Houses and Holes


On a dark Friday, a new weapon

To finish a pants-shitting week, lets go to the weekend in crisply pressed strides, only with nasty skid marks: China has developed the world’s first portable sonic gun for riot control, the Chinese Academy of Sciences said. The rifle-shaped instrument, which was jointly developed with military and law enforcement, is designed to disperse crowds using


What does China really want?

Via strategic doyen Ross Babbage, Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Forum Pty Ltd and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in Washington DC. Dr Babbage is also Managing Director of Strategy International, a national security consulting and educational services company. Dr Babbage formerly held the position as Head


Can US property reflate the global economy?

Via Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: US existing home sales surprised to the upside, rising by 1.3% in August, taking year-ended growth higher to 2.6% from 0.6%. Housing demand was looking weak at the end of 2018, but now it seems to be turning around, largely in response to lower bond yields and mortgage rates.


McKibbin: Let the devil hold RBA to account

Via Warwick McKibbin today: In recent weeks, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has signalled his intent to endorse a new Statement on the Conduct of Monetary Policy. Typically, amendments to The Statement have occurred with a change in government or a change in Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). It is critically important that this


“Panic selling” crashes coking coal, Budget next

Goodbye Budget. Via Mining: The Australian export price of metallurgical coal (FOB hard coking coal Fastmarkets MB) used in steelmaking tanked 7% to $122.50 a tonne. That’s down almost $70 a tonne compared to the start of the year. Fastmarkets MB in a market report says the availability of ample cargoes of lower quality seaborne


Recessionberg tramples disabled and dead for surplus

Josh Recessionberg collects his Golden Turd award at The Australian today: The principal driver was a record number of Australians in work, with 300,000 people finding a job, 100,000 more than Treasury forecast. This has the effect of increasing tax receipts and decreasing payments as people move from welfare to work. Export earnings in the


Government needs a lot more jails for bosses

A lot more. Via Domain: Attorney-General Christian Porter says he is prepared to legislate “significant” wage theft penalties – likely to be up to 10 years’ jail – to deter the “unacceptable” practice of persistently underpaying workers, as the government grapples with stagnant wages and a slowing economy. In a wage theft discussion paper to


Unemployment has much futher to rise

Some charts from Damien Boey at Credit Suisse offering a lead on the labour market after yesterday’s weakening read: I can see this coming as: dwelling construction crashes; infrastructure starts to plateau; the NDIS roll out halves; and consumption remains weak. If we get anywhere zero employment growth then the unemployment rate will spike straight


Daily iron ore price update (bash)

Texture from Reuters: Investors are cautious as prospects of China’s economy remain uncertain, a Shanghai-based trader said. Demand can be maintained at the current level but is unlikely to grow further, said the trader, adding that supply of iron ore is relatively sufficient now. The question is not underlying demand. It is weak. The question


Australian dollar falls as US housing warms up

DXY eased last night as EUR firmed and CNY fell: The Australian dollar continues to fall versus DMs: Mixed against EMs: Gold firmed: Oil too: Metals were mixed: Miners fell: EM stocks eased: Junk firmed: Treasuries rose: Bunds too: And Aussie bonds: Stocks firmed: More US housing data last night indicating that the bond rally,


Has the Fed plugged the US dollar leak?

Via the excellent Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: The Fed delivered a “hawkish” easing this morning, cutting the Fed funds rate by 25bps to 1.75-2%, and the interest rate on excess reserves by 30bps to 1.8%. Importantly, officials reiterated their “median” guidance for no more rate cuts this year. Interestingly, there were three dissenters –


What Scott Morrison should tell Donald Trump

This is what Australians are up against. The nation’s leading business paper has completely lost faith in its own system. From the AFR editorial: …where we really part company with Washington is that we don’t accept that China is a strategic competitor that must be contained. Mr Morrison has instead revived the Menzian formula of


Australian unemployment climbs

Via the ABS just now comes Labour Force for August: AUGUST KEY POINTS TREND ESTIMATES Employment increased by 22,000 to 12,921,100 persons. Full-time employment increased by 7,200 to 8,828,400 persons and part-time employment increased by 14,700 to 4,092,700 persons. Unemployment increased by 2,700 to 715,700 persons. Unemployment rate increased by less than 0.1 pts to


Why Donald Trump does not do war

The Iranian conflict is more or less over before it began, via CNN: President Trump said Wednesday that his administration would be announcing sanctions on Iran “over the next 48 hours.” He also said that his “thinking pretty much remains the same” on the recent attack on Saudi Arabia. Trump, speaking on a Los Angeles


Go long Recessionberg stupidity

Via Reuters: The government will publish its “Final Budget Outcome” for the 2018/19 fiscal year ended on June 30 on Thursday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Australia’s parliament. The report will also include revised estimates and outlook for the current financial year. “It will show an improvement on what was forecast, not only in the 2018/19


SEEK: Job ads tank in Sydney and Melbourne

Via Domain: Job advertisements in Sydney and Melbourne are falling at double digit rates, prompting concern unemployment may be increasing despite cuts in official interest rates and the Morrison government’s tax cuts for low and middle income earners. Figures to be released today by SEEK show overall job ads have fallen by 8.6 per cent


Banker: HEM appeal will slow credit

Good. Via Investor Daily: A former Macquarie banker says hazy guidelines around lending will cause problems for the next six months following the Westpac case, predicting the big four banks will corner ASIC and demand clearer standards. During a panel discussion at The REAL Future of Advice Conference in Vietnam this week, former Macquarie head


Gladys Liu disaster turns “daggy dad” into “Liar from the Shire”

Liugate rolls on today without the slightest interruption. Indeed, there are signs that it is getting worse. The protection racket around PM Morrison run by The Australian is fraying. First, from Strewth: Another day, another Gladys Liu fundraiser across Strewth’s desk. The latest is “an exclusive cocktail event” presented by the Pinnacle Club (a fundraising


Daily iron ore price update (roll over)

Texture from Reuters: “Market will further evaluate the impact on steel products’ consumption and output from the coming National Day holiday,” Huatai Futures wrote in a note, adding that the underperformance of the newly launched iron ore futures contract based on new delivery rules also affected sentiment. That’s about it right now as Beijing seeks


Bellamy’s must be blocked

Via the always CCP happy clappy AFR: The a2 Milk Company chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka has dismissed suggestions that Chinese authorities delayed approving a licence for rival Bellamy’s Australia to drive down its share price. She said Chinese regulators had taken a “logical and sensible” approach to managing the country’s infant formula market. Ms Hrdlicka,


DSSFB jobs leading indicator falls away

Via Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business: The Monthly Leading Indicator of Employment (the Indicator) has fallen for the sixteenth consecutive month in September 2019, after nine consecutive monthly rises. The Indicator’s fall this month is attributed to declines in four of its five components—reflecting tighter financial conditions in the USA, soft domestic


China ready to do a trade deal?

Via Gottiboff today comes a rare window of rationality: President Xi had to decide whether to quell the Hong Kong protests before the national celebration day on October 1 or pursue a trade deal with the US. He could not do both. There is already strong anti-China sentiment in the US and a brutal putting


Placeholder Albo kisses business booty

He really has no idea what he is doing. Via The Australian comes Albo kissing Business Council booty: Anthony Albanese will dump Bill Shorten’s anti-business, class warfare rhetoric and launch a charm offensive to win back corporate Australia in a move to reconnect with voters following Labor’s election loss. In a speech to company chief


CBA: Retail boomed in August

From CBA: Retail Trade Preview – August 2019 ■ We estimate that the value of retail trade rose by 0.9% in August. ■ CBA’s Household Spending Intentions (HSI) measure, based on a sample of more than 2½ million households combined with relevant search information from Google Trends, indicates tax rebates are being spent. ■ The