Links 4 February 2013

Here’s a list of things Reynard read over the weekend.

Global Macro:

North America:


  • Cyprus faces bailout row over fears of ‘haircuts’ for investors – and savers – The Guardian
  • The putrid smell suddenly emanating from European banks – Testosterone Pit


  • More Mixed Data In China – Forbes
  • China services’ slow uptick highlights mildness of recovery – Reuters
  • In rush to urbanize, China flattens 700 mountains – China News Daily
  • China steel association says industry “faces toughest time since turn of century” – Want China Times
  • China’s shipyards saw 40% drop in orders last year – Want China Times
  • China’s high-speed rail still reporting staggering losses – Want China Times
  • Baosteel’s rare earth net profits halved by weak market – Want China Times


  • Basel relief less heartfelt here – The AFR
  • Market gains at risk if profit season falls flat – The AFR
  • WA rejects planned changes to mining tax – The AFR
  • Steady rates doint their job. RBA unlikely to cut this week – The AFR
  • Why voters believe economy is in trouble – The Age
  • Gorgon gas project costs blow-out – The Age
  • Families increasingly moving to mining regions – The Australian
  • Unions planning new push on jobs – The Australian



  1. 8 sorry years on, and with property prices now higher than where they were then, we are reminded of the then Governor of the RBNZ lamenting “In a message aimed at bringing the dollar down .. Alan Bollard today issued a severe warning of imbalances and “significant excesses” developing in the economy…. Dr Bollard warned the uptrend in house prices “would not be sustained” How long do these guardians of our economy need to do something other than talk!

    • Yep, gotta love those “time to get serious” talks. Everyone knows they’re full of piss and wind. Their only shot at redemption is to – surprise surprise – do something.

      • Michael Belkin – Founder, Financial Market Strategist & Author of The Belkin Report and ex-Salomon Brothers VP, says stockmarkets to crash and with it, housing markets.



    “RIO Tinto’s loss-making aluminium refinery in Arnhem Land should be shuttered, according to an internal review, with the expected loss of up to 1500 jobs and devastating effects on the regional economy.”

    “It would halve the size of the nearby town of Nhulunbuy, home to about 4000 people and the Territory’s fourth-largest settlement,..”

    “Rio wants the NT government to give up about 10 years’ worth of gas to power the plant — which it plans to sell — but the move could expose Top End taxpayers to a billion-dollar liability.”

  3. Matt Taibbi once again magnificently cuts through the noise to show the death clench our politicians and regulatory institutions are in with the finance houses.

    Grand hypocrisy on the war on drugs on view here.

    • The aspect of Ryders bizarre rant that should be of most concern to his publishers was the indiscriminate spray of his claims of criminal behaviour. The Demographia authors should be charged? the journalists who wrote about it should be charged? you want to be able to back up these seriously defamatory statements ..or have deep pockets.

    • I’ve been waiting a year for Tasmanian Real Estate Trouble dude to start posting again.

      Happy days are here again.

      I wonder what triggered his revival?

  4. Oil, climate and time: Why some problems will wait and others will not

    The laws of physics are indifferent to the political schedules of humans. Climate change appears to be speeding up as ice melts faster and faster on Greenland and at the poles. Last year was the warmest year ever recorded in the United States. Climate change is not struggling to be emancipated or seeking the right to vote or to marry. It cannot be put off with assurances that it will have to wait until next year when the political climate might be better.

    Climate change is indifferent to such condescension and remorseless to boot. It proceeds whether we like it or not, whether we acknowledge it or not.

    The same can be said of resource depletion. We can pretend that America is heading toward so-called “energy independence,” even as worldwide oil production remains stalled for seven years running. But oil cannot be cajoled to do anything that the laws of physics will not allow.

    • “Climate change appears to be speeding up”

      Compared to what? Nobody knows how fast the climate changed thousands of years ago.

      “Last year was the warmest year ever recorded in the United States.”

      Alarmist nonsense. Nobody knows how warm it was in the United States thousands of years ago.

      • We didn’t have an industrial civilisation thousands of years ago, so that’s immaterial. Our economy and agriculture are attuned to current conditions, and if those conditions alter markedly, eg with long unforeseen droughts, or vast fires, or floods, as is now happening, a new normal will evolve (and keep evolving) that will dictate wholesale and disruptive changes.

      • We know a lot more about climate change in the past than you seem to think.

        Seriously, can we put an end to these bizarre rants? If you are so sure you are right, go and write your paper, have it published and peer reviewed, then we will listen. Until then, your contribution is worthless.

        All but the last die-hards have moved on and are talking about the economic implications.

        • DT,

          Put and end to your AGW propaganda and commonsense won’t have to be placed in front of you.

          If you are so sure you are right, you will need to proove wrong observed IPCC data that prooves AGW modelling is hopelessly flawed.

          You are not an qualified arbiter of peoples opinions. Your contribution has no more worth than the one you say is worthless. Get over yourself.

          • You are the one arguing against the scientific community and the burden of proof is on you. It’s not about “opinion”.

            Up to now, all the available evidence suggests you are wrong. Discredited papers, blogs and newspaper articles are not compelling evidence and 15 minutes with someone who knows what they are talking about will counter every one of your arguments.

            So for you to be so convinced, you must have something new. Here’s a suggestion for you: prove it.

            Take some time to write your paper for publication and peer review. If you need funding, I’m sure there’s a mining or oil company that will put you on the payroll. They seem to pay a lot of unqualified people a lot of money to spread doubt, so someone like you with actual evidence should do well. 31dk might be able to help you with contacts.

            Given that you are pretty confident, there should be no problem overcoming the scrutiny of the world’s climate scientists. Then collect your Nobel prize and spend the rest of your life rolling in the cash you will earn from consulting to governments and companies around the world on how to prosper in the carbon-rich economy.

            For now, the rest of us will rely on actual science to inform our economic discussion. I would suggest you keep your “opinions” to yourself because until you prove it, every comment you make sounds like “blah blah/the earth is 6000 years old/vaccines cause autism/fluoride in the water is for mind control/I was probed by aliens”.

            Good luck – I hope you’re right. It will mean life is much brighter for my kids and grandkids than I expect.

          • DT,

            You seriously need a new religion. This one isn’t working but for you and your impressionable cohort.

            There is NO idisputable proof that the fluctuations observed in the climate have not occurred over previous millenia. When the alarmists are able to prove that AGW is existing and incontrovertibly due to man’s intervention alone , skepticism will cease. So, the burden on proof is on the alarmists, like you.

          • There is NO idisputable proof that the fluctuations observed in the climate have not occurred over previous millenia. When the alarmists are able to prove that AGW is existing and incontrovertibly due to man’s intervention alone , skepticism will cease. So, the burden on proof is on the alarmists, like you.

            And in that one paragraph we see why nothing you say about science needs to be taken seriously.

          • Note to site owners: you entertain the antiscience faction at your peril. They are every bit as bad as the housing market astroturfers. They will drive away the intelligent and educated members! 😯

    • I’d like to propose an idea that hopefully some people will support here. That is, we give people the air and fuel that they deserve.

      In light of the discussion here, and with the clarity of a lunchtime stroll, perhaps we should just ignore them from now on in the same way that I ignore creationists and real estate bulls. For some, there is no fact that will get in the way of their argument, and nothing we do or say will change it. But we can just quietly pretend they don’t exist.

      Let them have their black and white lives. I wish everything in my mind was as simple as it is in theirs.

      • The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
        (Bertrand Russell)

        The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. (Yeats)

      • Thise who regard themselves as so superior (not having a shot at present company) to those ‘silly’ people who invested in this are neither guiltless nor less silly. Those such as the RBA, Treasury, Economics professors and media commentators who have the idea that we can continue to print money driving RAT rates negative, stealing from the prudent, rewarding the profligate, with the result that every time we need investment money we have to sell the asset to foreigners, and think this can go on forever are far more stupid. More importantly they are straight out criminals and should be treated as such.
        They are stealing from good people just to cover their own mistakes. It’s psychopathic!

        • Totally agree fl.

          But losing money through mezzanine type debt scams on dodgy yield is getting old – how many times can people be warned.

          • Mining BoganMEMBER

            I like the bit where people are warned about a company, scoff, invest anyway. Then when it all gets taken away on the back of a unicorn they all cry ‘nobody warned us about this’ and the lawsuits start.

            That’s why nobody in Queen’sland has money to donate for the floods. It’s all in the hands of sharpies.

            And unicorns.