Links 14 June 2017

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Unconventional Economist
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  1. New Zealand housing bubble bursting …

    Harcourts says the house prices that were being achieved at the height of the market are no longer realistic | interest.co.nz

    https://www.interest.co.nz/property/88264/harcourts-says-house-prices-were-being-achieved-height-market-are-no-longer-realistic

    The country’s largest real estate agency says average house prices are starting to fall, and the inflated prices that were achievable last year are no longer realistic.

    Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy said the agency sold almost 15% fewer homes in May than it did in May last year, and average prices are being affected by declining sales.

    That is particularly noticeable in Auckland where the average price in May was below the average in May 2016, for the first time since sales started declining late last year.

    The average price of Auckland homes sold by Harcourts in May was $947,809 which was well below the $1,024,317 benchmark set in April this year, and down 0.7% compared to May last year.

    In Christchurch the slide in price has been even more severe, with May’s average sale price of $498,370 down 10% compared to the average price of $553,114 in May last year.

    “Vendors are starting to adjust their expectations when it comes to prices,” Kennedy said.

    “The inflated prices that were achievable at the very height of the market are no longer realistic.” … read more via hyperlink above …

    … confidence evaporates …

    Barfoot and Thompson sold 17% at latest Manukau auction, 34% on the North Shore | interest.co.nz

    https://www.interest.co.nz/property/88257/barfoot-and-thompson-sold-17-latest-manukau-auction-34-north-shore

    … because … no longer are people prepared to pay a million bucks in Auckland (or $600,000 in the case of Christchurch) for what should be $250 – $300,000 … refer …

    2017 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

    http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf

    … mid March report …

    The NZ homeowners who hate high house prices are revealed in Labour polling | Stuff.co.nz

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/money/90244287/The-NZ-homeowners-who-hate-high-house-prices-are-revealed-in-Labour-polling

  2. “let terminally ill people import their own medicinal cannabis” from abroad?

    That would be like building an LNG import terminal in Vic.

    Marijuana can be grown in Vic! And probably is grown in Vic. The water website says I can import proper toilets for personal use.

    And the parallel import of new cars will be legalised in 2018.

    What a way for government to miss out on revenue. Just legalise man-made products that were legal before 1940 and put a 900% tax on them. Duh.

    There are so many stupid bans in place.

  3. $110 million compensation bill from 7-11!

    Was the punishment for wage theft much higher in 2009?

    Consider this case:

    Mr Faisal Durrani tried to get $3500 from his boss but eventually went to court – “a magistrate ordered the parties to pay Mr Durrani a total of $115,000 in compensation.”

    Good on you Faisal.

    All he wanted was $3500 in owed wages and the boss was an absolute pain.

    Again, do the courts refuse to give out big compensation today?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-08-13/worker-on-125-an-hour-wins-court-fight/1390152

  4. ‘Banco Popular Español: Is This Europe’s First ‘Bail-In’ Test?’
    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4079869-banco-popular-espanol-europes-first-bail-in-test

    ‘Ms Sharobeem is being investigated for allegedly rorting more than $600,000 from the NSW Government when she was in charge of two not-for-profit groups for disadvantaged migrant women in Sydney from 2003-2015.’
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-13/sharobeem-used-taxpayer-money-to-buy-$20k-diamond-necklace,-icac/8613948

  5. Gareth Vaughan suggests that whoever is in government after the September 23 election, the RBNZ’s unlikely to get a DTI tool and largely has itself to blame … Interest Co NZ

    https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/88245/gareth-vaughan-suggests-whoever-finance-minister-after-september-23-election-rbnzs

    By Gareth Vaughan

    Has the Reserve Bank missed the boat on getting itself a macro-prudential debt-to-income (DTI) ratio tool?

    That may seem a premature question when the prudential regulator has only just issued a consultation paper on the concept, and submissions aren’t due until August 18 meaning the process has months to run yet.

    But, ahead of the September 23 election, the lukewarm response from the Finance Minister and his Labour shadow must be concerning to the boffins at number 2, The Terrace. That’s because, under its Memorandum of Understanding with the Finance Minister, the Reserve Bank must get said minister’s approval to have a DTI tool added to its macro-prudential toolkit. … read more via hyperlink above …

    • nyleta’s link to Taibbi’s latest piece (above) is another good commentary. Not so much on the result, but the reasons for the continual failings of the political class and the pundits in the press when it comes to elections and gauging the mood of the populace.

  6. House prices in key cities continue to trend down – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2017-06/14/content_29731724.htm

    House prices in key cities including the capital are continuing on their way down-a trend that has been observed for the first time over several quarters-as a result of tightened policy controls, according to a new report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

    The report said prices in Beijing in May fell 4.09 percent against April and cities neighboring the capital also retreated in price. In Tianjin, home prices in May were down 1.97 percent month-on-month and in Langfang, Hebei province, which borders Beijing, prices dropped 8 percent.

    The report said that Shenzhen, Suzhou, Hefei and Zhengzhou-which experienced double-digit home price growth in past months-saw their prices lower or with little change last month. … read more via hyperlink above …

  7. The Patrician

    From the Queens Birthday Honours List 12 June 2017

    “OFFICER (AO) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA
    Mr Brian Arthur WILSON, Bellevue Hill NSW 2023
    For distinguished service to the financial and banking sectors through public policy advisory roles in the areas of foreign investment, taxation and superannuation reform, and to higher education administration.
    Service includes:
    Public sector:
    Chairman, Foreign Investment Review Board, since 2012; Member, since 2009.
    External Member, Superannuation Reform Steering Group, Australian Taxation Office, 2011-2015.
    Member, Payments System Board, Reserve Bank of Australia, since 2010.
    Member, Australian Government Specialist Reference Group on Taxation of Multinational Enterprises in Australia, 2012-2013.
    Member, Australian Government Review into Governance, Efficiency, Structure and Operation of Australia’s Superannuation System (The Cooper Review), 2009-2010; Member, Stronger Super Peak Consultative Group, 2011.
    Government Advisor, asbestos settlement with James Hardie, New South Wales Government, 2005-2006.
    Financial Services:
    Director, Bell Financial Group, since 2009.
    Senior Advisor, The Carlyle Group, since 2017.
    Founding Managing Director (Australia), Lazard, 2004-2009.
    Vice-Chairman, Citigroup Australia, 1994-2004.
    Director, Schroders Australia, 1991-1994.
    Education:
    Chancellor, University of Technology Sydney, February-November 2016; Deputy Chancellor, 2011-2016; Council Member, since 2006; Pro-Chancellor, 2006-2011; Chairman, Finance Committee, since 2006; Alternate Chairman, Joint Sub-Committee Audit and Risk and Finance, since 2006.
    Awards and recognition includes:
    Recipient, Honorary Doctorate, University of Technology Sydney, 2017”

    The sham continues