Yes, Bronwyn, you should resign

From The Australian, Bronwyn Bishop has apologised for “choppergate”: Mrs Bishop, interviewed by 2GB’s Alan Jones today, insisted she was technically “right” to claim the benefits although she was sorry they did “not look right”. “I want to apologise to the Australian people for my error of judgment and to say sorry,” the Speaker said.

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Is iron ore in a “bull market”

Some days financial media is maddeningly daft, at the AFR: Call it the world’s most unlikely bull market. Iron ore advanced for a third day, taking gains to 25 per cent from a six-year low even as the world’s top shipbroker predicted renewed losses. Ore with 62 per cent content delivered to Qingdao climbed 4.6 per cent


Nationals plan revolt over TPP

By Leith van Onselen The National Party has stepped up its threats over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, claiming that five of its members will cross the floor and vote against the deal if substantial sugar access is not granted to Australian sugar can growers. From The Australian: Queensland “sugar-belt” MPs George Christensen, Matthew


Coalition mulls limits to SMSF property leverage

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this month, The AFR  reported that Australian self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) are piling into Australian property, with investment up by 11% in the past year and by nearly 60% since 2011: The big increase in property investment by SMSFs is highlighted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in its


Moody’s praises bank tightening

From Moody’s: Over the past week, three major Australian banks increased their lending rates for residential property investment loans and interest-only (IO) loans. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited and Commonwealth Bank of Australia each lifted the standard variable investor rate by 0.27%. National Australia Bank Limited increased the rate it charges for IO


RBA bribery gag order lifted

Perhaps there’s some hope for RBA accountability after all, from Banking Day: Some perspective and planning is possible following an under-reported ruling of Justice Jane Hollingworth in the Supreme Court of Victoria last month that surveyed the trials and tribulations of the Securency and Note Printing Australia affair. Fourteen people await trial on matters relating


Shanghai crash arrives in Australian property

From the AFR which clearly didn’t get the memo from Domain: Andrew Fawell​, director of the Beller Group, a diversified property group with offices in Shanghai selling Australian property to Chinese investors, said there is anecdotal evidence some investments could be axed because buyers have suffered heavy losses on China’s bourses. …Westpac, the largest lender


Fed hikes slip on oil

Here is the Fed statement: Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that economic activity has been expanding moderately in recent months. Growth in household spending has been moderate and the housing sector has shown additional improvement; however, business fixed investment and net exports stayed soft. The labor market continued


Links 30 July 2015

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Nobody Knows How Much Bonds Cost – Bloomberg View What No One Ever Says About Corporate Bond Market Liquidity – Bloomberg Gold Is Only Going to Get Worse – Bloomberg Investors need to consider that gold may fall to $350 an ounce – MarketWatch Pick a Valid Strategy, Stick


ASX at the close

It was the night before the FOMC and most of Asian markets stood still. Australian equities have been the regional outperformer for most of the day, however, with all sub-sectors of the market in the black. The key from here will be whether the ASX 200 can convincingly move above the 5700 level and as


BHP, RIO and FMG surge as futures fly

Big iron is enjoying some respite today with BHP up 2.3%, RIO up 1.3% and FMG up 6%: Idiocy spreads are still closing: Juniors are still busted with AGO unable to reclaim 5 cents: The performance is pretty disappointing when you consider Dalian is flying again up another 6 points from this morning to 369. We’ll


HIA: Dwelling construction has peaked

By Leith van Onselen Fresh from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) comes new forecasts predicting that dwelling construction will peak this calendar year: “It is likely that new dwelling commencements peaked at a record level of 215,000 in the financial year just passed, and indeed the risk is for this apex to be even higher,”


Australia-US in sugar fight over TPP

By Leith van Onselen As the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal reaches its final stages of negotiation in Hawaii, US sugar growers have urged the government to rule-out further opening of the US market to sugar imports: The American Sugar Alliance’s Don Phillips said sugar will be on the agenda, but the ASA will argue


AMP slaps ban on investor mortgages

By Leith van Onselen The vice continues to tighten around property investors, this time from AMP: One of Australia’s largest second-tier lenders is suspending new property investor loan approvals until later this year to comply with the bank regulator’s limits. AMP Bank released a statement today saying it would not be accepting new, or assessing


Interest rates drive falling cost of living

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released its cost of living indices for the June quarter, which revealed minimal cost pressures for the typical Australian worker, with pensioners and those on welfare fairing slightly less favourably (see below table). According to the ABS, the cost of living for households headed


China consumer confidence firms

Here’s some better news for China: The Westpac MNI China Consumer Sentiment Indicator, hereafter the Westpac MNI China CSI, increased by 2.2pts from 112.3 in June to 114.5 in July, which is 0.3% lower than a year ago and 5.9% below the long run average. The survey was conducted whilst the equity market was in