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BT Financial Group chief urges super reform

By Leith van Onselen BT Financial Group chief, Brad Cooper, has entered the superannuation debate, amongst other things calling for retirees to start paying income tax on annual superannuation earnings of more than $150,000. From The AFR: Mr Cooper will on Friday call on the Abbott government to restore the Low Income Superannuation Contribution it


Abbott passes new wind war

From The Australian: The Abbott government is being urged to strip billions more from subsidies to wind farms in the final report of a Senate committee that has already pushed renewable ­energy investment to favour solar. In its recommendations, the committee says renewable energy subsidies for new wind farms should be limited to five years


ASIC flags crackdown on investor mortgage lending

By Leith van Onselen The noose is tightening further around property investors, with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) flagging that it will tighten lending standards on investor mortgage lenders. From The Australian: ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft… [said a] probe into the underwriting standards of a sample of 11 financial institutions had uncovered unacceptable


TPP negotiations come down to the wire

By Leith van Onselen With final negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement taking place in Hawaii this week, and scheduled to conclude on Friday, there are a bunch of thorny issues still yet to be agreed on. As reported in The AFR, the US is holding-out on granting increased access to its dairy


IMF pulls the plug on Greece

From France24: The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it would not join a new bailout program for Greece until conditions for debt sustainability, including debt relief and economic reforms, are clearly assured. “In order to ensure medium-term sustainability, there is a need for difficult decisions on both sides … difficult decisions in Greece regarding reforms,


Why we hate Adam Goodes

The AFR‘s Fleur Anderson does a good job today on connecting a couple of dots around Adam Goodes: When Tony Abbott presented Adam Goodes as Australian of The Year in January 2014, he praised the footballer for his leadership in the fight against racism and the personification of the very best of Australia. “You are what the rest of


David Uren butchers the population ponzi

By Leith van Onselen The Australian’s David Uren wrote another one-eyed article yesterday in support of high immigration, in which he espoused all of the so-called economic positives without giving due regard to the negative consequences: During Howard’s second and third terms, he oversaw a huge expansion of Australia’s migration program based on permanent and


Faith in Chinese stats collapses

From FTAlphaville: Only 20 per cent or so of investors polled by BofAML thought that Chinese growth was even approaching the official 7 per cent, ignoring the National Stats bureau’s claims that the figures for Q2 growth “objectively reflect the real situation.” It’s funny again, looking at that chart, how quickly the narrative around China


Links 31 July 2015

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Banks Pitch Swaps as Alternative to Buying Stock – Wall Street Journal Bill Gross Investment Outlook: Say A Little Prayer – 10 Reasons Barry Ritholtz Is Wrong About Gold – Reuters Shell to axe 6,500 jobs and cut spending to cope with lower oil prices – Reuters Roubini:


ASX at the close

Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets You have to hand it to the Federal Reserve. They look primed to put up the fed funds rate in September, perhaps December. Yet at the same time, equities looks supported and the yield curve remains unchanged. If the object of its communication exercise is to ease


Buffett rule a proxy for real tax reform

Cross-posted from The Conversation: In 2011 investment guru and billionaire Warren Buffett wrote an opinion piece revealing he pays a lower rate of federal tax than most of the employees in his office. Although other commentators disputed this as a point of fact, the moral principle was set out clearly: tax breaks are available for


Airport staff in mass strike

From The Australian and planned for this Monday: Workers from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Department of Agriculture will walk off the job during multiple shifts for four hour at a time “to protest the Abbott Government’s attack on their rights, conditions and take home pay,” the community and public sector union said


Import, export prices signal another terms-of-trade hit

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released export and import prices for the June quarter, which portends another fall in Australia’s terms-of-trade when the national accounts are released in early October. According to the ABS, export prices fell 4.4% in the June quarter and were down by 8.9% over the year.


Dwelling approvals signal end to construction boom

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released dwelling approvals data for the month of June. At the national level, the number of dwelling approvals fell by a seasonally adjusted 8.2% to 17,868. The overall fall was driven by the volatile unit and apartment segment, which slumped by 20.4% in June.