Links 23 May 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:





Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.


  1. Hugh PavletichMEMBER

    … CHINA … an essential read …

    China’s Economic Slowdown Hits Industrial Heartland Of Chongqing : NPR

    He Qiang should be manning his convenience store, but today he’s collecting tiny green berries along the road and shooting them at birds with his slingshot. The 26-year-old is distracting himself from his worries. He spent all his savings — the equivalent of $35,000 — on a store that no longer has any customers. … read more via hyperlink above …

    • Hugh – thanks for the link but I think the article gives a skewed impression. For instance, I’m sure I read recently that Ford is doing badly in China compared to a number of other big car firms so it makes sense that a town built around one of its factories may be negatively impacted. It would have been more balanced for the journo to report on how cities where say GM or VW have factories are going.

      Also Chongqing is a monster “city” – it is actually the size of a province and is a amalgamation of a number of urban centres – but the fact that it is struggling likely has just as much to do with an underperforming local government as a nationwide downturn. If the journo wanted to talk about south west China they should probably have also included some info on Chengdu which is about an hour down the track from Chongqing by high speed rail. Chengdu has a totally separate local government, is a city of over 10m people and is the capital of Sichuan province, which is one of the largest. If the economy in that part of China was going badly it would more likely be apparent in Chengdu than in Chongqing. And anyway China is so big that what goes on in Sichuan has little relationship with what is going on in Shanghai or Shenzhen or Tianjin or Dalian or …

  2. Take notice, I am telling you a secret. We shall not all die but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet call. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed”
    (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

    at least the cramping has subsided.

    • innocent bystander

      well off swingers swing to “principles” less well off swing to jobs and cost of living?

  3. Article in Newcastle herald (Hunter Valley, NSW)

    Are coal miners still blue-collar?
    Damon Cronshaw
    Local News
    On Strike: Supporters of coal miners marching through Newcastle streets to Trades Hall in July 1949.
    On Strike: Supporters of coal miners marching through Newcastle streets to Trades Hall in July 1949.
    Cessnock may have gained national attention this week for its One Nation vote, but many years ago it was the Communist Party that held sway in the area.

    So says Brian Lout from Cessnock, who contacted us after we compared Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon’s comments about having a crack at the Labor leadership to the cult TV series Game of Thrones.

    We’d written that Fitzy had “copped a dagger to the midriff from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation” and that coal miners out Cessnock-way have had a gutful.

    The narrative to emerge from the election result in the Hunter Valley was that coal miners weren’t happy about Labor’s policy on climate change. They were worried about their livelihoods.

    Fitzy said on Monday that Labor needs to “re-engage with our blue-collar base and put more focus on regional and rural Australia”.

    But Brian – who was a Labor Party member for about 20 years – questioned whether coal miners, in particular, could still be defined as “blue-collar”.

    He reckoned that “coal miners today aren’t like coal miners in decades past”.

    “The vast majority who work in the coal industry today work in open-cuts,” he said.

    “Instead of being working class, I call them the working bourgeoisie. They ride around in salary-sacrificed four-wheel drives and send their kids to private school. To me, they are not working class.”

    Topics: “So they’re not really blue collar? Well, they’re definitely not white collar. We’re trying to think about an in-between collar. Are they more purple collar?

    Brian: “Well they’re not red, we can say that. Coal miners used to be the doyen of the working class, quite militant. In fact, during Cessnock’s history, it used to be referred to as the Red Shire”.

    “In the period between 1944 and 1947, Cessnock or the Kearsley Shire was controlled by the Communist Party. The Communists had a majority on the Kearsley Shire.

    “I know we talk of Joy Cummings being the first lady mayoress. And all the tributes should go to her for that. But Nellie Simm, a communist, was a deputy mayor on the Kearsley Shire. She stepped up and filled the casual mayor’s vacancy for a period. You could well argue that Nellie Simm predated Joy Cummings.”

    Brian added there had already been a “cosmic shift” in the Upper Hunter at the last state election away from the ALP to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.

    “There was no Shooters candidate standing at the federal election. My reading is, they’ve shifted from the Shooters to One Nation at the federal level.

    “They broke the nexus between identifying themselves as working people and the ALP. Having broken it, they haven’t returned. Now they’ve chucked their lot in with One Nation.”

  4. Hugh PavletichMEMBER

    The Most Expensive Cities For Public Transport …. Statista

    … DEUTSCHE BANK / STATISTA: The Most Expensive Cities For Public Transport …

    … Why is Auckland so expensive ? …


    Deutsche Bank recently released the 8th edition of its annual survey of global prices and living standards from various cities and countries. Among the many different categories analyzed was the price of public transportation in 55 major cities. The research uncovered a major disparity in the cost of a monthly ticket and it ranged from $89 in Berlin to just $15 in Buenos Aires on average. Nowhere has average public transportation costs as high as London, however and a monthly pass sets commuters back a whopping $179. Despite the high price, the UK’s capital does have an extensive and efficient network with the buses, the tube and light rail accounting for 37 percent of the city’s journeys. … read more via hyperlink above …