Macro Afternoon

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Kayaking in the Cook Islands, 2019: Photo by H. Becker

Stocks are really struggling going into the end of week trading here in Asia after the mid week surge fades quickly as pessimism sneaks in. Bitcoin is not yet going down, but is struggling as well without any new highs, while gold is holding on just above the $1885USD per ounce level:

The Shanghai Composite is down nearly 0.5% going into the close at 3388 points while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index is selling off even faster, down 0.7% to be at the 26492 point level. Japanese stock markets are in stall mode with the Nikkei 225 closing only 0.1% lower at 26769 points while the USDJPY pair has surged higher after its breakdown below former weekly support has found a new bottom and swung back up to the 103.50:

The ASX200 was the worst in the region, closing more than 1.2% lower to 6675 points, smacking right through the 6700 point level for a poor finish to the week. The Australian dollar was pushed a little lower as well, heading back below the 76 handle as some momentum deflates out of the the Pacific Peso juggernaught:

Eurostoxx and S&P futures are in retracement mode too, with the four hourly chart of the S&P500 shows it not yet unable to clear the 3700 resistance level decisively – are we setting up for a big fail here if the stimulus package doesn’t pass the Orange Man’s desk?

The economic calendar finishes the week with the closely watched German IFO survey then a few ECB and Fed speeches to keep an eye out for.

Have a good weekend!

Latest posts by Chris Becker (see all)


  1. Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

    I’m guessing Sydney ‘Rona news plus some closing of Aussie positions ahead of the weekend/holidays.

    • Shall be known as the cashed up boomer outbreak, look at the transmission pattern. RSL, Bowlo, Gym for oldies etc. Fit the lifestyle profile of the permanently retired. Probably came from some returnees as well.

      All the hoo-haa about whether schools and child care can or can’t open. But pack a bunch of oldies in an RSL, no problem.

      Went for a work xmas lunch, the establishment was positively heaving with them and their open mouthed chewing.

      But wear a mask and ‘follow the science’ or else.

  2. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Bloody good article by Greg Chappell……

    The Bouncer doesnt need to be banned. A thousand hours of backyard cricket, or street cricket, made compulsory, would do wonders for the quality of a lot of batsmen. Wearing helmets has, over the course of a generation, given rise to a plethora of batsmen who have the first thought of leaning towards the bowler.

    Short, sharp lesson: Rather than banning bouncers, young players must learn to play them better

    • And that from a man who faced Roberts, Holding, Garner, Croft at their peak. Not the best people person you ever saw, but a very very fine batsman.

      • Thanks for the cheap shot. Yes not his finest hour. But the article is about batsmanship and his 7110 runs at 53 in an extremely competitive era against highest quality fast bowling makes him very much worth listening to on that topic.

        • Just a bit of fun, I know exactly who Greg Chappell is.
          More of a shot at batsmen’s lack of evasiveness, instinct and being pampered by rules that favour them.
          Why would you want to be a fast bowler these days. When Thomson’s used to “do his lollie” he would try to kill them, which is what my older brother used to do to me.
          Lighten up it’s Christmas, besides, there are plenty of Kiwis in OZ so you need to have a laugh about it.
          I used to cop it royally when going to NZ as a teenager to visit family back in the 80’s.

          • Use to cop a pasting too when I lived in uNZud. Said “if he was any sort of batsman the would have hit it.” And then it started…..

        • Add in the World Series Cricket and the Rest of the World Series in 1971/2 he has about 8500 runs at 55!

    • From an America baseball perspective the issue is about crowding the plate e.g. pitchers will throw close ones to increase the size of the strike zone, hence the tactic to lean in to shrink it in a game of how much do you like your jaw or side of the head presented. This has little to do with getting home runs or getting on base, but making the pitcher throw more balls and increase his mental focus, which puts pressure on him, physically and mentally.

      As such I think the whole Rugby – NFL head injury aspect precludes and notion of whatever head gear does to some old game nuance.

    • He’s right of course. I like Malcolm Knox but his article advocating for banning the bouncer was just plain silly.

    • Batsmen have had it their own way for 25 years………change the foot rule back for bowlers and get rid of modern doctored wickets and we will see how good modern batsmen are.

    • Yeah I agree with him.
      The current generation can’t play bouncers because they are stuck on the crease.
      Greg Chappell was hit maybe once or twice, I don’t think Ian Chappell was ever hit because they were always back and across and inside the line.
      back foot players never get hit. eg. Richie Richardson never batted in a helmet, and went to town on short bowling.
      Viv got away with being on the front foot to fast bowlers because he had freakish reflexes but other mortals need to change their technique.

        • played cricket pre-helmet era (or when it was voluntary) and never got it. what are you on about?

          • You never were delivered a pitch at those speeds, so your completely ignorant in evaluating how players should handle themselves, your not alone.

          • maybe but I also played on more up and down wickets and managed to deal with it.
            These guys play on flat wickets.

          • what’s your point anyway? Original point wasn’t about me it was about technique and how it is rubbish these days.

          • Again you dismiss the physics with your anecdotal musing from youth E.g. you have never faced a world class pitch and as such are ignorant.

            PS … at least in baseball you can stand in a 90 mph cage and see what its like from a machine delivery.

          • Yeah but I never based my argument on my own experience. You brought that up.
            You think it’s a coincidence that more batsmen are getting hit these days? Are bowlers just more accurate?

          • I gave the example of how the crowding the plate aspect works from the American game, its the same for cricket and with all the money on the line ……..

            PS you were not playing for big bucks ….

          • I reckon the heavier bats also have a bearing on more batspeople being hit.
            Less manouverable.
            Steve Waugh wore a few because he refused to play the hook.

  3. Quick update from inside Covid Central – having been told not to leave the Northern Beaches our plans have remained unchanged.

  4. Mining BoganMEMBER

    I just heard Scummo on the wireless. Remember when Melbourne had its troubles and it was all about the Victoria Virus and keeping borders open? Now it’s a global pandemic and states should do what they have to do to keep their people safe.

    • Suddenly singing from a different songbook now his gold standard Gladys is up to her neck in it and they have no frickin idea where it originated from. Scomo is such a pr1ck.

          • GunnamattaMEMBER

            I’ve been saying since the lockdowns – although not particularly liking Dan A – that he will come out of this smelling of roses, and with a public stature akin to Nelson Mandela – if Europe and the US have a tough Covid19 Northern Hemisphere winter. All the way though the lockdowns here I was in touch with people in Europe and they were all saying the same thing, to the effect that the expertise there was pointing to what was happening in Melbourne as the only real sighter they would get.

            Well, they are having it. And the fact that Dan has seemingly played for eradication in Victoria (or something close to it) and has so far got away with it – I expect they will lock borders the moment they even think there is something about elsewhere in Australia – will have him in peak public credibility mode as we head into next winter……I know he was touting the Grand Prix until the last minute, and I know he came across as pretty smarmy in May.

            In fact it wouldnt surprise me at all if he was ‘drafted’ in, in some way as it become apparent that Albo and the current Canberra ALP gang were on course for an electoral iceberg come next election. I reckon he would come up OK against Scotty from Marketing – certainly in Victoria, but quite possibly elsewhere as well. Scotty is a very Sydney centric being, and he is currently resting on a very discredited LNP stablemate, as well as having a menagerie of ‘tickle from the top’ types in his party room.

          • Not really, Gunna. In fact, you chipped me for making the point ages ago right at the start of the lockdown that Andrews would drift through the whole thing unscathed and that it would all be forgotten by the next Victorian state election. You commented that anyone holding such a belief didn’t understand the virus.

    • It was only a couple of days ago that Scummy demanded that Sydney residents should be able to holiday where they like.

    • “…States need to do what ever they need to do to keep their people safe.”
      Like cancelling the 300 overseas flights into Sydney.
      WTF why are planes full of Covid infected passengers and crew allowed in from the USAof all places ?
      Oh yeah, snap back.

          • Lol so all those covid passengers are flying in just so we can air freight the vaccine. Greed is the reason flights are still flying in. Air freight is possible minus the covid passengers.

          • Plenty of other important stuff comes in via air: medical supplies and equipment, critical spare parts, technicians to fix equipment etc.
            But yeah, some commentator on MB who luxuriates in authoritarian lock-downs knows better.

            Just a complete loss of perspective, – what are we at, 4500 cases in a NSW population of 8,000,000.
            Of course thats the problem, no matter how harsh the lockdown or how well contract tracers work to get on top of it, no credit is given – only rubes with no ability to balance risk calling for the easiest option – even harsher lock-downs. The CCP is proud of you.
            Everything must be sacrificed on the covid alter.

          • Air freight does not require passengers, air freight on passenger planes only happens for cost reasons and in a time like this we can afford to keep all air freight segregated to non passenger flights.

            Returning Australians do not need to fly into capital cities. Returning Australians do not need to be on commercial flights.
            Quarantine does not need to be conducted in commercial businesses that are not designed or equipped for quarantine.
            There are better ways to do things.

            The LNP and business lobby are proud of you, stooge

    • And Green is gone for 11. That makes him the current second highest scorer this innings for Australia.

    • Just about to turn it off through extreme irritation.

      However I feel a bit for Wade, this sh!t aint his fault but he’s in the firing line after Burns now. Assuming Green is persisted with.

        • Pah – his results are totally reliant on one of Warner or Smith getting runs. He managed not to win the Ashes last year despite having the superior team.

      • Just like a typical modern executive with an MBA. Talk up everything as being really positive and a refuse to acknowledge any problems. See also politicians and sports administrators.

        Watched ‘the test’ and cringed at how pumped up he got when new batsman (I think it was Joe Burns) in the team got runs against Sri Lanka at home. Yeah mate, he’s ‘arrived’.

    • There is a solution, but the politicians want to pass it on to the next generation.

      They are too scared of the consequences now, so they just leave it til later when the consequences will be worse.

    • I’m very pleased to learn of Mr Audi being shot dead by the plod. I hope he suffered intense agony and was aware of his approaching doom every second of the way.

      If there is a god etc, I hope he’s in he’ll being rogered furiously by pigs.

  5. got my international trading account ready so I can buy Mountain Pass and there is no way doing it now.. up ~200% since I wanted to go in around Nov.
    this hurts.

    • Most mortifying night I have ever spent was tripping for 24 hours then going to a work party in a restaurant.

      I hope I have never told the story here. I cringe when I think of it and it is half a lifetime away and I haven’t talked to anyone from that tine for over two decades.

      Wasn’t even that bad behaviour, but a terrible memory.


      • When I was in Botswana I was chatting to someone about it. LSD and he told me or a bad trip he had. He was ex German army and had a bad trip involving his military experience.

        Kind of put me off the whole idea to be honest. Some have sold me certain anti malarial drugs can give similar effects..

        • It wasn’t seeing anything that wasn’t there, it was a visual distortion, like fractals and kaleidoscopes around the edges of focus.

          And I think the fckers chucked in a decent bit of gak cause I was grinding my teeth for 2 days

          • You just described my 20’s lol

            Edit: you can have all the rack in the world harry, all I want is a barrel of classic wet gak lol, oh man, those were the days.

            Edit edit: I’m done corrupting the arvo chat with filthy drug talk, apologies to any that don’t approve/were triggered, I’m off to bed. Got a big day tomorrow gardening and communing with gaia.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            I once suffered complete ego death when I accidentally took a squirt of liquid LSD at a rave after mistaking it for breath freshener. I have to say the Euphoria I experienced for days or weeks afterwards lent credence for me of those reports on its use in treating PTSD.

          • GunnamattaMEMBER

            I’ve actually been cogitating on an MB Christmas break podcast where I get people on line and interview them, and then mix the lot up for a couple of hours of spatially discombobulated listening with a strong rant aftertaste.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            I didn’t say it was bad Skip, just epic. I was an experienced cybernaut at the time and had already taken a couple mollies so started in a positive headspace even though I end up candy flipping pretty hard. I suspect I accidentally took a 1960’s still does in the milligrams as opposed to micrograms, apparently Ego death is a common experience for such large OD’s:


            It was an interesting experience having ones sense of self return to consciousness. The only thing to equal it was when I huffed some DMT – but then that trip only lasted 5 minutes. My mate was greedy and ended up speaking to the Machine Elves…. he gave up weed for months afterwards.

          • @Stewie
            Had that ego death experience when I was 17.
            5 of us devoured a sleeping bag cover full of Goldies, not the cover mind you.
            The world dropped out from under me and I was in an ocean of light and colour, not in it so much as one with it.
            I was so blown away that when I got home I told the old man about it. Luckily he was reading about Cortez and the Incas giving him the sacred mushroom ( the Flesh of the Gods) so he was very understanding and wanted to have a go.
            I told him I would get him some if he knocked o the grog for a week… never happened.
            That was over 50 years ago and remains one of the high lights (sic) of my life.

        • First and only time I popped LSD was my brothers bucks weekend. I took it, sat there for a bit and thought “This isn’t doing anything. I gotta take a p!ss.”

          Spent the next hour chatting to the dragon in the toilet bowl. One of my brothers mates (also tripping) found me sitting there talking to the toilet bowl and brought in his dragon. Then we went out and joined the rest of the boys and their dragons.

          Fkn surreal.

        • Jesus you lot

          It’s just like having 20 cans of ouzo and coke at the moose head then doing a melb uni ski/board or rmit snow club pub crawl with 500 drinks

          Same same

          All bad

    • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

      Only three rules with that stuff:
      1. Cars are real;
      2. You can’t fly; and
      3. Mirrors are evil.

      • Spot on, although when I lived in a Hippy house in Bourke street in the ’60’sI had a Taxi driver mate who loved to drive when tripping. One memorable experience was 6 of us putting a lounge and arm chairs in the back of a small truck and this guy driving us up to the Hakesbury, where we had our country retreat which we rented for $4 per week.
        See my post above

        • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

          Yeah it was a weird sensation – honestly not knowing who you are, where you are. Like some Autonamon randomly placed on the earth, turned on for the first time and becoming self aware and asking itself “Who am I? What am I? What is my purpose?”

    • Keep right away from Japanese Horror movies, don’t think of the human anatomy, and don’t look at yourself. Many years ago, friend of mine was on a really good trip, until his skin disappeared, and claimed he could see his muscles, heart lungs, stomach,… He was glad to see the end of it, as stewie said, “mirrors are evil”.

      Have a listen to, Neil Young’s, Last Trip to Tulsa. You’ll get an idea of what you’re in for.

      One more thing, if you come out the otherside saying, “that was the best s3x I’ve ever had”. Try finding the other person first, before telling anyone about it. That was another friend, different story.

      • Advice is advice but I think a lot of MB shut ins are confusing a perceived lack of familiarity with drugs/LSD with my reluctance to do said things. I’m some what of an old hand and as such the reluctance is borne of a long break and age induced respect for past bad experiences and also respect for the power of substances not previously shared with a 10 ft tall and bulletproof version of myself.

        Migs absolute failure to be a positive tripper is what has scared me off. I have been that person in the past and do not seek to repeat it, as such I’m vacating the city and going for a more low key and familiar setting.

        As for all this fear of mirrors, bahahahahaha stop repeating reefer madness shtick. I literally only used to do LSD for mirror sessions. Lol some of you guys sound like my high school guidance councillor mkay

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      It’s diamond plated now. Got an upgrade today.

      Betcha they know who it was but don’t want to embarrass someone notable.

      • happy valleyMEMBER

        Yeah, self-anointed of course, by NSW Health Minister Hazzard – LNP gubmints are not short on ego? But’s let not talk about Ruby Princess – dead, buried and cremated, literally and figuratively?

    • That has been an issue in Germany for a few years where traditionally property speculation was unknown. German media has the same stories about the boomers vs younger families.

      • I told a friend who is in theGerman diplomatic service she had to buy something in Germany about 6 years ago when she was on her reccy visit before the next posting. She was moving back to Beijing and was shocked at how rental prices had gone up between her two postings. I told her about our price explosion here in oz, the role immigration and Chinese buying had had etc and I told her it would happen in Germany too as Chinese were looking further afield for re than Aus NZ Canada and Asia. I explained how so many Aussies who previously would have been able to buy had been priced out of a home in their own country, explained that [email protected] can happen in life and maybe her kids won’t be able to earn money like she cocould etc through no fault of theirs. She was horrified but she’d been saving money for years and had a heap just sitting the bank. She arranged her rental in bj, went back to Germany, bought a flat in Berlin with a tenant, came back to Beijing and thanked me for safe guarding her family’s future. I’m so glad she listened to me as she doesn’t come from a privileged background.

    • How good is low rates? How good is inequality? How good is low wage growth? How good is it to be the most educated generation ever and yet have less opportunity than your parents?

  6. I see that Andrew Hastie has been made Assistant Minister for Defence.
    That’ll be the end of his fearless commentary from the back bench then.

  7. I just found out that a friend and his family contracted covid. They are all in America. He is a nurse and the hospital he works at asked him to keep going in even though he was infectious. What a mess.

  8. Looks like the Sydney to Hobart is at risk because a third of the crew members across the fleet live in the Northern Beaches and Tassie won’t let them in!

  9. Home and Away China virus outbreak.
    Avalon migrant / traveller virus contagion.

    Calls for Spit Bridge to welded up, other roads closed and the Manly Ferries chained to the wharf.
    Queensland already has a Sydney Northern Beaches China virus infected case – and there will be more.
    And now QLD & other States soon in 2 week quarantine if you have been to the Sydney Northern Beaches.
    Good luck with validation of that, It will have to be anyone in greater Sydney and that’s a lot of Gold Coast holiday cancellations. .

    Meanwhile we find international flight crews never had any formal quarantine. Just voluntary self isolation.
    Perhaps the highest risk group in mass close proximity migrant & traveller people exposure & in confined spaces…
    And International Flight crews for what?
    TR foreign students coming in to work illegally along with foreign national Indian or Chinese PR coming back to suck up our welfare – whilst our genuine Australian citizens remain abandoned overseas.

    In the real world outside of our little Australia bubble..

    The Wuhan labs / China virus is going gangbusters.

    WHO say over 75 million ‘officially infected’ and suspected 140 million really infected as they lose track of the virus spread.
    Over 1.6 million ‘official’ deaths so far.
    So 2% death rate officially, probably only 1% as really twice as many actually infected.
    Old, obese and health compromised in deaths.

    Will the Chinese Virus infect most people global before any global vaccination threshold of say 70% is reached?

    Eg : India – their best case is 300 million vaccinated by the end of 2022 !! what about the other 1 billion?..

    Big pharma clearly did their modelling.
    The maximised profit is delay until the new virus is well established & truely pandemic, in the meantime suck up the 1.6 trillion governments have tipped into research, to finally create… a very fragile high cost & complex storage & transportation ‘cure’ – with ‘selective vaccination’ that is behind the constantly accelerating global virus spread.

    But it’s possible the western world or nations like China or Russia could head off the current strain of virus deaths in preventive vaccination of high risk groups.

    As long as the virus doesn’t mutate to be vaccination resistant.

    This Corona / Sars virus is apparently slow to mutate – some say 5 to 10 times slower than an influenza virus.
    But like the Spanish flu or other global disease pandemics, it could mutate into major new & vaccine resistant strain.

    A significant mutation of the Chinese virus may also target younger or healthier population segments (to make them much more sick to cough, breath out or spread the virus contagion aerosol & splatter – to infect the human population not covered by the current vaccines that will protect the old, obese & unhealthy at risk groups.

    (See selective vaccination ‘shapes’ diseases to target non vaccinated population groups with a much higher impact to assist the disease spread.. TB, Hep, Dengue, Malaria, NDM-1, Diphtheria etc).


    The only prevention Australian can put in place?

    Total & complete hard border controls, with offshore or isolated rural prison camp like quarantine for any migrant travellers.

    Until maybe most at risk Australians are vaccinated.

    And even then, will that prevent the Chinese virus entering Australia as it goes mass pandemic globally?

    Or later mutations that may require a new vaccine?.

  10. Who-boy …. Our national security narrative is calculated misdirection. Look to domestic boardrooms, not Beijing, for the architects of American decline.

    The globalist crowd seems intent on brushing aside the past four years as an anomaly. Yet there are solid reasons why a reality TV star came out of nowhere in 2016 to defeat the establishment favorite. No doubt it has something to do with the aforementioned celebrity broaching a taboo that officials on both sides of the aisle have studiously avoided. That is, the subject of billionaires playing a vicious game of global labor arbitrage. One that hollowed out America’s middle class by pitting national workforces against each other in an epic race to the bottom. – snip

    So I guess …. some would now have to call this site some commie socialist propaganda mill …. hilarious stuff …..

    • Correct, Trumpism isn’t going away to the chagrin of elites.
      Therefore the censorship and election rigging, overt and covert needs to be rolled out.

      • Who said or inferred any of that loon pond stuff … FFS Trump does not care or give a sh!te about his flock or fixing anything … Just look at is legal efforts focusing on only states that might get him reelected and not challenging the entire count, where he might lose a previous win. If the voting system has issues its not just a matter of the states he lost … duh … its systemic.

        The post is in relation to the fact that Trump is the President “they had to have” because of all the past rubbish due to Corporatist ideology E.g. it clearly states the agency is not a – China Drama – but the machinations over some time by board rooms and the C-suite looking for a fast buck E.g. China is not the core agency behind all of Americas issues i.e. its self inflicted.

        • LOL. The country of Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM etc etc. And yet who provides the voting machines and equipment … Dominion Voting Systems, a company that gets murkier the more you look. Start with reading the public reports to the Texas Secretary of State as to why this company was denied certification twice in 2019 as a provider.
          It doesn’t inspire confidence.

          • Please I was aware of Bev’s work back in the day and your pleas about one mob being good guys and the others the bad is rubbish E.g Diebold was a republican project.

            BTW all those enterprises got the way they were because of the libertarian project.

    • “The American Conservative” (or Trump) cares about workers and the middle classes ?

      You’re gonna have to colour me sceptical on that one. 🙂

      • Don’t see where the article is pro Trump drsmithy … it clearly starts off with corporate bigwigs and I’m having a hard time just finding his name in the post – for some reason. Kinda surprised – you – would inject Trump into a post that talks about agency which predates Trumps involvement.