Macro Afternoon

See the latest Australian dollar analysis here:

Macro Afternoon

Risk markets are having a mixed start to the week after absorbing the NFP/US Unemployment print on Friday night, with weekend machinations help push down risk spirits somewhat. This is exemplified in the performance of Bitcoin since it seemingly topped out on Friday night just below the $42000 level and lost nearly $9000 or some 20% today before settling very weakly at the $35000 level. The hourly chart shows the one day plummet has wiped out nearly all of this years gains (sic):

The Shanghai Composite is hovering as a scratch session going into the close, down 0.1% to 3565 points, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index is still lifting higher, up some 0.7% to be above 28000 points. Japanese markets are closed while trading in the USDJPY pair sees it burst above the 104 handle, continuing its surge off the December lows:

The ASX200 was the standout, unable to comeback after a seemingly good retail sales number and losing nearly 1% to finish just below the former 6700 point barrier while the Australian dollar also flopped alongside other undollar assets, heading down to four hourly support and just below the 77 handle proper:

Eurostoxx and S&P futures are clawing back some of their Friday night gains going into the European open but the effect so far has been muted with the four hourly chart of the S&P500 still showing a lot of buying support as it gets ready to go much higher than the 3800 point level:

The economic calendar is very quiet tonight, with a few speeches to watch out for, notably ECB President Lagarde, but also its time for second breakfast, I mean impeachment, so watch for some political chaos in Washington, although so far risk markets have ignored the action.

Latest posts by Chris Becker (see all)


  1. Remote working can slash operational costs by one third … Capgemini Research Institute / Consultancy EU …

    Remote working can slash operational costs by one third … Capgemini Research Institute / Consultancy EU

    As productivity persists under remote working arrangements, businesses are starting to save on real estate and other expenses, which delivers a sizeable cut to operational costs. A new Capgemini report zooms in on this trend.

    Capgemini Research Institute surveyed more than 500 organisations from various sectors around the world, featuring 5,000 employee responses – supplemented by expert and academic interviews. The goal was to examine how the workforce is evolving under the Covid-19 paradigm.

    In focus is the shift to remote working. Initially an emergency response to lockdown measures introduced back in March, remote working has gradually come to be a norm across global markets. In many cases, this is a product of extended restrictions on travel and work, which make virtual operations a necessity. … read more via hyperlink above …
    Capgemini Research Institute
    India Update … MB Post …

    United Kingdom Update … MB Post …

      • Presumably you work at a home – just not your home …

        I am also with you on this – and I am a CFO of a big unlisted business. I think we will see a mix of WFH and a mandated minimum of work from office. And a lot of scrutiny from bean counters about what everyone is actually doing at home.

        As Pee Wee Herman says when told that Francis is busy …. “Oh really? Busy doing what?”

          • Naw kid I’ll play with the dogs and have a beer, then sort some other stuff then pop in for a shower, btw people that sweat a lot and eat well don’t suffer the same issues that those that don’t and need clouds of perfume to cover it up.

          • Dallas United States: 25 year old teacher Lani Huang tells her story living on $58,400 a year with her recently purchased home of $155,000 …

            … therefore house price 2.6 times her single income … with boyfriend under strict instructions to contribute additional funding …

            How a 25-year-old teacher making $58,000 in Dallas spends her money … VIDEO … CNBC


            Lani Huang, 25, earns $58,400 as a public middle school math teacher in Dallas. She made an additional $1,212 from teaching virtual summer school and making instructional math videos for her school district and recently bought a home for $155,000. This is an instalment of CNBC Make It’s Millennial Money series, which profiles people around the world and details how they earn, spend and save their money.
            Isn’t Ms Huang fortunate living in America … and … why are the young elsewhere being unnecessarily denied the same opportunities ? …

            2020 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey
            … 2021 17th Edition – release Monday 25 January 2021 …


    • This is clever thinking – instead of subsidising our own car industry, we’re subsidising those of other countries.

    • means we are just doing what yanks did many years ago sometime around 2010. Normally we lag 10 years or thereabouts. We did same with the RE bubble and created one 10 years later. As we lack any sophistication or creativity we will just copy/paste rather than, as you suggested, tweaking it and promote EVs.
      The only creativity we show is on extending the bubble to a point where it will completely obliterate us all.

      And as per JohnR’s.

      • Cash for clunkers. A stupid program. Unnecessary in Vic. If they want the old s-heaps off the road Victoria should simply introduce the annual safety inspection like nsw.

        I used to rent workspace at a RWC centre and I’ve been underneath plenty of cars on the hoist lending a hand or giving a second opinion. Vic cars are not as well maintained as those in NSW. The average person is ignorant of the most obvious safety issues like tyres and brakes because they rely on the stealership. It costs to keep a car in tip top order so once they’re even just a few years old people will skimp on servicing and miss out on the recommended repair.

        • +100 this scrappage scheme is exactly what we don’t need if we want to meet carbon targets. New cars require enormous energy to produce. Keeping old cars in good shape is far better for the Environment, plus this is just a subsidy for dealers and foreign car companies.

          • ” if we want to meet carbon targets”
            Fortunately we have completely outsourced the manufacture of cars so it’s someone elses targets that need to be worried about.

        • The average person in NSW has no idea also.

          Its just you need to get a slip every year in NSW so it gets done for them.

    • innocent bystanderMEMBER

      was reading those links the other day about Norway and EVs being more than 50% of the new car market now and the most popular was the Audi E etc so I had a look at Oz pricing – north of $150k. This EV thingy might take a while.

      • Just need some big tax rebates. Australians don’t care how much money they’re throwing away so long as they think they’re getting one over on the taxman.

        • innocent bystanderMEMBER

          maybe, can’t see govt coming to the party tho.
          mate just bought a new MG EV, has to wait 6 months for delivery, think they are in the $40k-$50k range.
          he will have some cheap running costs until they bring in pay by the km – I will have to ask him what built in tracking is in em

        • They could make buying a Tesla for one’s tenant fully tax deductible and negative gearable. That should do it.

    • Hahaha The Andrews govt is slogging EVs with a great big fuel excise tax – only state in the world to penalise EV ownership.

  2. – The USD seems to have bottomed and seems to be moving higher. This is occurring with the silver-gold ratio taking a hit. Doesn’t look that well for the stock markets ………………………. It will be interesting to see whether or not this signals a turning point for the markets………………….

    • UK Variant of the Chinese Virus

      If the 10 year treasury moves higher I think we see money move out of overbought sectors and into treasuries.

          • if 10Y hits 1.5% I think markets will crash because of all that corporate and private debt that can’t withstand much higher rates. Defaults will be at a scale that even CBs won’t be able to save enough of them to prevent the crash.

  3. just called Commsec International and message says: please be aware aproximate waiting time is 1 hour.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      The hour wait – Australian Customer Service in the 2020s

      I called TPG about 2 weeks ago and got the ‘the current wait is an hour’ message, and I called AGL about a month ago and got that message from them too. TPG offered to call me back, and when they did it was a day later. I left my number with AGL and now get SMS advertising about 5 days a week. Of course I have called ANZ not long ago, and got that message and waited the hour for a customer service type to tell me I needed to call another number, and then had another half hour wait for that number, with the person telling me I needed to go into a Branch (I was asking for a reduction on the 3.74% interest on my mortgage). Then when I went into ANZ they told me they would have to wait until they had served other customers and then agreed I could be getting a lower rate – and made me feel I had something wrong with me when they said ‘we do tell clients to check their mortgage every 6 months’ – which they said they would effect then and there, but which still hasnt been effected according to my online bank account. Of course the ‘hour wait’ phenomena can also be experienced in the public sector, as I did with the ATO back in September, and of course that necessitated another hour wait with Services Australia (listening to shite muzak interrupted every 45 seconds by some tosspot telling me ‘We value your call’ while trying to get me to go online – where I had already established I couldnt get the answer I wanted). Of course all that came after endless hours trying to get hold of some sort of assistance or guidance for my wife and daughter from DFAT, and Qantas, where they arent averse to making punters wait on the line, and they are averse to clearly stating the information sometimes required on their web pages (or in the case of DFAT facilitating people registering their status as an offshore Australian wanting to come home – they have since moved it to the very front of their ‘SmartTraveller’ page, as I posited they could do back in September)…..

      Welcome to contemporary Australian customer service. All these online systems designed to tell people exactly what the managements of organisations want to tell people, or to facilitate what those managements want to facilitate. Of course if you have something outside the ordinary, or something those managements dont want to facilitate, then you need to get through to talk to someone. Your options are to get someone on line, who will invariably be a peon working from a ‘script’ which invariably offers the same advice and guidance as the web page, and invariably that will be an hour wait, and invariably you will be told every minute of that hour that you can do things on their web page if you would like, and equally invariably will be told that your calls will be recorded for coaching purposes (as though some part of organisational training revolves around sitting and listening to unhappy campers calling the call centre).

      That call being recorded isnt really to coach anyone, it is merely to bully the person making the call into thinking that if they get remotely angry then they may find themselves in legal hot water, or, worse, find their call being ceased, due to any irritation being discerned on the part of the peon. For the uninitiated the correct response is to wait politely until the peon registers their presence and to tell them that you are operating under legal advice and are also recording their call. At this point the peon will often tell you that you are being put through to their ‘team leader’ or ‘supervisor’ or whatever it is they have – and often that may well be the person to whom you would want to speak anyway.

      At the point where you get the peon and manage to get it through to the peon that your circumstances dont quite match their script you can often find yourself literally cut off, and sometimes the same happens when you are transferred to the aforementioned team leader or supervisor. From there, sometimes you get complete agreement from the person on the other end of the telephone line and a promise to effect whatever it is that needs effecting, and sort of become aware days or weeks later that the effort has had no discernible effect on anything.

      I actually suspect – indeed strongly believe – that it is this style of customer service which has been a far larger part of getting whole electorates extremely peeved with managements across whole fields of human day to day exigency, than the straight out bull our politicians keep serving up. The default setting, by companies and organisations across Australia, that ‘It isnt our problem, it’s your problem, and it isn’t our problem until we are told. And the only way to tell us is through our systems, which are designed to not enable anyone to tell us anything we dont like. And you will continue living with whatever you think is a problem, no matter how irritating it is for you, because you signed up to the contract or you voted for us or we are your only provider.’

      Indeed I must confess that there are moments (often when I have waited on the line for a considerable period of time and have heard someone tell me ‘we value your call’ when it is palpably obvious that the given organisation does not) that I think to myself ugly, evil and anti social thoughts. Thoughts like how nice it would be to be able to distil a really nice potent version of Covid(for example) and to dab it on the underside of the door handles of various executives’ cars, or maybe to break into said cars and defecate on the drivers seat.

      Years ago I was in a pub in Ireland when a plate went round for donations to support a young womans legal case. She had been working in the pub when someone who had signed her up for a mortgage she couldnt afford came in for a feed and she had stabbed him in the face with a fork. That is the sort of white hot anger bred by corporate malfeasance, and customer service of the type many Australians experience on a daily basis is a sort of malfeasance. And every time I hear that ‘hour wait’ message I think to myself ‘It wont be me’ but have a moments understanding for whoever it is.

      Maybe I need an evening Camberwell Carrot….

      Thats a 16 word statement by Niko at 1840 get an 1140 word reply at 1937 – all written straight off the cuff……….Just imagine that sort of productivity driving some of the nutters in our community

      • Beautifully written Gunna.

        Im small business and spend all day long on the phone getting that experience. If I gave that experience to my customers I’d be expecting a punch in the face. If/When you get the BS party up can you add compulsory customer service benchmarks to your platform?

      • I love it how you get the “we are experiencing higher call numbers than usual” spiel before they tell you have an hour long wait (if they bother telling you at all). It must be a coincidence that I always only call at the times they aren’t expecting people to call but when everyone does.

        • I love the bit on that page where it says “In fact, a study by Nuance tells us that customers respond positively to being able to find their own answers.”
          Of course finding our own answers is a positive experience – it avoids having to wait an hour or more to deal with a fcukw!t who can’t understand our problems, let alone solve them…

          • Significantly difficult. However, the time spent browsing the internet and vendor’s knowledge bases is time spent not listening to muzak punctuated by ads and exhortations to stay on the line as my call is important.

      • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

        Please make this a full post on website, I’ve experienced the same thing many times over. DSS is probably the worst, I’ve waited for over 3 hours (to sort out my Mum’s pension issue) only to get the script, be elevated and then cut off…after a week of that bs we went into their office, we lined up outside the doors an hour before opening time so we were 2nd in the queue. A good 20 people turned up before opening time…and this was 2019, well before COVID.

      • Failed Baby BoomerMEMBER

        Thanks and very well articulated Gunna!
        I have also experienced similar frustrations and came to your conclusions, but lacked your skills to express my thoughts.

      • “That call being recorded isnt really to coach anyone, it is merely to bully the person making the call into thinking that if they get remotely angry then they may find themselves in legal hot water, ”
        It is so they have a recording to use as evidence if you claim you didn’t say or agree to whatever, or try to claim they didn’t tell you it would lock you in for the next 30 years. They can’t record you without telling you hence the training purposes BS/

      • Tried calling Vicroads to ask a few simple questions about the process of transferring my car interstate. Hour long wait. Hung up.

  4. reusachtigeMEMBER

    This Twitter comment about Big Tech cancelling Trump and his supporters and removing the sex Parler ap from devices and AWS hosting stood out to me…

    “This is huge!
    Decentralized application trend incoming!”.

    This place is full of IT geeks so maybe one of youse could explain???

  5. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    Tether printed $1.4bn over the weekend:

    My starting assumption with crypto is that it is a manipulated market. When you have the ability to effortlessly print billions of liquidity you can move an otherwise liquidity constrained market in any direction you wish.

    Consequently although 20% over 3 days may seem large to most people it should be technically enough to flush out weak vol without freaking the hodlers who are use to such moves. I can’t see any ‘news’ trigger to justify an end to the immediate ponzi, so my base assumption is that it will continue.

    I put a BTC long on at $33.3k with a take profit at $40k – I’m expecting another long tail rebound like what is observable around the 4th and 5th of Jan. Stop $32.3k

    Since I’m using TDXP even if I lose I win! 🙂 Earning 18% pa now on a daily compounded basis (albeit on only 10 days worth of history).

    • RobotSenseiMEMBER

      I did similar when I saw it going south last night at 3am (night shift; I’m not weird) and rebought today at around your level. I might buy more tomorrow if it hasn’t moved. Now that it’s had a taste at 40k, you figure there will be momentum towards it.

      And if not, I can HODL for yeeeeears.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Yeah – buy and hold is more of my trading style too. Just put it out there because I was having a conversation with Ex-MB commentator who went by the name of a furry fruit, that I thought crypto was a manipulated market and that I didn’t think we were ‘there’ yet, so basically put my money were my mouth is. Looking like I’m gunna have to eat more humble pie there as my stop is about to be hit! Lol

  6. Ronin8317MEMBER

    There is a Chinese proverb which describes what Trump is doing. 指鹿為馬. Roughly it translates to ‘Pointing to a deer saying it’s a horse’. The story behind the idiom is a Chinese Prime Minister saying something that is blatantly false to gauge who will support him in a coup. That’s what Trump’s claims about election fraud is all about. Some of those who stormed Capital Hills may genuinely believe that, but none of the Republican House members and Senators are that gullible. When the Republican leadership refuse to support a coup, Trump sent his supporters to Capital Hill to show his displeasure.

    Even after all these, the Republican Party still refuse to impeach Trump, leaving Trump another two weeks to try again. Next time Trump may actually succeed.

    That’s why the tech companies have gotten together and gave Trump the ‘internet death sentence’ : the oligarghcy have no interest to end up like Jack Ma (where is he anyway??) . If Congress cannot stop Trump, they will. The PGA have just cancelled their tour at Trump’s gold course, and you can expect more and more companies to disengage from Trump. I expect his business empire will soon be destroyed because no banks will lend him money. The ‘cure’ is now worse than the disease. It won’t be long before politicians become too afraid to speak their mind for fear they will be ‘censored’ and destroyed.

    The US military is hoping it’s all a bad dream. They know how it works, as they have instigated this kind of unrest all over the world throughout history, most recently with the ‘coloured revolutions’.

  7. “Republicans who say we can’t impeach a president 10 days before an inauguration had no trouble confirming a Supreme Court justice 8 days before an election.”

    Too true.