Links 12 March 2013

Global Macro/Markets:

North America:

  • Canadian house prices to keep growing – TD Bank
  • Canadian brokers seek mortgage break for first-time home buyers – The Globe & Mail
  • Canadian Real Estate Association report to ramp-up housing anxiety – The Globe & Mail
  • Bernanke Provokes Mystery Over Fed Stimulus Exit – Bloomberg
  • What’s Fueling the Housing Boom in Vegas? – CNBC


  • UK’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards criticises proposed new laws esp on 3% leverage ratio as too weak – Financial Times
  • The economic depression in Greece is frightening, and getting worse – Yiannis Mouzakis
  • One in four Germans would back anti-euro party – Reuters
  • German Exports Increased More Than Forecast in January – Bloomberg
  • Banks saved, but Europe risks losing a generation – Reuters
  • ECB: The nature and significance of Banking Union – European Union
  • British Proposal to Rein In Banks Is Faulted – New York Times
  • Germany’s anti-euro party is a nasty shock for Angela Merkel – The Telegraph


  • Market Wheels in Motion for Chinese Railway Reform – Caixin
  • China’s sluggish, narrow-based recovery – FT Alphaville
  • “China’s Economic Data Show Weakest Start Since 2009” – Bloomberg
  • Lower GDP Target Is Necessary, CASS Economist Says – Caixin
  • New rules may ease China pollution, but won’t solve steel overcapacity – Reuters
  • Productivity improves but no one notices – Ross Gittens
  • Chinese working to develop shale gas, but problems abound – Reuters
  • China instructs its media “not to report on structural reform of State Council without permission” – China Digital Times
  • Future of China Railways Ministry’s US$426bn debt unclear – Want China Times
  • “Spot China’s ‘Hot Money’ Time-Bomb” – Zero Hedge


  • Aust labour underutilisation – Bill Mitchell
  • RBA dismisses claims about successful hacking of its systems – RBA
  • “Jobs have wearied the aged worker” – Business Spectator
  • The professor vs the banks – The SMH
  • CSR to close Sydney glass factories – Yahoo Finance
  • Wage rises are a cost to jobs – The Australian
  • Super won’t be enough – The AFR
  • Bloxo bats for the RBA: High dollar driving lean corporates – The SMH


  • How financial markets are growing detached from well-being – Project Syndicate
  • Research ties economic inequality to gap in life expectancy – Washington Post


  1. An Essential Economics report about a high growth Geelong used to promote 4 property developments 3 of which are more than an hours drive from any major employment centres.

    Another dive into Real Estate related faecal matter from the Fairfax Press.

    I like Geelong a lot, and it is a relaxed and comfortable place to live, but of its major industrial plants only the Grain terminal has a long term future with Alcoa (Pt Henry), Shell (Corio), Ford (Norlane) all earmarked for closure. All other major employers (Barwon Health, Barwon Water, Deakin University) are reliant on Government funding.

    • Superdoomerism. Not for the easily upset.

      The Point of No Return: A Discussion with Professor Emeritus Dr. Guy McPherson


      Our guest for Episode 52 of the podcast is Dr. Guy McPherson. Dr. McPherson left his high-pay, low-work position as a tenured full professor at the University of Arizona to retreat to a simpler life ‘on the land’. He is now a writer at and, a published author, and public speaker. In this episode of the podcast, we find out why a life-long academic would abandon this seemingly idyllic position, and get his perspective on the challenges that face our species in the decades to come

  2. Gittens please read Mckibbin.

    Using a fallacious measure such as GDP as a singular measure to assess productivity is NUTS!

    • Gittins will get a lot of time to read.. If he retires.

      I don’t know why Fairfax didn’t get rid of this dinosaur in their last round of job cuts.

  3. “CSR says the restructure was necessary because of the persistently high Australian dollar pushing down the cost of imported glass, a weaker than expected recovery in residential and commercial construction, an over-supply of glass, and increased energy and manufacturing costs.”

    No worries mate!

  4. “Wage rises are a cost to jobs – The Australian”

    Yeah well they might be! How about we also have a look at the Lawyers, Accountants, stupid taxes, excessive taxes to pay others to do sweet beggar all, stupid nanny state stuff (as per McKibbin), union rip-offs, RE rent BS etc etc etc that add immensely to the everyday cost of doing business.

    • +1

      Was in an FBT seminar today learning about yet another set of rule changes.

      I counted the number of people in the room at about 50. So 75 employee hours were wasted on a stupid tax that is hopelessly complicated and time consuming to comply with and apparently derives 62% of its revenue from a single area (cars) yet spans many other areas that no doubt collectively raise less tax than it costs to administer for all involved.

      No doubt this was repeated around the country.

    • ALex, that’s an awful article written by an pig-ignorant climate denier.

      Once again I point you to Deutsche Bank’s:

      Solar Report Stunner: Unsubsidized ‘Grid Parity Has Been Reached In India’, Italy – With More Countries Coming in 2014

      …this is the third report in the past month anticipating a bright future for the global solar market: UBS released a report that concluded an “unsubsidized solar revolution” was in the works, “Thanks to significant cost reductions and rising retail tariffs, households and commercial users are set to install solar systems to reduce electricity bills – without any subsidies.” And Macquarie Group argued that costs for rooftop solar in Germany have fallen so far that even with subsidy cuts “solar installations could continue at a torrid pace.”

      • The value I saw in it was its drawing attention to the hazards of long-range forecasting, viz “millions of electric cars by now” from the 1992 Shell forecast. I agree most of the rest of it is dross.

  5. What I find interesting is the chart half way through showing how volumes are down yet the Dow is breaking records.

    And Beppi Grillo’s quote
    If we fail, [Italy] is headed for violence in the streets. But if we crumble, then they come. Everything started in Italy. Fascism was born here. The banks were born here. We invented debt. The mafia, us too. Everything started here. If violence doesn’t start here, it’s because of the movement. If we fail, we’re headed for violence in the street. Half the population can’t take it anymore.

  6. It is instructive to look at who is lobbying for the [EU] ETS to be rescued. Companies including Shell, Statoil, the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, E.On and Électricité de France have lined up to support the EU’s efforts to rescue the ETS in hand with financial actors such as carbon traders, brokers and verifier firms. These are companies that profit from selling or using fossil fuels and trading carbon and hence wish to restore confidence in the collapsing market.

  7. MsSolarFelineAU

    A fresh discovery of potentially deadly asbestos has been made at Sydney’s premier development site at Barangaroo.

    Construction workers on the site held a stopwork meeting on Friday after 23 fragments of asbestos were uncovered in 10 minutes on February 28. It is the third discovery since April, and the union said asbestos was being found ”all over the place”.

    The wellbeing of residents and office workers close to Barangaroo is also under renewed scrutiny after the developer, Lend Lease, decided to close a childcare centre 30 metres away.

    Ooops! This is supposed to be Jamie Packer’s Casiono Playground, isn’t it!! Ru ro!

  8. The Financialization of Nature –

    The banks have successfully infiltrated the international institutions. The creation, and official recognition, of an UNEP Finance branch allows them to promote their private interests as public interests. Central in this strategy is the launch, at Rio+20, of a “Natural Capital Declaration”. What is this? The vision of the financiers, based on the conception of environment and of life as a simple capital resource, and their support for mechanisms that push the financialization of nature.

    Excellent video –

  9. I look forward the the Macrobusiness take on Conroy’s media package. Early verdict by major media players – universally criticised (apart from reduction in tv licence).

    Conroy who so infamously boasted of his power has instructed ‘no bartering’ and for the Bill to pass through Parliament by Friday week!

    What is going on?

    • And is there any connection with the announcement of further environmental controls (re possible water contamination) to be applied to CSG – negotiated with fond approval of Oakeshott and Windsor…will these ‘independents’ now be more amenable to Conroy’s paranoia induced media proposals.

  10. The return of Larvatus Prodeo for the 2013 election – a political/socio/econo left of centre blog of some fame.

    David – the segmentation layout seems to work well, might be an idea for MB.

    Left-leaning MB commenters – go for it and enjoy, I might even dip my toe 😉