Metadata: a honey pot for hackers and lawyers

ScreenHunter_5827 Jan. 30 10.10 By Leith van Onselen The Abbott Government's metadata legislation, which would require telecommunications companies to store detailed information about the calls and internet use of its customers for two years, has come under fire from Telstra's chief information security officer, Michael Burgess, who claims that a central data storage system would be an attractive target for hackers, including foreign spy agencies. From The ABC: "The issue here is now we're advertising that for a customer of Telstra, there's a whole range of data, depending on what services they have, that we made available, or...
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Can Turnbull fix the NBN?

ScreenHunter_5820 Jan. 30 08.50 Cross-posted from The Conversation: The rules around the NBN have moved rapidly over Christmas. On December 14th, the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, released new rules requiring all providers of high-speed broadband services to be vertically separated. These rules were aimed at TPG, which was rolling out fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) in urban apartment buildings. FTTB would compete against the NBN and potentially undermine the ability of the NBN to use high city prices to subsidise the bush. The new license conditions had their effect. They stopped TPG, at least...
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Aussies continue exodus to New Zealand

ScreenHunter_5821 Jan. 30 09.00 By Leith van Onselen Statistics New Zealand has today released its permanent & long-term migration figures for December 2014, which revealed that net migration from New Zealand to Australia is at the lowest level in around 21 years: According to Statistics New Zealand: The unadjusted figures for the December 2014 year showed New Zealand's net gain of migrants (50,900) exceeded 50,000 for the first time... The increase in migrant arrivals between the December 2013 and 2014 years was led by India (up 4,600), Australia (up 3,700), China (up 1,300), and the Philippines (up 1,200). The...
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Macro Morning: Golden crunch

marketmorning By Chris Becker Last night saw a repositioning in commodity risk to further downside as the currency proxies were slammed alongside the actuals, namely oil, copper, gold and iron ore. This wasn't a new move or anything unexpected (hyperbolic economists on twitter aside) but rather a stronger application of selling torque as technical levels were breached and more justifications were made to rejoin an overcrowded USD long trade. Among this, the US earning season continued as Alibaba was smashed, while Amazon surprised and Shell announced huge cuts in exploration spending (stranded reserves...
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Daily LNG price update (bomb Shelled)

5 The Brent oil price rose touch overnight to $ 49.07 as I write. The big news was a large capex cut from Shell, via the FT: Excluding exceptionals such as tax adjustments from the sale of certain assets, profits for the fourth quarter of last year were $3.26bn, lower than analysts’ estimates of about $4.1bn and down from $5.85bn in the third quarter. But earnings were up 12 per cent from a year ago. Ben van Beurden, chief executive, said the group would respond to the fall in oil prices by “stepping up our drive for stronger capital efficiency”. This would include lower capital spending this...
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Townsville bust harbinger for Perth?

ScreenHunter_5816 Jan. 30 06.53 By Leith van Onselen The AFR is reporting today that Townsville's property market is being hammered by falling prices and rents as the mining bust takes hold, and a flood of subsidised housing pushes up vacancy rates: Townsville... is struggling to cope with an increase in subsidised housing and rising unemployment, which are driving up mortgage arrears and vacancies. ...“Rents are now falling and investors are unable to find tenants due to the oversupply,” [Domain Group's Dr Andrew Wilson said]... Defence Housing Authority projects had added to the problem... Last year house prices fell...
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Will house prices fall on rising supply?

ScreenHunter_01 Mar. 03 22.48 By Leith van Onselen Stephen Koukoulas (aka "The Kouk") has penned an interesting piece in The Adelaide Review arguing that Australian housing could face a 5% to 10% 'correction' over the next three or so years as strong dwelling supply outstrips falling population growth: During 2014, there has been an important change in the supply and demand fundamentals. Australia’s population growth is starting to slow... [Yet] the most recent building approvals data show a sharp lift in new dwelling construction... The annual pace of new dwelling approvals rose to above 190,000 in April 2014, and in...
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RP Data weekly Australian house price update

ScreenHunter_07 Mar. 20 20.55 By Leith van Onselen In the week ended 29 January 2015, the RP Data-Rismark 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, rose by 0.46% (see next chart). Home prices rose in all major capitals (see next chart). So far in January, home values nationally have risen by 1.18%, with the three biggest capitals rising and Perth and Adelaide falling in value (see next chart). Over the past 12 months, home values have risen by 8.16% at the 5-city level, with all capitals rising in value (see next chart). The next chart plots the daily...
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Australian dollar enters free fall

imgres Interest rates don't affect the currency. The RBA has no control over the currency. Nobody can forecast currency movements. On the excuses ran for years and years of macro mismanagement and hollowing out of the local economy. Well, guess what, they were all bullshit and today we have the proof. As markets embrace imminent RBA rate cuts, supported by a commitment to macroprudential tightening, the Australian dollar is in free fall, down 2% last night to the low $77s. This is despite European QE, despite Fed "patience" on tightening, despite wholesale rate cuts worldwide. Here's the...
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Stuck with Dead Duck another six months

sda From the AFR: Tony Abbott has until the second half of this year to turn around the government’s fortunes or risk losing his job, his colleagues say. Under a contingency plan being actively discussed within senior ranks of the Coalition, ministers and ­backbenchers are willing Mr Abbott to succeed. If not he faces being replaced, possibly by Julie Bishop with ­Malcolm Turnbull as deputy leader and treasurer. “There’s deep concern among the backbench,’’ said a senior member of cabinet. “The question is ‘can Tony turn it around?’ How much more damage can he do in six...
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McCrann pwned

87-terry-mccrann Cross-posted from Forexlive's Adam Button: McCrann is the RBA watcher at the Australian Herald-Sun and he dropped a bomb earlier saying it’s “almost certain” the RBA will cut rates on Feb 3. That report is largely responsible for the plunge in the Australian dollar today. It’s been a see-saw in AUD/USD since the Bank of Canada surprise. The Aussie initially tumbled because suddenly it felt like everyone was going to cut and the OIS market went to pricing in a 40% chance of a cut from 10%. A day or two later, the market began to realize Australian and Canada are different countries and...
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Cross Kouk blames all but himself

Capture From our old friend the Kouk, who MB served up a shellacking for much of the last two years for his uber-aggressive bullishness, hawkish interest rate forecasting and surplus-drive budget ruminations: Kouk officially forecast four rate rises for last year. Here is another sample of his musing from only 10 months ago: The question now being discussed with gusto within the RBA is whether a 2.5 per cent cash rate is appropriate. The answer is obviously a resounding no given the facts that inflation is picking up, exports are booming, consumer spending is strong, dwelling construction is...
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Fortescue blusters and baffles

123 The press has gone FMG hog wild today following yesterday's Q4 production report but the following from the ABC captures much of the picture nicely: NEV POWER: Well there's a wide range of forecasts around where the iron ore price might go. We're in sort of Chinese new year holiday period at the moment, so it's traditionally a time of quite soft market, but there's usually a strong rebound after Chinese new year. So, I suspect we might see a bit of firming post-Chinese new year. SUE LANNIN: Do you blame the big miners like BHP Biliton and Rio Tinto for the current situation, prices that are at...
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Daily iron ore price update (shite steel)

imgres Here are the iron ore charts for January 29, 2015: An improved tone in paper markets on short covering. Note that Dalian did rise firmly but the data has not update this morning so I've left it blank. The same goes for rebar average. Spot firmed a touch. Texture from Reuters: "We see weakness going into the Chinese New Year and probably a bit of a lift afterwards. The Chinese steel mills and iron ore traders we just surveyed are looking to restock a bit," said Bart Jaworski, analyst at Davy Research. He added, however, the firm's survey found a "resounding bearishness" for iron...
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China’s state of debt deteriorates

China-slowdown From Soc Gen's Wei Yao via FTAlphaville: ...a look at the composition of borrowers and lenders reveals the secret behind this exceptional stability. Government bonds, local and central taken together, are barely more than 20% of GDP and households, with 80% of GDP deposits, account for another 20% of GDP debt. Corporates are the biggest borrowers, but two groups of government-related entities – local government financial vehicles (LGFVs, 30-35% of GDP) and state-owned enterprises (SOEs, 90-100% of GDP) – account for the lion’s share. Among lenders, nearly all aspects of China’s financial...
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Links January 30 2015

ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 02 06.19 Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Goldman Sachs stays ultra-bearish on gold long term - Mineweb Hasenstab Sees $3 Billion Vanish in Ukraine as One Big Bet Sours - Bloomberg...ouch... What will stop the infernal aluminum premium machine? – Reuters Shell to slash spending by $15bn after oil price collapse - Telegraph Americas: Who Doubts Yellen's Policies? Summers for One – Bloomberg Reality Trumps Theory as Fed Keeps Rates Low – Bloomberg Federal Reserve Won’t Raise Interest Rates Before June, at Earliest – NY Times 1 in 5 American kids rely on food stamps – CBS...
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ASX at the close

ScreenHunter_31 Jun. 04 16.42 Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets Central banks’ battle to control disinflationary pressures continues in earnest, with the Federal Reserve acknowledging lower inflation expectations. Expectations for a February rate cut in Australia have also dramatically increased. To be fair, the Fed statement was quite nuanced and, while inflation ‘declined further’ below the Committee’s longer-term objective, they were more upbeat on the labour market and economy, which is undergoing a more ‘solid’ pace of growth. The fact the Fed are now paying greater attention to...
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FMG to dig its hole deeper

images From The Australian: Just in case things weren’t clear enough after Fortescue’s (FMG) quarterly production report this morning, CEO Nev Power spells it out on the conference call: Fortescue has no intention of cutting mine production, has no intention of mandating banks for an asset sale, and its not actively pursuing the sale of stakes in any assets. Dig all the way to China for bailout! Not that anyone is listening to me...
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QLD revolution to behead Comrade Campbell?

imgres From Crikey's Pollbludger: With just two days to go to the election, Queensland politics appears to be headed into uncharted waters, with Premier Campbell Newman's grand gamble on his precarious inner-north Brisbane seat of Ashgrove looking increasingly like a busted flush. If a poll conducted the night before last by ReachTEL for the Seven Network is even a little bit right, the Premier of Queensland stands to be swept from Parliament by Labor candidate Kate Jones, whom the poll credits with a 54-46 lead in her bid to win back the seat she lost to Newman in 2012. For Newman, this is no ordinary...
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PC review could bring Coalition unstuck

ScreenHunter_5804 Jan. 29 13.09 Cross-posted from The Conversation. Australia’s federal government has made a major political error, possibly terminal, in asking the Productivity Commission (PC) to inquire into industrial relations. Before the 2013 election, the strategy of the Coalition appeared to be to say as little as possible, especially about industrial relations. It would then go to the 2016 election, bolstered by the “sophomore surge” of new members building their personal support, and seek a mandate for a bold plan, to get an otherwise “once in a generation” reform through the parliament. This would follow...
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Iron ore miner idiocy spreads soar!

2 It's all good today for the big miners as FMG ships ever increasing amounts of loss-making dirt. Say whaaaat? Yes, despite overnight pain for equities and more falls in iron ore and oil, everyone is cruising today, roughly flat for the two titans and roaring 6% upwards is the FMG black hole. I really must begin selling my backyard loam for less than it costs to shovel it out. I could float! Here are the indexes: The FMG sanity spread widened a touch today but will retrace soon enough. However, call the white coats for the majors:     The only dirt being shoveled in...
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Lib condemns “latte-sipping, keyboard warriors”

imgres I guess that means me and you lot. At least they're reading you. Though, for future reference, I hate coffee. The same genius, NSW Nationals MP Michael McCormack, reckons that Dead Duck "should visit a country pub to get an "honest appraisal" of how the government can improve." I'm not sure he'd come out again. Every die-hard Lib that I know has written Dead Duck off as a...
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Overseas born Aussies hit 120-year high

ScreenHunter_5798 Jan. 29 12.07 The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has today released its annual migration report, which reveals that the proportion of Australians born overseas hit an 120-year high of 28.1% (6.6 million people) - a level not seen since the gold rushes of the late-1880s. According to the ABS, this increase has been driven by people from India and China: "Overseas migration has been a large contributor to the total Australian population growth for several years - it has consistently been the main driver since 2005-06, contributing more than 50 per cent of population growth in Australia. "While the...
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Liberals rally to Credlin

mc_petacredlin_0081final_18en4pt-18en4q7 From The Australian: SENIOR Liberals are publicly vowing support for Tony Abbott’s chief-of-staff, Peta Credlin, cautioning the government’s supporters against further “extravagant” and “unhelpful” accusations against the top aide. The Ministers for Finance, Health, Education and Immigration have all rejected suggestions that Ms Credlin resign as a sacrificial offering to atone for political misjudgments emanating from the Prime Minister’s Office, including the awarding of a knighthood to Prince Philip. ...Ms Ley, when asked about Mr Murdoch’s comments, insisted the government...
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S&P gives Fortescue a second wind

234325 From S&P: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings on Australian mining company Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (BB+/Stable/--) are unaffected following its revised assumptions for benchmark iron ore prices. On Jan. 20, 2014, Standard & Poor's lowered its assumptions for benchmark iron ore prices (based on Platts' benchmark for 62% iron [Fe] content including costs and freight [CFR] to China) to US$65 per ton for the rest of 2015, and for 2016 (see article titled, "Standard & Poor's Makes Significant Downward Revisions To Its 2015-2017 Metals Price Assumptions,"...
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