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
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
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.
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.
By Leith van Onselen Wayne Tseng, founder of the Chinese Chamber of Property Investors, which represents Chinese property investors – both local and foreign – has raised concern at the blame being heaped upon Chinese investors for inflating property values and pricing-out locals. From The Herald-Sun: Mr Tseng said members of the community felt “frustrated”
From Citi: The transition in the economy from mining and energy led growth to nonmining growth drivers is proving more protracted than expected. In our report last year Rebalancing 101: What Might The Economy Look Like we argued that rebalancing was achievable but would require further depreciation of the AUD. Consistent with this, the AUD
By Leith van Onselen From ABC Radio comes further bad news for mining employment, with a new industry survey forecasting another 30,000 jobs losses, mostly in New South Wales and Queensland: The annual report by Newport Consulting found that 80 per cent of bosses surveyed plan to reduce staff this year and cut capital spending.
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.
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
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
By Chris Becker No news from the FOMC Meeting was good news overnight on risk markets with small gains across all share markets as bonds sold off slightly and the USD gained strength against all the majors, particularly Euro which snapped from its near fortnight long uptrend. The Shanghai Composite continues to confound with a volatile
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
By Leith van Onselen 2002 Nobel Prize winning economist and expert in bubbles, Professor Vernon Smith, believes Sydney and Melbourne housing is a bubble, saying the following via The AFR: “It is amazing how people get carried away in the bubble… Then all of a sudden it’s over and they are petrified”… “You have a
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
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
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
Cross-posted from Martin North. The AFR is reporting that ING has said new investor borrowers will need to find a 20% deposit, a hurdle which had previously applied only to loans in Sydney. They will also end discounts rates for new investor borrowers and tighten serviceability assessments. This is further evidence that smaller banks are
Here are the iron ore charts for July 29, 2015: Spot rocketed with Tianjin benchmark surging 5.9% to $55.30. Paper too. Dalian is up again overnight another 5 points to 371. Rebar average is driving it with its sharp rebound though it is still at 2003 levels. Let’s dig into this with some bonus charts
Brent oil rebounded last night to $53.65 as I write on EIA data showed a sudden slowing in output and falls in inventories: The one real hope for the oil price at this point is continued rapid declines in shale output and continued rises in consumption, which we are seeing, from John Kemp: There is some
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
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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