Houses and Holes


Dastayari Affair reaches Washington

Via the ABC: Leading American political figures have seized on the Sam Dastyari scandal to highlight the threats posed by Beijing to Western democracies. A bipartisan congressional-executive commission on China has heard evidence of growing Communist Party influence in the United States, and towards allies such as Australia and New Zealand. The donations scandal that ended


Webinar: Bitcoin or Bitcon?

Enjoy: ———————————————————————– David Llewellyn-Smith is chief strategist at the MB Fund which is currently long local bonds and international equities that offer superior growth and benefit from a falling AUD so he is definitely talking his book. Here’s the recent fund performance: Source: Linear, Factset The returns above include fees and trading costs on a


Purple-bricks makes inroads

Via the AFR: UK fixed-fee disruptor Purplebricks sold $1.1 billion of residential real estate – around 2200 homes – in its first 14 months of operations in Australia, the company has disclosed as part of its latest interim results. Revenue from its Australian business surged to £6.8 million ($11.9 million) for the six months ended October 31 – up from £400,000


BTFD US dip!

DXY firmed overnight: AUD surged on: It demolished EMs: Gold rose: Brent too: And base metals: But big miners fell: And EM stocks: Junk was OK: Treasuries were sold: Bunds too: Stocks fell: Four events of note. US retail sales boomed: Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for November 2017, adjusted for


What kind of economic damage will the Dastayari Affair do?

Black Hole Malcolm continues the Bennelong assault, via the AFR: Malcolm Turnbull has tried to blame Labor for an anti-Liberal backlash brewing among Bennelong’s Chinese-Australian community by claiming it was the Opposition which stirred the trouble. With the byelection on Saturday and polls showing Liberal candidate John Alexander a nose ahead of Labor’s Kristina Keneally,


Bill Evans: Australian dollar to slump

Via Westpac: We confirm our forecast that the AUD will drift even lower in 2018 ending the year at around USD 0.70. Readers will be aware that one core driver of this expected deterioration in the AUD is our view that the overnight yield differential between Australia and the US will narrow significantly. Our target


AUSTRAC expands CBA terrorism allegations

Via The Australian: The anti-money laundering agency has dramatically expanded its suite of allegations against the Commonwealth Bank, with new claims the nation’s largest bank failed to adequately monitor suspected terrorist financiers and alert them to authorities. …The bank now faces more than 53,800 alleged contraventions of the anti-money laundering act. Six transactions by five


Daily iron ore price update (a year of two halves)

Iron ore price charts for December 14, 2018: Tianjin benchmark rose 40 cents to $70.10. Paper is faltering. Steel is falling. Yesterday’s China data saw steel production fall heavily on Winter shutdowns in November: But cement remained very strong: I think what we’re seeing in these numbers is that supply has been hit harder than


Jobs takes: Curb your enthusiam

At one end is Westpac: November’s headline employment gain exceeded expectations by a significant margin but we would caution before interpret this as suggesting an acceleration in labour demand. As we highlighted in our preview, the weaker than expected October print associated with a falling participation suggested that sample volatility may have been behind the


ASX nudges towards new highs

There’s nothing like a crapped out economy to drive shares higher: It would have been even better had jobs not printed so strong. Big Consumer is taking some MYR pain but not too bad: Big Iron is up: Pensioner killing is too: Big Gold is rebounding already: Big Sleazy if off on AUSTRAC: And Big


Jobs go boom!

ABS Labour Force for November is out and the news is boom! Versus 19k expected: SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE)  Employment increased 61,600 to 12,403,000. Full-time employment increased 41,900 to 8,501,900 and part-time employment increased 19,700 to 3,901,100. Unemployment increased 4,100 to 707,700. The number of unemployed persons looking for full-time work increased 2,500 to


Jobs report signals strong

Before Labour Force at 11.30, from Westpac: It is true that the October rise in employment was softer than expected, +3.7k vs market expectations of an 18k rise, but this should be put into context that October was the 13th consecutive monthly rise in total employment. This is longest stretch of positive employment prints since the


Australia’s China meltdown turns nuclear

Via The Australian: Australia’s ambassador to China has been called into the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a dressing down over the Turnbull government’s foreign interference laws amid accusations by Beijing that anti-China ­rhetoric is damaging the relationship. In a sign of the increasing tensions between the two governments, Jan Adams was officially summoned


AUSTRAC piles pain upon Sleaze Bank

Via the AFR: AUSTRAC will up the ante in its case against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, with the transactions regulator expecting to file fresh allegations on Thursday that it breached the law 100 additional times while facilitating banking by criminal syndicates involved in money laundering and terrorist financing. Commonwealth Bank filed its defence to


AGL, NAB: Coal dead

Via Reneweconomy: AGL says no private investor would invest in new coal plant, but says battery storage is coming and will be major game changer as costs fall – which may not be far away. Several days after formally rejecting federal government requests that it invest hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the ageing


Manufacturing lobby embraces suicidal gas benchmark

From the AIG: “The ACCC’s latest gas market update confirms that the gas crisis has shifted down a gear since early 2017 – but it also confirms Australian industry’s concerns that we are still far from affordable energy,” Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said today. “More supply is clearly being made available in


ASX crawls, Australian dollar leaps higher

The ASX is mounting another challenge for new highs in its unmistakably bullish ascending triangle chart: This despite the AUD being well bid: Bonds are selling too so its a generalised lift in Australians growth sentiment for no obvious reason. Fatigued bears. The ASX is firing on both cylinders, of dirt: And debt: As The


Has Beijing handed Bennelong to Labor?

From The Australian: Malcolm Turnbull admitted today the government is “fighting to hold” Bennelong ahead of this weekend’s crucial by-election. “We’re focused on winning but the polls are very tight. We are fighting to hold that seat,” the prime minister said, before joining Liberal candidate John Alexander for another media event in the electorate. Mr


Half of mortgagees in “dire straits” with two rate hikes

Via Domainfax: More than half of Australian homeowners with a mortgage would be in dire straits if their repayments increased by more than $100 a month, new data shows. A nationwide survey found 54 per cent of borrowers do not think they could handle a repayment rise of more than $23 a week. Worse still,


Consumer sentiment bounces

Via Westpac: • The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 3.6% to 103.3 in December from 99.7 in November. This is a surprisingly strong result and confirms the lift we have seen in the Index over the last three months. The average reading for the Index in the December quarter is 5% above