MB Fund Seminar announced in Melbourne!

As we round out 2 years in the saddle, we are happy to announce round three of the MB Fund seminar series. This year’s presentation is titled Global Shocker! It will examine the mushrooming threats in Australia’s external environment including Cold War 2.0 and trade wars, Brexit, a slowing China and US recession, as well as their impacts

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Weekend Reading: 20-21 July 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: How Corporations Prevent Workers From Getting Ahead – Who What Why Netflix Stock May Never See $400 High’s Again – BP Rising Lidl’s Own Payment System To Challenge Apple And Google – Forbes Americas: The Numbers Are In, and Trump’s Tax Cuts Are a Bust – Truth Dig Report:


Blood sucking capitalists fasten on international students

The extraordinary growth in international student numbers (see below chart) has led to accusations that Australia’s tertiary education providers are using them as “cash cows” to be milked for easy fees and profits: And it’s not hard to see why. As illustrated in the next chart from the NSW Auditor-General, fees from international students roughly


The building backlash against God King Xi

Via the excellent Richard McGregor at CNN: The backlash abroad against President Xi Jinping’s China, at least in developed nations, has spread rapidly in the last year. Some countries, like Australia and Canada, feel patronized and bullied. Neighbors worry they are being marginalized. Advanced industrial nations, especially Germany and South Korea, see China coming at


Vancouver house prices keep falling

The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index for June has been released, which shows that Canadian house prices rose by 0.8% across the 11 major markets, with annual growth falling to 0.5%: Across the three major markets, values fell by 0.3% in Vancouver in June, but rose by 1.3% in Toronto and by 0.8% in Montreal.


The law comes calling for a dodgy CBA

Via Banking Day: Two closely related class actions will proceed against Commonwealth Bank over its alleged failure to comply with Anti-Money Laundering laws. Justice David Yates of the Federal Court of Australia in the last week has made “Cooperative Case Management” orders and largely dismissed concerns raised by the bank. The applicant in the Zonia


Chinese capital outflows accelerate

Via Goldman: …as Goldman points out, amid the lingering trade tensions and continued depreciation of CNY in the first half of June, the bank’s preferred gauge of FX flows showed a dramatic jump in June outflows to the tune of $20 billion compared to an inflow of $13 billion in May, while the exporters’ trade repatriation ratio


So much for Liar Adern “Backing the Kiwi Dream”

In the September 2017 general election, the New Zealand Labour Party launched a plan to reduce immigration by 20,000 to 30,000 in a bid to relieve chronic housing and infrastructure pressures (especially around Auckland): …in recent years our population has been growing rapidly as record numbers of migrants arrive here. This has happened without the


Australians have bet the house on rising property prices

Above is an interesting graphical summary of Australia’s housing market by ABC News. Here’s the excerpt accompanying the video presentation: Australia has experienced one of the world’s biggest home price booms, driven by near world record levels of household debt. This house of cards looked to be teetering, with double-digit price falls in Australia’s two


Angry China rears again

Farewell Chinese soft power. Hello Angry China, via The Guardian: Australian writer Yang Hengjun is expected to be formally charged with endangering national security, according to his lawyer. Yang, a Chinese public intellectual who has long advocated for democratic reforms in China, has been detained for the last six months in an unknown location in China.


CoreLogic: “Sales point to a levelling in housing market activity”

From CoreLogic’s Cameron Kusher: CoreLogic estimates of monthly settled sales data points to a levelling in housing market activity, following several years of falling home sales according to research by analyst Cameron Kusher. Despite signs that market activity is leveling out, annual transaction numbers remain lower year on year across every capital city region of


Roy Morgan unemployment 9.2% in June

The latest Roy Morgan Research (RMR) unemployment estimate for June fell 1.1% to 9.2%, but was up 0.5% year-on-year: Labour underutilisation also fell to 18.6%, down 0.3% year-on-year: Below are the key points from the release: In June 1.25 million Australians were unemployed (9.2% of the workforce) with an additional 1.28 million (9.4%) now under-employed.


Centre Alliance: Wayne Byers must resign

Contemporary Australian governance is all about diffused responsibility. Rule one in this new public disorder is to pretend to reform by instructing the demonstrably failed to do it right. It’s virtue signalling writ large that changes nothing while protecting your arse. To wit. Josh Recessionberg, who stupidly reappointed APRA chairman Wayne Byers before he got


Ports sack hundreds as import slump bites

As noted yesterday, Australian imports have stalled over the past year or so as domestic demand crashed: Now the job losses are here, via the AFR: DP World has cut 200 jobs as a new wave of industrial action hit its terminals, sparking outrage from the maritime union. The stevedore announced on Thursday it would


Bernardi: Smash the gas cartel

Via The Australian: If we want more affordable gas and cheaper, more predictable electricity generation then we need to increase the gas supply. This is also the view of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. If we want to receive billions of dollars in royalties and unleash resource-driven jobs and prosperity, we need to force


Perth property losses crash through 20%

CoreLogic’s daily house price index reveals that Perth’s dwelling value declines have plunged through 20%, marking by far the biggest and longest capital city decline in modern Australian history: While the other major capitals are showing improvement, the quarterly pace of decline in Perth has worsened to 2.4%, suggesting further heavy losses: In a similar


RBA and ScoMo are at loggerheads over the bubble

Via Domain: Billions of dollars of congestion-easing infrastructure projects that could boost the economy and increase safety are stuck years down the track as the Reserve Bank of Australia calls on the Morrison government to do more. As Prime Minister Scott Morrison promises to pull forward some infrastructure projects, an analysis of the federal budget


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Here comes the Fed with more punch to revive this boring party! The NY chief of the Federal Reserve, John Williams, gave a big boost to risk markets overnight by goosing the easing question, sending stocks higher and slamming the USD down against all the undollars. Gold has broken out to a


Youth labour market deteriorates

Yesterday’s ABS labour force release for June revealed a deteriorating Australian youth labour market – i.e. those aged 15 to 24 years old – with both full-time and total jobs growth falling and unemployment and underemployment rising. The trend headline unemployment rate rose to 12.0%: Total employment growth for those aged 15-24 years has dived:


Links 19 July 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: As Amazon Faces Grilling in Congress, EU Launches Antitrust Probe of Online Behemoth – Common Dreams Amazon amends seller terms worldwide after German antitrust action – TechCrunch The Only Way Is Down for Central Bankers Already at Peak Rates – Bloomberg A Brief History of Doom: 200 Years of


Macro Afternoon

Stocks in Asia are again under pressure following the poor lead from Wall Street, but also from a slump in trade figures in Japan, sending Japanese stocks falling as Yen gained against USD. The Aussie dollar has lifted inexorably after a poor unemployment print, dragging the Kiwi along for the ride. The Shanghai Composite gapped