Links 3 September 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:





Leith van Onselen

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.

Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


  1. America-first trade policy is crushing the global economy

    it’s much better that America-first trade policy is crushing the global economy than US navy or ballistic forces

    If Trump manages to keep war with china primarily as economic one he deserves few nobel prizes

    because lets be honest: this is direct and brutal confrontation between two most powerful countries in the world and anything but direct bloody confrontation is great

  2. ‘No jab, no pay’ threat prompts an extra 174,000 children to be vaccinated in one year

    it’s important that vaccination rate is very high so that rich kids (who can afford to not be paid) are fully protected by herd immunity of poor who need those few thousand dollars


    When Ms White bought her family home more than a decade ago, she thought the resale profit would fund her retirement.

    Now she is preparing to lose almost $100,000
    In a desperate attempt to attract buyers, Ms White shelled out a further $35,000 for renovations, which she will never recoup.

    Maybe someone should tell Australians that shelter is cost of living and that has to paid for somehow. This idea that buying a house is a guaranteed way to make money while also enjoying benefits of it for long is a fairy tale that works only for some and only for some time just to make fouls start believing in it. .

    • Maybe someone should tell Australians that shelter is cost of living and that has to paid for somehow

      Somewhere back in my time, in the national accounts, housing was a consumption item. A little less further back in my time,magically one day, housing was switched to ‘investment’. Everything was then good and would remain so forever. I think it was 70’s sometime as the Bovine Waste economic theories took hold. I was too damned stupid and fixed on having a proper productive economy to recognise the potential for making a squillion out of this.
      If you are not in Real Estate you are a failure to yourself and a disappointment to your family!

    • david collyerMEMBER

      So Ms White has invested in shiny finishes to offset the overall building depreciation. The value of her unremarkable structure will continue to decline over time. The rental value, real or imputed, is a function of local wages which are heading down too.

      Meanwhile, the value of the land underneath has gone down. Given there are few land constraints in Townsville beyond the cost of running out utility services and the dubious value of zoning, the premium of residential land above farm land prices is all in the eye of the beholder.

      She would have been better placed to rent. This trashing of personal balance sheets is being played out across Australia, accelerated by doubling down with renovations.

      The clearing price of dwellings is being artificially held up by owners withholding from selling until peak prices return, giving the astute plenty of room to exit and unwind their debts near-unscathed.

      Median US house prices: $280,000.

      Don’t Buy Now!


    Fonterra – should it be split in two to save it? … Gerard Hutching OPINION … Stuff NZ–should-it-be-split-in-two-to-save-it

    ANALYSIS: Fonterra has been the big cheese of the dairy industry for 18 years but it could be in for some significant downsizing.

    It’s approaching its annual report on September 12 amid talk that Fonterra’s crisis could become a farmers’ crisis – and ultimately New Zealand’s.

    Levin sharemilker Richard McIntyre said there were no easy answers, even as some suggest the dairy giant could be split into two. … read more via hyperlink above …
    Keith Woodford lays out how Fonterra’s Chilean profits and market share have been dropping, and how its farmers have been deserting for other processors. He says write-downs appear likely … Interest Co NZ
    FMA looking into Fonterra’s asset write downs and financial performance following complaint … John Anthony … Stuff NZ

  5. Here is the bind we are in……….consensus on futurity has been destroyed and we need to be transitioning the economy at 10 times the rate we are at the moment

    Nobody is going to invest on the scale needed under current conditions…….or accept the limits of personal action that will be needed with such a number of humans on the planet

    A great leader is needed because of the shape of human nature but wherever you look there is nobody but corrupt jack in offices

  6. Late surge from undecided and minor party voters to Coalition swung election, study says

    The research by associate professor Nicholas Biddle found that vote switchers who delivered victory to the Coalition were more likely to be older, women, non-Indigenous, non-university educated and living outside the most disadvantage areas in Australia.

    “These individuals also tended to be less supportive of population growth,” he said.

    • Strewth! I hope they didn’t spend too much money on that research!
      “more likely to be older, women, non-Indigenous, non-university educated and living outside the most disadvantage areas in Australia.”
      Not any sample bias in that of course.

  7. NEW ZEALAND HOUSING: Severely unaffordable Auckland in trouble due to ramping up new housing production and the ‘flight to affordability’ nationally …

    ( Auckland NZ ) Barfoot & Thompson’s sales levels were grim in August but selling prices remained steady … Greg Ninness … Interest Co NZ

    Auckland’s largest real estate agency had its worst August for sales in the last nine years, although selling prices remained reasonably steady.

    Barfoot & Thompson sold 746 residential properties in August, down from 879 in July (-15%) and 795 in August last year (-6%)..

    It was the lowest number of properties the agency has sold in the month of August since 2010.

    However the low number of sales does not appear to have affected prices.

    The agency’s average selling price was $930,090 in August, up from $919,648 in July and almost unchanged from $928,266 in August last year.

    The median selling price was $830,000, up from $800,500 in July but down from $840,000 in August last year. … read more via hyperlink above …
    Watch as new dwelling construction ramps up going forward … competing with existing stock … in Auckland and generally throughout New Zealand…

    The number of new dwellings being consented in Auckland has doubled over the last five years … Greg Ninness … Interest Co NZ

    When adjusted for population differences, for the month of July, New Zealand’s consents / approvals were a rising 8.32 per 1000 population per annum … in comparison with Australia’s worrying 6.15 per 1000 population per annum.

    New Zealand’s residential new build consenting during July was 34% higher than Australia’s.
    The ‘flight to affordability’ for housing and businesses is well underway to smaller urban areas as well … assisted significantly by the very successful roll – out of UFB fibre in New Zealand ( sadly not so far in Australia ) …

    The UFB success story … Kiwiblog

    This success must be repeated with urgency … with the proper debt financing and provision of infrastructure for desperately needed new housing and associated development … promised during this term of government ( access background information ) …

    Infrastructure related announcements from the New Zealand government are expected soon.