David Llewellyn-Smith


Consumer sentiment continues free fall

Via Westpac: It is entirely reasonable to have expected that the Index would have fallen during this period of devastating bushfires. Perhaps it is somewhat surprising that the fall in the Index was not more severe particularly in light of the 5.8% fall we saw during the Queensland floods in 2011. However the fall in


UBS: Pandemic to hit Chinese growth

Via the excellent Wang Tao at UBS: Lessons from 2003 SARS: >6month cycle, relatively high mortality rate… There are still many unknown aspects and uncertainties about the Wuhan pneumonia. Given the similarity of the Wuhan pneumonia and SARS in 2003, we may learn some lessons from the latter. The first case of SARS occurred in


The climate psycho runs riot

Perhaps Labor’s Albotross is a genius after all. His embrace of coal at the edge of climate disaster has given the Morrison Government so much rope that he’s determined to hang himself. We begin with SmoCo at The Australian: Scott Morrison has called for a ­national standard for bushfire hazard-­reduction burns and ­declared that tracking


Frydenberg molests confidence fairy

After dropping a roofy in her drink, amateur Treasurer Josh Recessionberg has had his way with the confidence fairy, writing at The Australian: With that [trade] deal concluded and concerns about a “no-deal” Brexit having diminished, the IMF updated its global economic outlook yesterday and pointed to tentative signs of improved market sentiment. …The IMF


Daily iron ore price update (ain’t no virus here)

Iron ore price charts for January 21, 2020:   Everything stable. Bloomie sums it up for me: Vale, a critical piece of the steel ingredient jigsaw, won’t report fourth-quarter production until February, but third-quarter output was already up 35% on the previous three months, and the Brazilian giant could return to pre-Brumadinho levels by 2021. All three of


Australian dollar swoons as China takes ill

DXY softened a touch last night: But that couldn’t save the Australian dollar which collapsed with coronavirus: Gold is still strong: Oil is weak when Libya troubles don’t matter: Metals fell: Big miners whiplashed lower: With EM stocks: Junk softened: As Treasuries were bid: Bunds less so: Aussie bonds boomed: Falling yields helped prevent a


Australia is about to become coronavirus ground zero

There are two angles to examine as coronavirus spreads in China and South East Asia. The first is health related. The second is economic. Australia is about see a wave of new Chinese tourists and students just as coronavius slips the CCP noose. Some 350k Chinese toursists arrive through the January/February period, a large swath


Poor China analysis that the RBA should ignore

At the AFR: Upgrades to the economic outlook for Australia’s two largest trading partners are another two more red crosses in Philip Lowe’s “cons” column as the Reserve Bank governor weighs up the wisdom of cutting rates to fresh lows. …Treasurer Josh Frydenberg would be also pretty pumped up as well, given expectations of a


Is coronavirus an economic threat?

Unleash the panic, at News: International airports are screening passengers for a mysterious SARS-like disease that has been confirmed as passing from human-to-human and has also jumped China’s borders. The number of cases of the new coronavirus “2019-nCoV”, which causes a type of pneumonia, has surpassed 220 and authorities are concerned it could spread quickly.


Morrison Government mired in corruption

A little summary from Crikey makes the point today: Attorney-General Christian Porter will lead a review into the community sports grants scandal despite the program netting his own electorate nearly one million dollars. Porter’s announcement follows revelations by the ABC that Scott Morrison’s local soccer club boasted about essential funding for a project weeks before the grants were announced. Morrison, whose office


IMF downgrades global growth, hoses Australia

Via the IMF: Tentative Stabilization, Sluggish Recovery? Global growth is projected to rise from an estimated 2.9 percent in 2019 to 3.3 percent in 2020 and 3.4 percent for 2021—a downward revision of 0.1 percentage point for 2019 and 2020 and 0.2 for 2021 compared to those in the October World Economic Outlook (WEO). The


The RBA should cut straight to zero

Via the AFR today: Economists at QIC, Laminar Capital and Bank of America Merrill Lynch argue that since November better than expected jobs numbers, retail trade figures, house prices and approvals, and more optimistic trade and sharemarket news will see the Reserve Bank hold fire, despite the temporary hit to the economy from bushfires. …Former


SmoCo isolated as business swings to climate change action

Via Deloitte: A new global report from Deloitte shows that 81 percent of Australia’s business leaders believe that climate change will have a negative impact on their business operations (compared with a global average of 48 percent). The report, The Fourth Industrial Revolution: At the intersection of readiness and responsibility, surveyed more than 2,000 C-suite


A question for Sun Cable

Which is rapidly evolving into some kind of feel good talisman, at Domain: Amid almost daily complaints from industry about skyrocketing electricity costs, out dropped an announcement recently so counter to the dominant news flow that it seemed beyond belief. Yet there it was in the business pages: Australian software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and iron


Enjoy the harmless Aussie stock bubble while it lasts

Via Bloomie: The S&P/ASX 200 index has jumped 5.4% this year, besting all equity benchmarks in the developed world, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Optimism over the U.S.-China trade deal, coupled with lower-for-longer interest rates and the potential for further cuts are helping the gauge extend gains following 2019’s best-in-a-decade surge. It is ludicrous on any fundmental basis


Bird strike! Albotross crash lands on climate change

He’s an Albotross around Labor’s neck, via the AFR: Labor leader Anthony Albanese has admitted it was a “mistake” to take the 45 per cent emissions reduction target to last year’s federal election, indicating Labor would reduce the target. Mr Albanese said that while Labor wanted “ambitious” targets, the plan to cut emissions by 45


International tourism goes up in smoke

Via The Australian comes some bad news: The Morrison government has announced a $76 million tourism recovery package aimed at halting an alarming decline in international bookings in the wake of Australia’s bushfire crisis. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said with bookings from key international markets down by as much as 30


Deloitte: Ignore that stink, it’s only the economy

Via “Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook Q4 2019: Cratered confidence weighs on growth”: 20 January 2020:  Global growth is towards the lower end of the range seen since 2011.  That’s not dramatically weak:  growth is disappointing rather than dire.  Yet the slowdown is widespread:  most of the world has felt the chill of weaker growth in the