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Weekend Reading: 16-17 November 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Wework loses $1.3 billion against topline of $934M ahead of aborted IPO – Bloomberg Global Economy ‘Breakdown’ Seen Putting More Workers at Risk of Slavery – VOA News The ‘Doomsday’ Economists Were Wrong – BeInCrypto Oil rises after OPEC’s Barkindo says U.S. shale growth may slow in 2020 –

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Macro Afternoon

Outside China, stocks are quite boisterous here in Asia leading to good buy signals for the northern hemisphere as we close the trading week out. The USD is coming back against Yen, while risk proxies Kiwi and Aussie bounced a little higher today but are lacking any signs of real momentum. Chinese stocks are still

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NZ house prices hit record high

The REINZ has released its house price data for October, which revealed a 1.1% increase in values over the month, with values nationally also increasing by 7.6% year-on-year to a new record high: The breakdown by region is shown below: Outside of Auckland, seasonally adjusted house prices rose by 1.3% in October, with prices up

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CBA: House prices to the moon!

Via the excellent Garth Aird at CBA: Overview Australian capital city dwelling prices, led by Sydney and Melbourne, have risen sharply since mid-2019. RBA rate cuts, coupled with extra borrowing capacity from the APRA induced changes to loan serviceabilityassessment anda surprise election outcome that removed some taxation risksaround housing causedhome buyer interest return in force.

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Recessionberg federation reform plan collapses in 24 hours

And why wouldn’t it? It was never more than a PR stunt, via The Australian: Federation reform could be the secret to improving productivity in Australia and avoiding blurred responsibility in fields such as health, the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has suggested. In a speech to be delivered at the University of Adelaide on Thursday, Frydenberg reveals

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NSW Treasurer: Infrastructure cannot outrun population ponzi

Despite undergoing a record $93 billion re build, and selling-off nearly every public asset possible, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet admits the state faces a massive infrastructure shortfall of $30 billion, as unrelenting immigration overruns Sydney: NSW faces a massive infrastructure funding shortfall of about $30 billion needed to drive projects critical to building the state’s

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ASIC hoses Costello push for mortgage fraud

Peter Costello covered himself in glory again this week: Former federal treasurer Peter Costello says Australia’s monetary policy has probably run its course and believes some changes to responsible lending laws would stimulate the economy. Mr Costello said there was “a lot of intervention” following the Hayne royal commission earlier this year, which may have

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Will China take the stimulus plunge again?

Via the FT: China’s fixed-asset investment growth has sunk to its lowest level in two decades as the Chinese leadership’s cautious stimulus fails to prop up the domestic economy in the face of a deepening slowdown. … The deepening economic slowdown, intensified by the US-China trade row, has ratcheted up pressure on Beijing to launch

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The problem with traditional ethical funds

Ethical investment inflows have doubled in 2019. But, the Wall Street Journal highlights a problem near to my heart: ethical investing is not the same to everyone. Funds with a focus on socially responsible investing are enjoying a record year of inflows. But many such portfolios aren’t as clean as investors might expect. Eight of

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Where did the rate and tax cuts go? Debt

Recessionberg is looking for tax cuts. Via Domain: The Morrison government is looking at ways to deliver tax relief to middle income earners as a much-needed boost to the economy after the nation suffered its biggest one-month fall in jobs in more than three years. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government was “always looking” at

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Youth labour market turns nasty

Yesterday’s ABS labour force release for October revealed a sharp deterioration in Australia’s youth labour market – i.e. those aged 15 to 24 years old – with falling jobs growth and rising unemployment and underemployment. The trend headline unemployment rate rose to 12.05% in October: Total employment growth for those aged 15-24 years fell to

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How Scummo conned the “quiet Australians”

Wowsers, check this out from the AFR: Malcolm Turnbull was advised in a confidential memo in the aftermath of the 2016 election that the property boom was costing the Coalition support in the outer suburbs, regional cities and towns and the government needed to shift political strategy to avoid losing power. The analysis, by current

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Daily iron ore price update (Pavlov’s dogs)

Texture from Reuters: Steel output was also curtailed by poor profits at mills. Besides surging iron ore prices that have pressured steel firms this year, analysts also noted that output from electric arc furnaces has been affected by higher scrap steel prices. “The price for steel scrap increased by almost 100 yuan ($14.30) per tonne

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Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Overnight risk markets are in retracement mode as the USD also falls against all the majors except the commodity proxies as Aussie, Kiwi and Loonie remain subdued. European stocks fell as bond yields dropped everywhere except in Italy, while oil prices are not moving as the latest inventory report surprises with a

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CoreLogic weekly house price update: Super Surge

In the week ended 14 November 2019, the CoreLogic 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, surged another 0.34%: The rise in values was broad-based, but driven by Sydney followed by Melbourne: Quarterly dwelling values continue to rise strongly, driven by Sydney and Melbourne, where prices are rocketing: The

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International students plunder ‘regions’ for permanent residency

The Morrison Government’s regional visa incentives, which provides five extra points towards permanent residency and allows international students to stay for up to seven years, has driven a surge in enrolments into Tasmania and South Australia: Data from the International Education Association of Australia shows that student commencements in Tasmania were up by 35 per

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Links 15 November 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Wework loses $1.3 billion against topline of $934M ahead of aborted IPO – Bloomberg Is retirement dying? The old work model is disappearing for boomers, Gen Xers – USA Today Global Economy ‘Breakdown’ Seen Putting More Workers at Risk of Slavery – VOA News Google reportedly offering checking accounts

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Macro Afternoon

Stocks are generally down across Asia with only local issues rising due to the fall in the Aussie dollar as the latest unemployment print undershot, sending interest rate expectations down with it. The risk off mood hasn’t been helped by a slip in Chinese industrial production numbers alongside retail sales. Chinese stocks are diverging in

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Can Hong Kong anarchy “happen anywhere”

So says the FT: Demonstrators and police officers are experiencing a kind of epiphany when they realise there are no repercussions for smashing the thin veneer of civility. As a consequence, the range of acceptable behaviour has widened dramatically and the most brazen and outrageous actions are becoming normalised. This is fed by social media

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Insolvent developers forced into fire sales

Earlier this week, we learned that construction insolvencies are booming, according to ASIC: Insolvencies in the $150bn residential and non-residential construction industry remain at a high level… insolvencies in the three months to September jumped 78 per cent in Victoria, 41 per cent in Queensland and 7 per cent in NSW. This was a significant