Weekend Reading: 27-28 February 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: The Four-Day Work Week Is The Future Of Work. Microsoft has just proven this if necessary. – Medium How Poverty Makes Workers Less Productive – NPR US stocks tumble on inflation worries, S&P 500 down 2.5% – Straits Times Goldman Sachs’ boss wants bankers back to their desks ASAP

Latest posts


Macro Afternoon

Asian stocks have fallen sharply across the region, in a correlated response to the big reversal on Wall Street overnight as the bond market flipped out. Bitcoin is falling after being range traded the last couple of days, now breaking towards the $47K level with the four hourly chart showing the next support level at


MB Fund Podcast – Inflation: Mirage or Oasis?

MB Fund’s Chief Strategist David Llewellyn Smith, Head of Investments Damien Klassen and Head of Advice Tim Fuller discuss if record low interest rates, pandemic level monetary and fiscal stimulus along with surging asset prices translate into long term inflationary pressures On the agenda: Inflation factors: commodity prices, supply disruptions, structural & cyclical factors Deflation


CBA: APRA won’t tighten mortgage screws in 2021

Today’s credit aggregates data from the Reserve Bank of Australia reported an acceleration of mortgage growth; although it remained soft on a historical basis. CBA’s head of Australian economics, Gareth Aird, expects housing credit to remain low, eliminating the need for the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) to tighten macro-prudential curbs on mortgages: We expect


SEQ on track to land 2032 Olympics

Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) named South East Queensland (SEQ) as its preferred host for the 2032 Olympic Games. It is believed the IOC could formally award SEQ the games as early as July. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the IOC is impressed that it already has up to 90% of the needed


QLD plays hard ball on hotel quarantine

Last month, the Queensland Government hatched a plan to shift quarantine from Brisbane hotels to a regional mining camps in Gladstone and Toowoomba. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stupidly scuttled the plan claiming resources workers could become infected and thus hamper Australia’s economic recovery. Now Queensland has attempted to hold the federal government to ransom


NBN greed lambasted by Senate

The Senate passed a motion yesterday attacking NBN Co for paying almost $78 million in pandemic bonuses in the second half of 2020, describing the payments as “excessive, unreasonable, and lacking in justification”. The motion passed 32 votes to 30, with Labor, the Greens, Centre Alliance, PHON and independent Senator Rex Patrick all backing it.


Make retirees spend their super

Superannuation Minister Jane Hume has recently stated that super funds should be forced to offer new retirement income products so that retirees use more of their super rather than save it. According to The AFR, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will echo these comments when he speaks to a retirement income forum today, saying that people should


The Strayan: Australian Open booing a “positive” for Dan Andrews

Sir Fomo McSpruikerson is an expatriate billionaire and proud proprietor of The Strayan, a vanity media project designed to boost his assets. Jacinda Ardern launches “Hugs for Houses” program amidst unaffordability crisis New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has launched a controversial new “Hugs for Housing” program, aimed at tackling the countries worsening house price


Australian mortgage growth surges

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has released mortgage growth figures for January, which continued to strengthen on the back of owner-occupiers. Quarterly mortgage growth rose to 1.14% in January – the 6th consecutive monthly increase – and is now experiencing its strongest growth since September 2018 (see next chart). Owner-occupiers continue to lead the


Liberty warns APRA property prices overheating

We noted this week that mortgage applications are now so hot that banks are unable to keep up and approval times are blowing out spectacularly. House prices are on the march too. FOMO is loosed and there is no prospect of higher interest rates for years. So freshly listed Liberty Financial is enjoying an unexpected


How to solve farm labour shortages

Since the coronavirus pandemic struck last year, shutting Australia’s international border, we have heard incessant pleas from farmers to allow migrant fruit pickers into the country. We are told that without these migrant workers, fruit will shrivel on the vine and vegetables will rot on the fields, leaving farmers deeply out of pocket financially and


Will axing of JobSeeker scuttle the property price boom?

Eliza Owen, Head of Research Australia at CoreLogic, has released new research examining the likely impact of the end-March withdrawal of the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement on Australia’s property markets. Owen provides a fairly sanguine assessment, noting that JobSeeker has already been tapered significantly since late September without any detrimental impact on the property market. To


Goldman: “Urban flight” to continue

Via Goldman: Home prices are rising at their fastest pace since 2013 but shelter inflation is low and falling (see Exhibit 1). Should we expect higher home prices, significant fiscal support, and a quick economic recovery to also produce above-trend rent growth? Or has the coronacrisis led to a more persistent divergence as households abandon


Will the RBA target house prices like RBNZ?

Will the RBA target house prices? Sure it will. To push them higher. There is literally zero prospect of it doing anything else at this stage. And a negative probability of the Morrison Government following recent moves by New Zealand’s Ardern Government to force responsibility for house prices onto the RBNZ. The AFR is asking


Macro Morning

The real action on overnight markets is not Gamestop shares or Bitcoin, but the international bond market, which spiked yet again as a weak Treasury auction overshadowed solid US economic news. Yields increased dramatically across the curve, with the bond selloff spilling over to Wall Street with 2-3% falls as shaky confidence previously soothed by


Taper tantrum 2.0 begins as markets catch hysteria virus

What a business cycle this is. Juiced by virus amphetamines it is moving extraordinarily fast. Last year we had the crash down, the crash up, a depression, thumping stimulus and K-shaped recovery, a gold boom and bust on debasement, growth stock bubble and now bust plus value rotation, an alleged commodity super-cycle, and now, one


Links 26 February 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Some investors face ‘colossal’ losses on U.S. Treasury bonds as yields surge – Market Watch Tesla’s Cheap $25,000 Car Could Cost Just $19,000 – Inside EVs Dow closes at record high as Powell signals Fed to remain accommodative – Business Insider Alibaba, once a fund darling, now dumped by


Macro Afternoon

Asian stocks have rebounded firmly across the region, in a correlated response to the bounce (aka BTFD) on Wall Street overnight as central bankers soothed nerves. Bitcoin is relatively stable, trading in a tight trading range again, currently hovering just above the $50K level with the four hourly chart showing the key $48 and $51


Trans-Tasman travel bubble dealt fatal blow

The Trans-Tasman Travel bubble, which promised to allow unrestricted two-way travel between Australia and New Zealand, has been dealt a fatal blow with Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria each imposing new restrictions on Auckland arrivals following new community virus transmissions across the city. Overnight, New South Wales and Victoria reclassified Auckland as a virus


Goldman’s bullish oil case

Goldman is pumping this one like there is no tomorrow: The rally in oil prices has paused after Brent prices briefly reached the $65/bbl summer forecast we first set-out last August, on the realization that frigid US weather will only marginally tighten the global market and over concerns for a return of Iranian barrels. Despite