Links 7 December 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:








  1. NEW ZEALAND: QV’s latest valuations are a mixed bag, with average values flat or down compared to a year ago in Auckland and Christchurch, but rising in most other places |

    Average residential property values fell over the last 12 months in Auckland and Christchurch but rose strongly in Wellington, according to the latest figures from Quotable Value (QV). … read more via hyperlink above …

  2. Politicians should be subject to ‘cooling off’ period before becoming lobbyists, report warns

    They should not be permanently banned from making any money following political career. That should be made clear to them prior to political engagement (that’s why they are getting paid comfortable pension for life).
    That way not only we would reduce corruption but more importantly get rid of large number of career politicians who are in politics just to get a quick path to board member positions.

    • I had a light bulb moment regarding “productivity” while watching my GP labouriously 2 finger type my referal the other day. Not for the first time I watched a professional waste valuable minutes inexpertly using a key board.
      Why hasn’t the set out of the keyboard changed in 100 years?
      It was origionally set up to slow typists down so that the mechanical key arms of the machine did not jam.
      With keyboards being the most used tool of the modern workforce, it seems a no brainer that reconfiguring the key board to operate more efficiently would improve productivity in almost every industry.
      I claim ownership of this idea and would like 1% of all productivity gains made .

      • Good idea, but speech recognition solves the problem
        AI speech recognition is now almost infallible for common languages, developed in China.
        can translate speech in real time.
        AI and robots, coming to a GP near you.

      • There are numerous alternative keyboard layouts. Dvorak is probably the most widely known. There are also “chording keyboards” that use a smaller number of keys (typically a dozen or so), but these are pretty rare.

        The problem is that if you adopt one of these it might improve your speed on that device, but now every other device you use is different and slower. Similarly, everyone who sits down in front of your PC is slowed down because it is non-standard.

        Voice recognition is pretty good these days. Heck, we were using it for this sort of thing over a decade ago when I was working in the teleradiology field. I’d identify it as a better technical improvement than a different keyboard layout.

        (Note that the common QWERTY layout wasn’t designed to slow down typists, per se, but to widely separate the most commonly used letters to prevent mechanical jamming.)

      • Similarly, everyone who sits down in front of your PC is slowed down because it is non-standard.

        Yep – colleague uses dvorak – types as fast an anyone else I guess, but big problem when anyone else wants to work with him at his machine (i.e. IT install software, someone explain some code to him etc), which I guess is why it isn’t adopted more widely – it’s often the case that everyone needs to change at once.

        I don’t think I’m alone in finding two people chatting at the nearest desk in my cube farm a distraction. Imagining the entire office simultaneously talking to their PC makes me kind of nauseous. Hence, not seeing voice recognition in the typical modern cube farm – the noise would be deafening. Back to the GP – I wonder if they’d always want every patient to know exactly what they are writing in their notes.

        Chorded keyboards iirc used extensively by court and parliament reporters to get typing speeds faster than speech speeds, so actually very long track record.

  3. That Dam Class action Update
    The culture of saving water – combined with a refusal by dam engineers to take into account Bureau of Meteorology forecasts – contributed to the massive flooding which swept the southeast in early 2011, peaking on January 13, the Sydney hearing was told.
    Maurice Blackburn lawyer Julian Sexton, SC, told the hearing in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday that on December 1, 2010, a Seqwater flood engineer and a dams operations manager discussed in an email the possibility there might be public “embarrassment” if water was released from Wivenhoe Dam and forecast rains did not eventuate.
    “Major embarrassment is not one of the objectives in the flood manual, nor is concern about media reporting or public relations,’’ he said.
    That preoccupation came against a backdrop of community anxiety about the southeast’s water supply, which developed during the first decade of the century in the midst of fierce drought.
    Mr Sexton said both Wivenhoe and Somerset dams were first and foremost flood-mitigation dams, not water providers.
    “The point of this is that there has never been the approach that drought considerations outweigh flood considerations,’’ Mr Sexton said.
    The hearing continues.
    WW there is the essence, flood mitigation devices being used as a source of drinking water cos the govt had not provided additional drinking water sources for a growing population.
    And today they still haven’t, and not just for Brisbane.

  4. Do your kids hope you will go down the toilet so they can have a new X box,Morrison asks
    “I would hope that Australians are feeling in a position where they can go out and celebrate this Christmas and holiday season,” he said.
    “I am sure their kids are hoping that they will be spending, too.”
    “The lowest household consumption growth since the global financial crisis suggests that cost of living pressures and record household debt are weighing on spending habits,”This is not surprising given workers are struggling to get a decent pay rise and the Turnbull Government is cutting their penalty rates, and their debt levels are rising faster than their incomes.”
    Mr Morrison said much of what happened in the December quarter would depend on Christmas spending.
    In the new year he would be in a position to talk about tax relief.
    WW Nah the punters will blow all their money on pokies and drugs as the economy falls short of expectations.

    • “WW Nah the punters will blow all their money on pokies and drugs as the economy falls short of expectations.”
      Nah! Ugly Tatts will still be right up there! Sure, they’ll get the drugs while at the tattoo parlour.

    • OR >>> the parents will trash the kids: how about this.
      “It’s the parents who could use the ‘undue influence’ as a ‘get out of jail card’ to be released as guarantor should the bottom fall out of the property market,” Scott Wedgwood, a family law partner with Barry Nilsson Lawyers says.
      Property borrowers who get loans from their parents to buy their first property are twice as likely to later encounter financial stress, ask for more help from friends or family, or struggle to pay their power bills, according to recent analysis by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
      A plausible reason for this is the borrowers do not have the income, or discipline, to maintain payments without additional support, according to analysts.
      Family funding is a key contributor to a 5x increase in first-time home buyers in Sydney and an increase of more than 50% nationally over the past year, according to Mortgage Choice.

      • If this blows it is sure going to be a mess. I’ve been conscious of this parental guarantee business for quite a while since my daughter asked me for one. I gave her some money instead – at least that was a liability I could control.

      • IF, its already rolling, those layoffs over Xmas will give it speed.
        Remember the dilemma Janet was in when her daughter wanted to borrow from the bank of MD for a property in wellington, which was going up in value as she posted, but her time as a banker stalled her decision.
        Its the old story, commercial banks are where you borrow money, cos if it goes tits up, everything is at arms length.
        if it works out you have a track record.
        Cutting corners is a sure way to come off the track.

  5. The 17 cities where the world’s richest people want to live

    not a single Australian “most livable” cities
    BTW all but one or two cities on the list have homes cheaper than Sydney, some like Dallas, Houston, Milan, Chicago or Munich have prices that are fraction (20%) of Sydney’s. Money needed to buy a small old house 40km from Sydney CBD ($1m) in these places buys a mansion almost worth a super rich

    • You are missing the key point. That’s why we have to grow them so they become global cities! /sarc – just in case.