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Latest posts


Barnett bailout a model for economic reform

It appears Colin Barnett’s ineptitude is to be rewarded, from the ABC: Treasurer Joe Hockey has given a strong indication that the formula for dividing GST revenue amongst the states will be changed. …”Clearly it is unfair to have one state receiving less than one-third of the GST paid by its citizens,” he said. “Its


Auction clearances remain fully mental

The national auction clearance rate remains stuck in the stratosphere, driven again by super strong demand in Sydney and Melbourne. The preliminary national clearance rate was 79.2%, up marginally from the weekend before Easter (79.0%), with clearance rates still running at their strongest level in six years in trend terms, from RP Data: Sydney’s clearance


RP Data weekly housing market update

Click to view Core Logic-RP Data’s latest weekly housing market update, which provides a useful snapshot of the housing market as at 19 April 2015. This week’s report includes: Latest weekly dwelling value results; Auction results & clearance rates; Latest median house & unit prices; Average time on market & vendor discounts; Mortgage market activity;


Australian bonds are cheap

After several weeks of curve steepening, the Australian bond curve is once again flattening, broadly thought to be indicative of weakening growth. Short and long yields have been rising but the short end more so as doubts grow around a May rate cut: The to 2/5 year slope is now just 11bps, only 2 points from


Fortescue versus the Banana Republic

From Barry Fitzgerald over the weekend: [Andrew] Forrest has drafted in veteran communications specialist John Hurst in the Sydney office of Cannings Corporate Communications to help “shine some light on the debate in the eastern states’’. But the drafting of Hurst does point to Forrest’s intent to make sure his complaints against the Rio and


Daily iron ore price update

Here are the iron ore charts for April 17, 2015:    Spot was firm, following paper. Dalian closed up 1 point but fell 3 points to 392 overnight. Rebar has loosened again and port stocks fell a lousy 200k on the week. Texture from Reuters: “Those mills that were running low on inventory bought up


China BTFD

Cross-posted from Investing in Chinese Stocks. Another article, this time from China Finance Online (CNFOL), argues that property price increases will fade in the coming weeks. Developers remain skeptical of a major rebound, with many seeing govt intervention as helpful, but unable to reverse a market that has, in their view, permanently shifted, iFeng: 楼市一大信号证明房价不会大涨


China house price falls slow, cuts RRR

China’s March new home price data for March is out and is still falling at a good clip but the second derivative has improved. The annual fall is now down to 6.1%: But the pace of monthly falls has slowed a lot: We are at least now back into a rate of decline similar to past


US inflation remains soft

Markets appeared to take fright at US inflation Friday night but for no obvious reason. Headline CPI is above the Fed’s target but has been for months. More significant are the analytical measures, from the Cleveland Fed (chart from Calculated Risk): According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2%


Links 20 April 2015

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: World Bank Projects Leave Trail of Misery Around Globe – Huffington Post How To Think Like A Trader – Kirk Report Explaining the dearth of private investment – VOX Not All Macro Models Failed to Predict the Crisis – multiplier-effect.org North America: Declining Desire to Work and Downward Trends


Weekend Links 18-19 April 2015

Now with added Gunnamatta … Global Macro / Markets / Investing: How The World Bank Broke Its Promise To Protect The Poor  – Huffington Post Oil slips below $64 as ample supplies weigh – Reuters Big-Bank Profit Engines Accelerate  – WSJ Why we need to rethink capitalism – TED Bonds beware as money catches fire


ASX at the close

Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets Markets in Asia have closed the week on a mixed note, with China continuing to march on and Australia and Japan under pressure amid. Behind the scenes the VIX (or volatility index) index is trading at 12.6% and testing low levels thematic of complacency, so it’s worth


Mike Smith keeps services hopium alive

By Leith van Onselen ANZ chief, Mike Smith, has delivered more hopium on why services exports could save Australia from the commodities bust. From The AFR: Services exports from Australia have already overtaken the minerals trade and have greater potential for long-term growth, a new study shows, providing an optimistic outlook for the economy despite


Big iron melts

BHP is down marginally today as oil soars but RIO is down more solidly at 1.6% and FMG is reversing yesterday’s delight down 5%. All told markets continue to grotesquely misprice the iron ore war but I am getting the sense that RIO is under growing pressure. Perhaps after its own forthcoming good news cost-cutting


If only Bill English was in charge of Australia

By Leith van Onselen New Zealand Finance Minister, Bill English, gave an interesting interview to ABC’s The Business last night, which provided a welcome contrast to the political imbeciles running Australia. Some key points from the interview include: The New Zealand Dollar is too high, particularly relative to Australia. The RBNZ’s macro-prudential controls on high


How FTAs are ripping-off content users

By Leith van Onselen Peter Drahos, professor in law at the Australian National University’s Regulatory Institutions Network and Professor of Intellectual Property at Queen Mary, London University, has written a well reasoned post about the hidden costs of including intellectual property clauses in so-called free trade agreements (FTAs). From The Canberra Times: Today, multinational companies


Property rentier collects its spoils

By Leith van Onselen Hot on the heels of Prime Minister, Tony Abbott’s gutless announcement that he won’t reform negative gearing, prime spokesman for the property industry, the Property Council of Australia (PCA), has released the following statement: Executive Director, Nick Proud, said providing certainty on the future of this tax measure will benefit housing


Macro Morning: Glass ceiling

By Chris Becker Stock markets are trying to make new highs with the US and Europe catching up to the Chinese bubble, but last night worries over the ongoing Greek saga and poor earnings results, housing starts and jobless claims in the US sent both back to reality. Recapping yesterday’s Asian session, it was all


Abbott rules out negative gearing changes

By Leith van Onselen It seems the Government’s war on entitlements does not apply to wealthy tax shelters, with Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, last night ruling-out changes to negative gearing because he doesn’t want to raise taxes. From The SMH: Asked whether he would rule out changes to negative gearing, following an Australian Council of


RP Data weekly Australian house price update

By Leith van Onselen In the week ended 16 April 2015, the Core Logic-RP Data 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, rose by 0.47% – the eighth consecutive weekly rise (see next chart). Values rose across all major capitals except Brisbane (see next chart). So far in April,