CBA: High Australian dollar “structural”

Amusing stuff from CBA today: It would be surprising if AUD/USD fell below its December 2016 level of 0.7160 simply because there was a negative Australia-U.S. rate differential Structural improvement in Australia’s current-account deficit (to 0.6% of GDP vs 4-5% of GDP in 2001 period) Asian and global GDP growth remains firm, and Asia is

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Academic goose squawks on bank tax

From Dick Holden professor of economics at UNSW Sydney Business School via AFR: We are now through the looking glass on company taxation. We have industry-specific taxes based simply on which companies are profitable and what focus groups think about those companies. This is terrible tax policy. Though all taxes are distortionary, the primary goal of sound


Where’s Australia’s overarching housing policy?

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Does the Australian government have the policy, organisational and conceptual capacity to handle the country’s A$6 trillion housing stock? We ask this question in a newly released research report. The answer is critically important to both household opportunity and prosperity, and to the management of our largest national asset. Australians’ wealth


Mystery shopper exposes huge discounting in apartments

Citi went shopping:  Channel checks indicate apartment rebates have moved to >10%. Feedback from our Australian Property Conference and mystery shopping highlight a clear change in the apartment market, particularly so in Perth, Brisbane and to a greater extent in Melbourne. A tier 1 developer is now offering a 5% 12-month rental guarantee plus


As Australia goes ex-growth so does the ASX

Dalian continues its recent pattern of firming at night and sagging during the day today: Big Iron is mixed: Big Gas is still stinky: Big Gold is up: Big Bubble is reeling: And Big Liar is as mendacious as usual as REA breaks out: As Australia goes ex-growth so does it’s share market. Avagoodweekend.


Pascometer burns red on population ponzi

Weeoo, weeoo, weeoo. The Pascometer is wailing on the population ponzi, strongly indicating that the days of mass immigration are indeed numbered: A little after Friday lunch, the population clock on the Australian Bureau of Statistics web site will tick over to 24.5 million. …The simplistic negative economic view of our migration program concentrates on


Did China just yank the handbrake on Strayan commercial property?

Via AFR: The days of Chinese companies bidding up asset prices in Australia appear to be numbered, after the banking regulator in Beijing ordered a review of the sector’s exposure to the most acquisitive private firms. The companies singled out for review include property and entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda, which has interests in Sydney and


SA joins bigger states in taxing foreign property buyers

By Leith van Onselen Lost among the ruckus over the South Australian Budget’s implementation of its own bank levy was the announcement that foreign buyers and temporary residents will also be levied an additional 4% stamp duty from 1 January 2018: Surcharge on foreign buyers of residential property The State Government is introducing a conveyance


NAB joins specufestor interest-only smash

From NAB: NAB has today announced changes to its variable home loan interest rates, effective Friday 30 June 2017. The following three changes have been announced: The interest rate for owner occupiers making principal and interest repayments will decrease by 0.08% per annum, to 5.24% per annum The interest rate for owner occupiers making interest


How extensive is flammable cladding across nation’s high-rises?

By Leith van Onselen Last week, Victoria’s Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, assured Melbournians that a fire like the one which engulfed London’s Grenfell Tower, killing more than 50 people, could not happen in Melbourne: “This would not be possible in Melbourne, or Australia in fact, because we have the strongest building codes really of any


Victoria’s roads crack-up amid population deluge

By Leith van Onselen You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to acknowledge that the unprecedented immigration-fueled population growth into Victoria: Which is projected to continue ad infinitum: Necessarily requires massive infrastructure spending to ensure that incumbent residents’ living standards are not eroded. So why then has the Victorian Government slashed funding for road


Gonski onski as Senate passes bill

By Leith van Onselen It’s now official. The Senate last night voted 34-31 in favour of the Turnbull Government’s schools funding package. It follows two days of parliamentary debate over the package, which the Government agreed to increase from $18.5 billion to $23.5 billion in order to gain the support of Senate crossbenchers. The first


ABC joins Naked CEO roasting

Via the ABC: It is said “success breeds success”, but at troubled professional accounting body CPA Australia, it seems failure is delivering a pretty healthy revenue stream. Amid mounting controversy about CPA Australia’s management style, heavy spending on promoting its chief executive officer Alex Malley as well as his $1.8 million pay packet, heavy losses


Bank protection racket explodes

The conniption begins, from Chanticleer: Bad policy clearly breeds bad policy, as shown by South Australia’s $370 million tax on the big four banks and Macquarie Group. But South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has created a problem for himself by aligning his “super profits” tax on the banks with the state’s share of the national


Mr IQ begins dumping properties

Remember Mr IQ A.K.A Nathan Birch? He’s dumping properties: For a long time now, I’ve been collecting properties like kids collect action figurines in a happy meal. I never like to see one go. But recently, the finance environment has changed… It’s a bitter pill to swallow for a buy and hold investor – but


ABS house prices re-converge with finance

By Leith van Onselen With the release this week of the ABS residential property price data for the March quarter, it is an opportune time to once again plot house prices against total finance commitments (excluding refinancings) as also measured by the ABS. First, below is the national picture, which shows finance approvals typically leading


The rise and rise of government-funded jobs

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released its quarterly labour force report, which breaks-down employment at the industry level to May 2017. Below are some key charts, which present the changes in employment aggregates on a trend basis. First, the quarterly change in employment by industry: As you can see,


China’s capital flight crackdown shifts to the mighty

Via Caixin: (Beijing) — China’s banking regulator has recently asked lenders to assess their credit-risk exposure to companies active in overseas acquisitions, sources close to the regulator told Caixin, as the country continues to curb a shopping spree that led to a record capital exodus last year. The China Banking Regulatory Commission said the risk