Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker Asian markets have moved to safe havens after the Manchester attack and a variety of political distractions in the Americas plus concern over Noble Group. Futures are pulling back while the USD is sold off as traders head for Yen and gold, while oil remains stable after its recent rise, waiting for

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Sometimes ad hominem is the only response

This idiot just never gets it: The man who vowed to financially support Adani’s Carmichael coal project while Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman, says the Palaszczuk government’s inability to make a decision over the project was a “towering disgrace”. Mr Newman, who was Queensland premier between March 2012 and February 2015, and said the Labor


Big Iron dead cat stutters

Dalian is soft today: No obvious reason for it beyond good sense and the looming wipe out of Noble Group which may be forced into inventory liquidations!…Big Iron has eased: Big Gas is firm on OPEC: WPL and OSH look bullish on the charts but they’re still way overvalued assuming $65 oil. Big Gold is


The Business does the “retail recession”

By Leith van Onselen ABC’s The Business ran a short segment last night on the “recessionary conditions” afflicting the retail sector, which is battling a killer combination of intense competition, tight profit margins and record low wages growth: Reporter: “The $300 billion retail sector is doing it tough. So tough that analysts say it’s facing


NZ ramps immigration to deal with immigration fallout

By Leith van Onselen New Zealand Prime Minister, Bill English, has ruled-out changing the country’s immigration settings to bring in more construction workers to help alleviate Auckland’s chronic housing shortage. From Interest.co.nz: The government has not seen any reason to loosen migration settings to allow for more house building in Auckland, despite the construction industry


Fortescue warns on iron ore as port pile spooks

I noted this morning that: Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is keeping its June price adjustments unchanged for its flagship products, at 30% for 56.7% Fe Super Special fines and 25% for 58.3% Fe Fortescue Blend fines, sources told Metal Bulletin. Just now via the FT: This year’s decline is a “significant price signal”, said Nev


What are Australia’s ex-growth, part-nationalised, bubble-downgraded, utility-banks worth?

Mateiral today on the cost to banks of recent news flow. Deutsche on the S&P downgrade: Higher funding costs likely for regionals following S&P credit rating downgrade S&P’s heightened concerns for the Australian economy have resulted in BEN and BOQ’s credit ratings being downgraded by one notch to BBB+ (from A-), while the majors’ ratings


Terror strikes UK

I’ve been waiting for more detail on this before reporting but it does not look good, via the BBC: Nineteen people have been killed and about 50 injured in a suspected terror attack at Manchester Arena. Police were called to reports of an explosion at the venue at about 22:35 BST following a pop concert


Australia’s burgeoning black economy

By Leith van Onselen The Turnbull Government’s Black Economy Taskforce is expected to release its final report in October 2017. While its interim report estimated the cost of the cash economy to be about $25 billion, the head of the taskforce, Michael Andrew, now believes that the black economy is worth at least $35 billion


Which suburbs will climate change sink?

Via The New Daily: Some of Australia’s most densely populated suburbs, major cities and crucial pieces of infrastructure, such as Sydney airport, could be underwater in just decades, according to an alarming new prediction. A newly developed map of Australia, based on data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) in the US, shows places like Port Melbourne, Sydney’s


The Henry Hypocrite rises

By Leith van Onselen Try not to vomit as you read former Treasury Secretary turned corporate sell-out (NAB Chairman), Ken Henry’s, letter to NAB shareholders vowing to fight the Coalition’s 0.06% levy on large bank liabilities: The tax – $6.2 billion over four years – is poor public policy that will affect every Australian. We


S&P downgrade greeted with stunned silence as borrowing costs jump

In the past, whenever any international body has questioned Australia’s shiny bubble it has been greeted with great howls of protest and scorn from all corners. Yesterday and today we saw S&P downgrade Australia’s entire financial system, indeed country via the BICRA score (if not yet sovereign): Yet the silence in response is deafening today.


Peter Dutton deploys Howard’s immigration ‘bait-and-switch’

By Leith van Onselen Over the weekend, Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, launched a crackdown on 7,500 so-called “fake” refugees living in Australia, vowing to deport those that do not lodge an application for protection by October. From ABC News: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has given 7,500 asylum seekers living in Australia until October to lodge


Gotti warns of Melbourne off-the-plan settlement crisis

By Leith van Onselen Robert Gottliebsen (aka “Gotti”) has switched his focus to the Melbourne development market, where he believes a settlement crisis could hit both the off-the-plan apartment and house markets as speculative local and Asian buyers engaged in ponzi finance become unable to settle. From The Australian: [There are] some 15,000 Melbourne apartments


Pathetic Labor plays politics on bank levy

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday, Labor gave a perfect example of why I hate politics so much. Instead of offering bipartisan support for the Turnbull Government’s 0.06% levy on the big banks’ liabilities, it offered the following dross during Question Time. The Guardian’s politics blog broke-down Labor’s shenanigans: And the below summary from The Australian’s