Weekend reading 19-20 August 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: How Blockchain Technology Is ’Disrupting’ The Art Economy As We Know It – Forbes The Volatility Paradox: Tranquil Markets May Harbor Hidden Risks – Financial Research World’s Biggest Pension Fund Wants to Stop Index Trackers Eating the Economy – WSJ The Blockchain Revolution Is Gunning For The Gold Market

Latest posts


Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker Definitely risk off here in Asia today to finish the week on a low as stocks follow the poor overnight lead coming from the Spanish terrorist attack and the derailed Trump administration. Safe havens are the destination for hot money with gold, Yen and bonds rising. In mainland China the Shanghai Composite


Unemployment and the bullshit work-ethic

By Gavin R Putland Some else wants to do your job. So why does it matter if you do it? In a logical world, if you don’t do your day job, your idleness imposes a loss on the rest of us. In the real world – where the official involuntary unemployment rate is rarely less


And now for XenoPom

From Domainfax: Nick Xenophon will let the High Court decide his fate if it is confirmed he is a dual citizen, with the key Senate crossbencher determined to dig in and not resign from the Senate. Senator Xenophon is urgently seeking clarification from the British Home Office over his citizenship status after questions were raised about his father’s nationality.


Australia’s household debt monster

By Martin North, cross-posted from the Digital Finance Analytics Blog: We had significant reaction to yesterday’s post on the “normal” status of high household debt. So today we take the argument further using data from the RBA Household Balance Sheet series (E1) and the recent ABS data on income growth. The traditional argument trotted out


AUSTRAC indictes TerrorBank in Parliament

It think we can call this brand damage, via The Australian: Six transactions by five customers made through Commonwealth Bank’s intelligent deposit ATMs may have financed terrorism, Austrac has alleged. …Mr Clark said prosecution was “not something we take lightly”. …Asked whether the allegations listed in the 600-page statement of claim against CBA werer exhaustive,


The tragicomedy of a young SBS funnyman’s attack on Dick Smith

Check this out from SBS’s The Feed: Not funny. Sad. Here’s what Dick Smith has had to say about the SBS attacks on him: And, most ironically, the launch of his recent report into the role that population growth is playing in inflating away the fulfillment of Australian youth’s most basic need: a roof over their heads:


Australian wages growth to receive artificial boost

By Leith van Onselen The Australian’s Adam Creighton has penned an interesting article today arguing that Australian real wages growth is likely to receive a short-term artificial reprieve thanks to the minimum wages decision and upcoming changes to the way the consumer price index (CPI) is calculated: Here’s a prediction for you. The workers’ run


NAB: Aussie dollar headed for 83 cents

Via NAB forex: The positive outlook that we have identified in the recent months has shifted to a new level upon the July breakout close above key resistance levels. Both price and momentum triggers remain positive at a LT level. Recent negative price and ST/MT momentum triggers highlight risk of a further correction towards 0.7710/30.


High Court unlikely to “assist” Baaaarnaby

A good piece from The Australian today by Roger Wilkins who is a former secretary of the federal Attorney-General’s Department: On a literal interpretation of section 44, it seems pretty clear that Joyce was not qualified to be elected. He was a citizen of a “foreign power”: New Zealand. The section says the “citizen of a


Profits season misses

Via UBS: Reporting Season Progress Report Underwhelming Guidance Sees FY18 Estimates Crimped So far 73 members of the ASX200 have officially reported (47 large caps and 26 small caps). This represents c40% of ASX200 companies due to report in August though large-cap reporting season has now edged past the half way mark. Overall we believe


Turns out the Nats are a full blown foreign legion

Via The Australian: Malcolm Turnbull is facing an ­escalating Labor attack over the ­stability of his government after a third cabinet minister owned up to being a dual citizen by descent, shocking observers with another test in the High Court that could reshape the ministry. Nationals deputy leader and Regional Affairs Minister Fiona Nash last


Public servants take you to the cleaners in low wage Australia

By Leith van Onselen Wages and earnings growth data this week has revealed the widening gulf between public servants and private sector employees. First, Wednesday’s wages price index frevealed that private sector wages grew by only 1.78% in the year to June 2017, whereas public sector wages grew by 2.39%: Next, yesterday’s Average Weekly Earnings


The full, ugly truth of households getting poorer

By Leith van Onselen This week’s economic data has not been kind to Australia’s workers. Wednesday’s wages price index released by the ABS revealed that wages growth across the nation hit another all-time low 1.86%, with private sector workers (1.78% growth) faring much worse than their public sector counterparts (+2.39%): The news wasn’t much better


#SardineSydney’s trains reach bursting point

By Leith van Onselen Another week, another #SardineSydney story in the mainstream media on how the city’s population is swelling way above the capacity of its infrastructure. The latest example relates to Sydney’s long suffering trains, whereby skyrocketing passenger numbers are causing chronic crush-loading. From The Canberra Times: Passenger demand for trains in Sydney has


Anti-laundering fast-tracked to crypto as property spins on super cycle

Via Reuters: The federal government is pushing ahead with its expansion of the anti-money laundering (AML) regime, with the financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC set to receive additional powers. The government unveiled changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 yesterday, which will also bring digital currency providers within the AML regime. Michael Keenan,