New Book: Game of Mates

My book about the grey corruption Game in Australia has been officially released today. It explains how the Game is played, how much it costs, and what to do about it. In this book you get a much deeper and more comprehensive look at how networks of favouritism form, whether legal or illegal, informed by my

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Weekend Reading: 29-30 April 2017

  Minos of the Shades, 1952, Jean Bellette, National Gallery of Victoria   China China’s Enrichment Spawns Mature Problem — Middle Class Angst– Bloomberg China’s Didi to raise up to $6 billion, values firm at $50 billion: sources– Reuters China reveals foreign addresses of corruption suspects living in Canada, US and beyond – SCMP What


Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker Outside the local bourse, Asian markets are not finishing the week in a positive mood with mild falls across stocks as geopolitics, central bank machinations and possibly weaker GDP print in the US overnight weigh on confidence. In China, the Shanghai Composite is again only just positive at the close, up only


APRA squibbed proper macroprudential for Highrise Harry

By Leith van Onselen Find below a speech today from APRA chairman, Wayne Byres, to CEDA’s 2017 NSW Property Market Outlook, whereby Byres admitted that APRA did not lower its incredibly generous investor mortgage speed limit from 10% because it is afraid the huge pipeline of apartments due for completion will not be absorbed [My emphasis]:


Morrison Budget fiddle to risk AAA

This is not news for MB readers but the AFR has finally caught up today: Any surge in government borrowing with so-called “good debt” could potentially weaken Australia’s hold on its AAA credit rating because the agencies gauging the nation’s budget credibility are more concerned about servicing costs than the quality of assets underpinning its debt.


Chinese developer debt market “frozen”

Via Ifeng: The original title: regulatory focus on banks across the board tighten the development of real estate financing to meet the “frozen” moment “In recent years, various banks have received intensive checks from the regulatory authorities, and in the field of credit risk, the development of loans is the focus of the inspection.” The


Investors drive record mortgage debt binge

By Leith van Onselen The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has released its private sector credit aggregates data for the month of March 2017: A chart showing the long-run breakdown in the components is provided below: Personal credit growth (-0.3% MoM; -0.6% QoQ; -1.5% YoY) is still in the gutter and falling, whereas business credit


Westpac abandons cursed Adani

Via SBS: Westpac appears to have ruled out funding the controversial Adani mine by limiting lending to basins that are already producing thermal coal. Australia’s oldest bank on Friday published a climate change action plan in which it said it would limit thermal coal project lending to producing basins where the coal quality is highest


Joye: Housing bubble “grinding to a halt”

From Chris Joye today: So Sydney house prices have fallen in April for the first time on a month-on-month basis since December 2015, validating last week’s call that the easy-money fuelled Aussie housing boom is grinding to a halt. According to CoreLogic’s daily hedonic index—the only measure that tracks price movements on a timely basis—home values across


Auckland’s housing shortage continues to worsen

By Leith van Onselen The New Zealand National Government’s single-minded focus on solving Auckland’s housing crisis by boosting supply continues to take a hammering. Today, Statistics New Zealand released figures showing that construction momentum has slowed across Auckland, with just 942 dwelling consents issued in March and 10,199 issued over the year: As noted by


ABC does Morrison’s “good debt, bad debt” Budget fiddle

By Leith van Onselen ABC’s 7.30 Report last night ran an interesting segment examining Treasurer Scott Morrison’s proposed change in Budget reporting to separate “good” debt from “bad” debt. The segment did a good job of highlighting the flaws in Morrison’s approach: ANDREW PROBYN: So what does the Government mean by “good” debt, as opposed


Anti-immigration party to decide NZ Government?

By Leith van Onselen Who forms government in New Zealand following the 23 September General Election could be decided by anti-immigration party, New Zealand First, according to the latest polling by Roy Morgan Research: In April support for New Zealand First was up 3% to 10.5% putting Winston Peters’ party now clearly in the box


Gottiboff: Chinese bailing on bubble

I’m not sure where one stops and the other begins so let’s assume it’s a single entity, from Gottiboff today: The unprecedented campaign to reduce dwelling prices is starting to have a real impact. The best forward indicator, Sydney apartment prices, has started to ease and sales volumes are falling. And it would appear that


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker   As Trump’s first 100 days descend into chaos, risk markets overnight were mixed as poor US economic data and ECB machinations overshadowed some solid corporate earnings from US tech heavyweights. US stocks eventually finished higher but European markets were in the red as the ECB signalled inflation was “tepid”. Yesterday in China,


The Banana Republic bites gas back

From The Australian: The Business Council of Australia yesterday attacked the Victorian government for lacking “political courage’’ to develop its gas reserves and implicitly criticised the NSW government, which has imposed restrictions through much of the state. …Ahead of next month’s budget, the government last night shelved potentially-explosive recommendations from a review of the Petroleum


Capping negative gearing could save Budget $1.5 billion

By Leith van Onselen Ben Phillips from the Australian National University’s (ANU) Centre for Social Research and Methods has released new modelling estimating that capping negative losses at $10,000 could impact 300,000 property investors and could raise $1.5 billion for the Federal Budget. From The AFR: Ben Phillips from the Australian National University’s Centre for