Links 22 June 2018

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Latest posts by Chris Becker (see all)


  1. Absolutely disgraceful of the NXT to give income tax cuts to the tiny minority that has an income over $200k/year.

    Jay Weatherill wanted to give free rego to the tiny minority that can afford an $80k car. Another brainless and unfair policy.

    • Could be due to shrinking wages. Do homeowners really track property prices every month?

      • Why yes, yes we do. My visiting niece does too, with her husband reading out the figures after dinner last night. I was surprised and intrigued.

    • Our entire finance industry is full of sharks, liars and spivs. Burn the lot to the ground.

    • Yeah, finding it impossible to garner any sympathy for real estate agents. They too can jump in the fire.

  2. … NEW ZEALAND: Why is Phil Twyford now a liar on housing ? …

    Don’t be put off by the HAM – I believe you can still buy a house – Rob Stock OPINION |

    … extract …

    … Given that our atrocious housing affordability is a creation of political failure (blame governments under both Helen Clark and John Key), having a sensible affordability measure is a good idea.

    It enables people to state their cases clearly, and to compare New Zealand’s performance to other countries.

    Hugh Pavletich, the housing campaigner, for example, reckons anything over three times median household income for a median house indicates market failure.

    I myself feel nostalgic for that multiple.

    Back in the kinder days when I bought my first house (I was living in England at the time in a village on the edge of Cambridge), the price of it was nearly exactly three times my household income.

    Pavletich’s latest study of median multiples had Auckland at 8.8, Wellington at 5.5 and Christchurch at 5.4 in the third quarter of 2017. … read more via hyperlink above …

    … Why … post-Christmas … has New Zealand Housing Minister Phil Twyford failed to abolish artificial urban limis and properly debt finance infrastructure ? … read June Update …

    … refresh / reload if necessary …

      • Couple of articles saying that people are pulling out cos they don’t have any money for that sort of expense any more, yesterday it was births, and today it is baby boomers with knees and hips etc. So it’s inline with the MB thesis but more abrupt than expected. Throws into question all that sort of wealth-effect spending (private schools?) and also puts the spotlight back on private healthcare and massive overloading of the public system via quantitative peopling.
        There, that’ll save the boys some work 😉

  3. fitzroyMEMBER

    The ABC didn’t pick up that the numbers of missing permanent migrants are now to be found in bridging visas. Only MB readers know that.

    • Software always has bugs. just make sure you don’t find any in your burger meat.

      • Bugs in your food should be the least of your problems… Voluntary spilling uh…. transmission oil in your chips though… a whole other thing

  4. “16:8 Diet is Effective for Weight Loss: Study – Sci News (can confirm, been skipping breakfast and only eating at lunch then dinner for a month now, lost about 7 kg….)”
    No change in “Fat Mass? ” That’s a bit scary?

  5. Not sure if this is paywalled:
    Hundreds of skulls testify to the monumental scale of human sacrifice in the Aztec capital.
    Interesting read in combination with Taleb’s twitter where he makes the point that religion is adaptive (provides benefits that are selected for), which doesn’t fit with what we regard as brutal slaughter.
    Well, better keep it short cos it’s a work day.

  6. rj2k000MEMBER

    Housing debt ‘very much like an avalanche’: Charter Hall’s Cedric Fuchs
    [A founding member of one of Australia’s biggest real estate fund managers Charter Hall’s Cedric Fuchs has warned of serious vulnerabilities in the housing market with people not adequately prepared for the risks of a downturn.

    The South African immigrant who helped build Charter Hall into a $21 billion fund manager said there was growing complacency in the residential property markets especially when it came to managing debt.

    “I don’t think a lot of people have done stress tests when they have gone to buy residential property,” he told The Australian Financial Review.

    “I don’t think people know where these fingers of vulnerability lie. It’s very much like an avalanche. Nobody knows where the voids are under the fingers of snow that can pull everything down.”

    Now, as house prices around the country start to show negative growth – the ABS this week recorded the first annual price fall in Sydney since the March quarter 2012, Mr Fuchs says people should exercise extreme caution in the housing market, even with record low interest rates.]

  7. rj2k000MEMBER

    High premiums force North Queensland residents to abandon home insurance
    [North Queensland retiree Paul Crewe and his partner Jenni Hogan became so frustrated with high insurance premiums on their beachfront home at Toolakea Beach, north of Townsville, after Cyclone Yasi in 2011 that they gave up on home insurance altogether.

    While Mr Crewe is worried every cyclone season his house may be damaged, he said the couple simply could not afford to buy insurance after premiums rocketed from $900 a year to $6000 after the category-five cyclone crossed the coast near Mission Beach.]

  8. rj2k000MEMBER

    Borrowers face $18,000 hike amid growing rate rise fears
    [Mortgage debts for an Australian household with a $1 million mortgage could rise by up to $18,000 a year amid warnings that rising funding costs will drive rates higher.

    Pressure is increasing on over-stretched household budgets from a huge switch to principal and interest loans and a sharp spike in funding costs for financing mortgages, particularly for lenders relying on securitisations rather than deposits to fund their loan book.

    Bill Schafer, chief financial officer for ASX-listed AusWide, which is increasing owner occupier loans by 5 basis points and investor loans by 13 basis points, said: “We had been holding our rates back for as long as we could. But it was becoming a major impost on our net interest margins. Other lenders are under exactly the same pressure and are likely to follow.”

    A sharp spike in funding costs of up to 35 basis points is being attributed to rate increases by overseas’ central banks, particularly the US Federal Reserve, and rising competition for funds as the world economic growth increases.

    Mr Schafer said lenders have been under pressure for about four months and are closely watching competitors in the cutthroat market that remains the major contributor to profits.

    Other lenders to have increased rates recently include ME Bank, which is owned by industry funds, and Suncorp, the nation’s fifth-largest lender.
    Interest-only loans

    Major banks are under additional pressure not to make unpopular out-of-cycle rate increases during the banking royal commission.]

  9. rj2k000MEMBER

    America’s Millennials are waking up to their grim financial future
    [What about the booming economy of 2018? Won’t that help smooth the path for young savers? Perhaps, but Goldman Sachs Group economists recently said the current pace of the US economy is “probably as good as it gets”. That can only make young Americans more furious about the “missed opportunity” mentioned by the St Louis Fed.

    Paycheques aren’t reflecting the improving economy. Hourly wages were unchanged in May from a year earlier. And according to a Fed survey, four in 10 Americans said it would be tough to come up with $US400 ($542) for an emergency expense. The same 2017 survey found 27 per cent skipping medical treatments because they can’t afford them. Another poll this month reaffirmed the inability of many Americans to save any money at all.

    So work longer? First you have to live longer, and that’s not guaranteed.

    Wide swaths of the country are getting sicker and dying younger than just a few years ago, with a widening health gap between educated, affluent Americans and everyone else. Alcohol abuse and obesity, upticks in suicide and an epidemic of drug overdoses have all played a role in an ominous milestone: Year-over-year declines in American life expectancy while the rest of the world lives ever-longer.]

  10. rj2k000MEMBER

    Ramsay’s profit downgrade a sign of trouble in health
    [Ramsay Health Care’s profit is ominous because it adds to the evidence that Australia’s private healthcare market is finally confronting the reality that Australia can no longer afford the health services on offer.

    Until now the primary reason for buying Ramsay shares was the growth in demand for hospital services generated by demographic changes.

    In other words, Baby Boomers would continue to want to have hip and knee operations in private hospitals.

    But it would seem the Baby Boomers are becoming more willing to postpone the operations altogether or switch the venue to public hospitals, a strategy that avoids co-payments. They are willing to change their behaviour partly because they feel they are being screwed by surgeons.
    Analysis of the costs of procedures by postcodes showed the wealthy Boomers were definitely being rorted. Big time.

    It’s not just Baby Boomers who have twigged to the relentless rise in the cost of healthcare. Younger Australians are ditching private health insurance in droves and fewer of their number are signing up for health insurance.

    This is perfectly rational behaviour when you consider health insurance premiums have been rising about 6 per cent a year for the past five years while wages growth has been about 2 per cent a year.]

    • Another failed policy by Little Johnny. Gee, who could have seen it coming that the private healthcare industry would try to screw us? The liberal party are the wreckers of all that was good about this country. And the rodent is the most to blame. Hope he gets bowel cancer.