day.

But first, I would like to recognize the veterans in our audience; ladies and gentlemen, would you please stand up?

Young folks, you see these people? Let me tell you something: They are the reason you aren’t living as a slave subject to another country or foreign power.

They have defended you and your rights as an American citizen in places which most people can’t even spell, much less find on a map.

Veterans, if you would remain standing, I have another question for our audience:

If you have a grandfather, an aunt, an older brother or sister, or anyone else in your family who has served in our Armed Forces, would you please stand?

Now, if you have a friend, or an acquaintance, or someone you know who was in the Marine Corps, the Navy, the Army, the Air Force, Coast Guard or Space Force, would you stand?

Finally, if there are any high school students who have already signed up for military service, would you please stand?

Thank you. Now everyone take a good look around and see how important Veteran’s Day is to the citizens of Valentine, Texas. Each one of you has a special reason to be here this morning, and to be thankful. I ask that you keep that in mind.

When Ms. Donaldson asked me to come, my first thought was ‘What do I talk about?’ There are so many things which need saying about Veteran’s Day.

I know your teachers have talked to you about it; about its history and why we recognize this day. But I want to go a little deeper than that, and visit with you about something we veterans hold very dear; the American Flag.

This needs to be discussed, because these days there is a certain disrespect for that flag by people who should know better.

The Flag is the symbol of our country. When you are in the military and the flag is raised in the morning, you stand and salute it.

When you pass by an American Flag displayed anyplace, you salute it.

When evening comes and it is lowered at sunset, you stand and salute it.

As a member of the military, that flag is there for you constantly. When you go to a foreign shore, you take that flag with you. If you are called upon to go to war, you carry that flag into combat.

And when your friends, your mentors, your brothers die fighting for that flag and what it represents; their broken bodies are placed in a casket and covered by that same flag on their final journey back home.

Now we have some folks who seem to think they should disrespect that Flag as well as our National Anthem. I am sure you have already heard about this; maybe even saw it happen.

Many of them are professional sports figures who make more money in a year than your parents or teachers might see in a lifetime. I might add most anyone serving in the military, too.

Let me be clear here; it is not illegal for them to do so. However, just because something isn’t against the law doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. In this case; it is incredibly stupid, wrong and outright ignorant.

Don’t misunderstand me: I strongly believe in the ability to protest peaceably. It is your American birthright and specified in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. I have spent most of my life learning about those rights, and protecting them as best as I know how.

But there are times, very important times, when we should all remember that whatever our background, last name or color of skin, we are all Americans.

And those things that separate us are never as strong as those precious bonds which we have in common.

When we stand for the National Anthem, and when we pay respect to Our Flag, such is one of those times I am speaking of.

Just the briefest of moments when we all need to put aside our individual differences, and show the world that we are all Americans.

Question: When the Twin Towers fell on 9/11, does anyone recall what went up immediately among all that death and destruction?

When a flood, or a tornado, or a hurricane, or a great fire occurs, or any other disaster, what is the first thing someone puts up to show our unity as Americans?

There is yet another example I know of far too well, and which I have already mentioned. When an American military person dies, what covers their casket?

Why? To honor them and show that we as a people are united in our grief for the loss of their life.

Folks, in late October of 1983, over 240 flag-draped coffins were flown back from a hellhole called Beirut, Lebanon. Each one contained a dead American, many of whom were friends and acquaintances of mine.

It was a black day for our nation, and the saddest day of my life.

But you know what? There was no way to tell which casket contained my friends and the other Marines I knew, because they all looked the same.

You see, that Flag made them all equal, even in death. No matter what their last name was, what their color of skin, how rich or poor they were, whether they were Democrat or Republican, or what part of the country they came from.

They were all Americans killed in the service of their country and for your freedoms; all united in death.

Are you beginning to understand why that Flag means so much to a veteran?

And why it should mean so much to us all?

Another quick example…
E PLURIBUS UNUM
“Out of Many, One”

This is on our coins. Check any US coin in your pocket and those words will be on it.

They mean that no matter what our differences might be, we are one people. Like in the Pledge of Allegiance; “under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

Indivisible: That means cannot be divided.

Liberty: You should all know what that means by now, and there is no sweeter word in any language. It’s the kind of word that sets off fireworks in your mouth whenever you say it.

Now look at your hand…

There are many different bones, tendons and muscles in your hand. All different in shape, size and function.

Separately they can’t do much. They are too small, too weak, too easily broken.

But when they work together, they do marvelous things. They make:
The clothes you wear.
The food you eat.
The home you live in.

All the technological advances, the machines, the art, the literature, the progress of civilization itself; all made by the hands of man working together.

And when you shape your hand just right, it makes a fist. That fist is the Armed Forces of the United States of America, and it protects everything else made by that same hand.

There was a quote by Benjamin Franklin during the Revolutionary War; something he said not too long before Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. “We must all hang together, or we shall surely all hang separately.”

Do you understand what Franklin meant when he said that? Because if all the individual parts of that hand don’t work together, it is not much good for anything.

You must also understand that what he said is just as true today as it was over 200 years ago. We Americans must stick together, because if we go our different ways that hand will be crushed.

When we stand for The Flag and for the Star Spangled Banner, we are showing that no matter what our differences might be; there are precious, almost sacred times when we must show the world that we stand ‘united’.

Just like the name of our country ‘The United States of America’.

So the next time you see someone dishonor Our Flag and not stand for our National Anthem, think hard about what I have told you today, and why it is so wrong for them to do so.

Then ask yourself two simple questions: 1. Can any of those people name one nation better than what we have here? 2. And if they can; why aren’t they already there?

Our Country is hanging in the balance of history and an uncertain future. You young people are our nation’s future, good or bad.

In a few short years, the decisions in what happens to that future will be up to you. I would advise to start preparing for them now, because for your own sakes you don’t want to make the wrong ones.

And to our veterans, thank you for your service and your sacrifices.

I salute you!

Thank you again for having me here today, and may God bless America!

Ben H. English
Alpine, Texas
USMC: 1976-1983
THP: 1986-2008
HS Teacher: 2008-2010

Author of ‘Yonderings’
‘Destiny’s Way’
‘Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend’
‘The Uvalde Raider’
‘Black And White: Tales of the Texas Highway Patrol’

Facebook: Ben H. English

Webpage: benhenglish.com
‘Graying but still game’

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FEATURED AUSTRALIA AFP REPORT: New task force to target ‘scumbag’ hackers following Medibank and Optus cyber attacks

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#AceNewsDesk – Russian criminals accused of stealing Medibank customer data have been labeled “scumbags”, with the government vowing to “hack the hackers” through a new task force targeting ransomware gangs #AceNewsDesk report – The Australian Federal Police have revealed details about the suspects but will be keeping some information secret.

Sign on a Medibank building in Sydney
The new joint operation will be tasked with “hunting down” cyber criminals and interrupting their activity.

The federal government says the Australian Federal Police will form a new permanent joint operation with the country’s cyber spy agency, the Australian Signals Directorate, to target online criminals.

Cyber Security Minister Clare O’Neil announced the formation of the task force on Saturday with Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, a day after AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw confirmed criminals based in Russia had been identified as the culprits behind the Medibank hack.

“This is the formalisation of a partnership, a standing body in the Australian government, which will day in, day out, hunt down the scumbags who are responsible for these malicious crimes against innocent people,” Ms O’Neil said.

“Around 100 officers across these two organisations will be a part of this permanent Joint Standing Operation.

“They will show up to work every day with the goal of bringing down these gangs and thugs.

“The joint standing operation will not simply be responding to crimes as they affect Australians, they will be hunting these gangs around the world and disrupting the activities of these people.”Ms O’Neil says about 100 officers will be working on the taskforce. (ABC News: Nicholas Haggarty)none

Mr Dreyfus has declined to name the group thought responsible for the Medibank attack, but security sources have told the ABC that authorities believe the culprits are the Russian-based syndicate known as “REvil”, which takes its name from “ransomware evil”.

“I won’t be commenting on operational matters like that,” Mr Dreyfus said.

What we do know, and we heard from the Australian Federal Police commissioner yesterday, is that it is a very organised criminal gang and that it is located in Russia.”AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw says Russian-based criminals are behind the hack, but was tight-tipped in his media statement on Friday.

The attorney-general has also warned Russian diplomats may be removed from Australia as tensions with Moscow increase following the Medibank cyber attack.

Relations with Russia have deteriorated since this year’s invasion of Ukraine, and Mr Dreyfus says it is possible some diplomats may be expelled from Australia if found to be acting inappropriately.

“The Australian government is looking hard at Russia’s diplomatic profile in Australia and all options remain under consideration.

“Our preference is to maintain diplomatic channels but diplomatic profiles must always be consistent with our national interest.”

What do we know about the Medibank hackers?

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FEATURED AUSTRALIA NT REPORT: Mystery of man’s disappearance solved, almost 25yrs after he vanished from the Tiwi Islands

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#AceNewsDesk – In 1996, just before Christmas, Djarrwalkpuy Yunupingu boarded a plane on the remote Tiwi Islands destined for the Northern Territory’s capital — a short hop across the Timor Sea.

A black and white photo of an Aboriginal man with an afro sitting against a pole.
Djarrwalkpuy Yunupingu was a much loved family man and a teacher’s assistant before he went missing in 1996.(Supplied: Priscilla Yunupingu)none

NOTE: Djarrwalkpuy Yunupingu’s family has given permission for his name and image to be used.

It was a familiar routine for the 39-year-old, who made semi-regular trips to Darwin to socialise with friends and buy groceries. On this day, high on his to-do list was picking up presents for his family and he was expected back on the island that afternoon.

An Aboriginal man with an afro poses next to a flowering tree.
Djarrwalkpuy Yunupingu was missing for almost 25 years.(Supplied: Ian Morris)none

“But he didn’t make it back on that afternoon plane,” his daughter, Priscilla Yunupingu, says.

His family watched and waited as planes touched down at Pirlangimpi airstrip, hoping they’d catch sight of him striding along the bush tarmac.

Standing six-feet tall, with a thin build and voluminous afro, Djarrwalkpuy was usually easy to spot.

But as the days wore on, and plane after plane of passengers disembarked, he was never among them.

“It turned into a week of my siblings waiting, and it turned into a month, and it turned into years, till we all, you know, the five of us, his kids, had children of our own,” Priscilla says.

And so the whereabouts of the much-loved husband, father, sibling and son became a mystery — one that would stretch on for nearly 25 years.

A family’s search for answers

Priscilla Yunupingu, now 42 years old with children and grandchildren of her own, believes it might have been 1994 when she last saw her father as she left for school in Cairns.

“He said goodbye, gave me and my sisters a hug, and I jumped on a plane,” she says.

“We waved, and that’s the last time I saw him.”

Priscilla, who hails from a prodigious clan dynasty in Arnhem Land, was born in Darwin but has since lived all over the Northern Territory’s Top End.

Wherever she went — from the city, to the Tiwis, to Elcho Island — she carried the question of where her father might be.Priscilla Yunupingu, now 42, was in school when her father disappeared.(ABC News: Leigh Bramall)none

But the more times she asked the question, the more confusing the answers became.

“I was going asking around people and they said, ‘your father has moved down to Katherine’,” she says.

“And then these other family members from Arnhem Land would say, ‘we’ve seen someone that might be your dad, but he’s in Alice Springs’.

“They were saying that he was out and about in the desert.”

The logical explanation, she thought, was her father had started up a new family. Perhaps he, by leaving his children and wife in the dark, was sparing their feelings.

“I assumed that he found someone, another lady that came into his life, and probably settled down and had a family and was living down in the Central Desert somewhere,” Priscilla says.

She spent the following years waiting for her father to arrive in the Tiwi Islands with his new family “to see us, and to introduce us all”.

“It was hard because we didn’t know whether he was okay. Our thought was he probably wanted that [new] life,” she says.

These rumours, and the cultural stigma which accompanied them, police have speculated, may have contributed to the family waiting years before formally reporting Djarrwalkpuy missing.

Djarrwalkpuy’s journey

Djarrwalkpuy was born in the northeast Arnhem Land community of Yirrkala. He was the second eldest of 16 children.

Police say that one of his brothers, C Yunupingu, did not stop looking for him until his death in 2020.

“[He was] a great hunter,” Priscilla says of her father. “Loved the bush life. He spent most of his upbringing, young-man time, being out bush.”Djarrwalkpuy left the Tiwi Islands shortly before Christmas in 1996, and was never seen by his family again.(ABC News: Hamish Harty)none

Paulina Puruntatameri, Priscilla’s mother who comes from the Tiwi Islands, met Djarrwalkpuy while they were both studying education at the Top End’s Batchelor Institute.

He was studying to become a teacher and would go on to become a teacher’s aide on Elcho Island and the Tiwis.

It was there they started a family and Djarrwalkpuy had all the fishing and hunting and work he wanted, Priscilla says.

It was a good life, but not without its challenges.Former science teacher Ian Morris, left, worked with Djarrwalkpuy on Elcho Island.(Supplied: Ian Morris)none

Alcohol often had a grip on her father, she says, particularly when he’d take off to the capital.

“It was part of his journey, drink, drink, drink, just living it rough in the bushland, like all the other Indigenous women and men that are living rough in Darwin,” she says.

Over the years she’d watched as family members would leave on the morning plane with promises to return the same afternoon, only to disappear for days on end.

But not her father, not usually. “He was the person that got back on the plane.”

A grim discovery

About three months after Djarrwalkpuy’s disappearance, on March 24, 1997, a passerby walking along a scrubby trail near Darwin Airport noticed a body lying in a creek bed.

It was an Aboriginal man, of tall, slight build, who police said had likely been dead for up to five days.

Piecing together the evidence, detectives painted an unfortunate scene of misadventure.An unidentified body was found in a creek bed in Marrara in 1997.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)none

In dense bushland just a stone’s throw from where tourists were climbing into taxis at the arrivals gate, the man had tumbled into the rocky creek bed from an old pipe system, hit his head, and died from his injuries.

A coronial inquest the following year ruled out suspicious circumstances. It determined the man, who had not yet been identified, had died from a fall.

Evidence suggested alcohol had played a role, noting he was found in an area populated by long-grass bush camps where Aboriginal people from remote communities would often congregate over some drinks.Police couldn’t determine the identity of the body found off Abala Road in the late nineties.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)none

But long-grassers in surrounding camps hadn’t been able to identify the deceased.

After a fruitless search for answers, despite what police say were extensive local inquiries, authorities classified the body as “unidentified skeletal remains”.

A question mark hung over the body for almost a quarter of a century.

An unexpected breakthrough

In 2020, in a laboratory deep in Darwin’s police headquarters, a team of forensic scientists hit upon a eureka moment.

The biologists had been reviewing all of the Northern Territory’s unidentified remains, running them against a freshly updated database of missing persons.

When they arrived at the DNA sample of the remains found in 1997, two potential family matches popped up.

The findings were reported to NT Police Detective Sergeant Brendan McLinden in the Cold Case Unit.

He enlisted the help of Bettina Danganbarr, an Aboriginal Community Police Officer familiar with Arnhem Land communities, who did some digging and pulled out a few leads.Bettina Danganbarr was able to track down Djarrwalkpuy’s family. (ABC News: Michael Franchi)none

“From there, she was able to get a bit of a story from community members about a particular family who hadn’t seen their father for some time,” McLinden says.

The daughter of the missing man was Priscilla, whose number Bettina had in her phone.

“Priscilla happened to be staying in Darwin at the time … and we arranged to have a bit of a catch-up so that we could discuss her father and whether he was in fact a missing person,” he says.

For Priscilla, the call was a beacon of hope.

“I’m sitting there like, ‘oh yes, they must have found my dad’,” she says.

When Priscilla walked into Darwin’s police headquarters for the meeting, McLinden says he instantly recalled the tall, skinny build listed in the unidentified deceased’s case file.

“She’s quite a tall lady herself,” he says. “And I thought, ‘well, we might be on the money here’.”

Priscilla confirmed her father was missing, completed a missing person’s report, and provided her DNA.

“And then a week went by, and I got a call from Brendan saying I might have to come in,” she says.

“One of my uncles drove me … that morning I was shaking like a leaf.”Detective Superintendent Brendan McLinden worked with the family to find closure.(ABC News: Ian Redfearn)none

Inside the Berrimah police compound, McLinden made the Yolngu mother a coffee, got her comfortable, and prepared her for the revelation.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t the news that I wanted to hear,” she says.

“The police missing person unit had my dad’s remains for the last 24 years.

“I was crushed, because I was hoping they were going to wheel my old man out in a wheelchair.”Family and friends of Djarrwalkpuy await the arrival of his body for repatriation.(ABC News: Leigh Bramall)none

The reality sunk in. The realisation that her children would never get to meet their grandfather. That she’d never get to hug her dad again, as she’d dreamed about for decades.

But as time passed, and as extended family were alerted to the discovery, another emotion took root.

“It was like relief, you know, closure for all of us,” she says.

After decades spent inside a Darwin morgue, Djarrwalkpuy could now go home.

Renewed hope for others

There’s now hope, with the new national DNA database in operation, that cases like Djarrwalkpuy’s could become more than a one-off success story.

Jodie Ward is the program lead for the National DNA Program for Unidentified and Missing Persons, which began auditing Australia’s unknown human remains in 2020.

She ascertained there to be more than 850 unidentified remains archived in forensic facilities across the country — some dating back decades — and more than 2,500 missing person files in Australia.Family embrace as Djarrwalkpuy’s body is loaded onto a plane. There are hopes the DNA technology that solved his case could soon help other families of missing people find closure. (ABC News: Leigh Bramall)none

The question is, how many of them can be linked?

“Up until that point, we didn’t really have an accurate account of the numbers of these cases,” Ward says.

“With advancements in forensic technologies, and [now] a number of national databases, together those tools would allow us to search and match all of this biometric information from the unidentified remains and the missing persons at a national level.

“And this would be the first time that this has been done.”

In Djarrwalkpuy’s case, Ward says, the databases and DNA advancements meant Northern Territory scientists were “able to link the DNA profile from the relative with the DNA profile from the remains”.

“We’ve now got new tools to apply to previously unsolvable cases,” she says.

“So, there’s a lot of hope now, for many of these cases that haven’t been able to be resolved using the available techniques we did have here in Australia.

“But time is of the essence, because the DNA is degrading every day, so we can’t wait forever.”

A final farewell

In June this year, Djarrwalkpuy’s family from across Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands, alongside friends like McLinden, came together at Darwin’s charter airport terminal.

With gapan — ceremonial clay — streaked across their faces, they prepared to send Djarrwalkpuy’s remains back to Yirrkala. In Arnhem Land, a traditional burial would follow.Jennifer Baker, left, and Priscilla Yunupingu at the aircraft hanger where Djarrwalkpuy’s body was transported home. (ABC News: Leigh Bramall)none

Among the assembled family members, was Djarrwalkpuy’s cousin, Jennifer Baker, by Priscilla’s side.

“Finally, today is the day that we take him home,” Jennifer said at the time.

“We are putting closure to this, and we are taking him home to rest in peace.

“I’m finally glad that it’s over and we did find him in the end.

“And his family never stopped looking.”Family travelled by both air and road to Arnhem Land for Djarrwalkpuy’s burial.(ABC News: Leigh Bramall)none

With Djarrwalkpuy found and farewelled, his family finally have some answers. But questions remain over exactly what his final few months were like.

How can a young, fit man be found dead in a creek bed, with no known witnesses and nobody available to identify him?

For those that loved him, however, the most important part of the riddle has been solved.

The man who never made it home for Christmas, has finally returned.

ABC SPECIAL NEWS REPORT:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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FEATURED AUSTRALIA BUSINESS REPORT: Big 4 Banks Made Nearly $30B In 2022 But Rising Interest Rates Mean Higher Costs

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#AceNewsDesk – Australia’s big banks have raked in nearly $30 billion in 2022, but they are facing a tougher 2023, as some borrowers struggle with higher mortgage repayments as interest rates soar.

The logos of the big four banks grouped together on a black background, with a reflection
The big four banks posted their highest combined profits since 2018 last financial year.(ABC News: Alistair Kroie)none

Bank profits jump but rising interest rates are a double-edged sword

In 2022, Australians took advantage of record low interest rates to buy the Australian dream, which helped banks post bumper profits. 

The combined cash profit for the country’s biggest banks rose 6 per cent to $28.5 billion dollars, the best result since 2018 according to accounting firm PWC. 

That is even though the banks’ net interest margin – the amount it charges for borrowing compared to what it pays for finance – fell to a record low of 1.77 per cent because of tough competition for home loans. The mortgage customers most at risk as banks raise interest rates(Sue Lannin)none

PWC Banking Leader Sam Garland said the major banks made it through the pandemic as they wrote more loans, reduced expenses, and simplified their businesses. 

“About 7 per cent lending growth which actually offset a decline in margins for the whole year,” he said. 

“The second big driver was notable expenses including remediation, those were down $1 billion for the year.” PWC Banking Leader Sam Garland says some borrowers are facing a fixed rate “mortgage cliff”. (ABC News: Billy Draper )none

The banks are also making more money by charging customers higher interest rates as the Reserve Bank raises official borrowing costs to curb inflation. 

Australians with variable home loans from the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, and ANZ, saw their interest rates rise a further 0.25 percentage points on Friday as the RBA’s latest rate rise takes effect. 

But as rates continue to increase, banks are on the watch for a rise in bad loans and defaults, especially if much of the world, and even Australia, enters a recession. 

UBS Head of Banking Research John Storey thinks the banks will stay profitable even though the Australian economy is expected to slow down dramatically next year.  

“There is a number of challenges facing the banks.”

“Clearly interest rates going up is going to put pressure on consumers,” he said. 

“The banks are well capitalised going into what is going to be a tougher economic environment, but they’ve got the earnings power to actually absorb some of these higher losses or expected losses.” 

‘Fixed rate mortgage cliff’

The Reserve Bank has admitted its rapid interest rate rises could see some households fall behind on their mortgages and possibly default on their loans.

This includes some first home buyers and households with fewer savings and high debt. UBS Head of Banking Research John Storey says higher interest rates will put pressure on consumers and the banks’ bottom line. (ABC News: Daniel Irvine)none

John Storey said the borrowers most at risk of defaulting on their mortgages are those who got in at the height of the market, when home prices were at a record high. 

“It’s probably clients that have taken out loans, I would argue over the last six months, last 12 months, where interest rates were at their trough, and arguably property prices were at their peak.”

Sam Garland said borrowers on fixed rate mortgages are among those at risk of losing their homes.

“It’s being described as the fixed rate mortgage cliff that occurs in 23 and 24 because for alot of borrowers that’s going to mean moving from a rate of say 2 per cent to well over 4 per cent on their mortgage,” he said. 

“There’s no question that’s going to be a big adjustment for a number of customers.” NAB boss says cyber attacks are on the rise(Alicia Barry)none

But the National Australia Bank chief executive Ross McEwan told the Business this week that he was not panicking, even as customers on fixed rate mortgages see rates surge from around 2 per cent to 5 or 6 per cent or even higher. 

“The customers we think are the most vulnerable are the ones that are seeing increases even beyond say a 3 per cent above what they had, and that’s the group that we’ve been looking at, and seeing what’s the behaviour going on. Are they still able to pay?”

Mr McEwan said around $1 billion to $10 billion worth of the bank’s $320 billion loan book would be at risk if the cash rate hit 3.6 per cent. 

About one third of NAB borrowers on fixed rate loans will see their terms roll over by September next year, and the rest the following two years. Signs you have become a ‘mortgage prisoner’

RBA big stick

The RBA raised interest rates from a record low in May to 2.85 per cent to curb the highest inflation in three decades.

It slowed down the pace of rate increases earlier this month by delivering a 0.25 percentage point increase, instead of a 0.5 percentage point hike to because it is worried about risks to the global and domestic economies. 

And Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Michele Bullock indicated this week that the central bank could ease back again on further rate increases to protect the labour market.

“We’ve made some really big gains in terms of employment in the Australian economy,” she told a business function this week. 

“We could crunch the economy very hard and bring inflation down very quickly but we would very likely lose those gains.” 

That is not all that would be lost if Australia enters a recession.

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