Houses and Holes


Port Hedland strike threat countered

From the West Australian: Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz has handed the Barnett Government and Port Hedland’s iron ore miners a potentially powerful weapon against the spectre of a looming strike at the world’s biggest bulk commodities port. A new regulation, to take effect from today, allows third parties to be heard in a Federal


Still in love with Malcolm

From Crikey today: Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is the best-regarded government minister, while “Environment” Minister Greg Hunt, the author of “Direct Action”, and Education Minister Christopher Pyne are in a tight tussle for least popular minister . Turnbull has the highest approval rating and by far the highest net approval rating of any nominated minister


Another day, another europhoric markets index

From the SMH blog today: “Just because the market is taking on more risk in this period, does not mean we do… From a tactical perspective, we have positioned the portfolios with a tilt to benchmark unaware equity strategies over their index-aware counterparts. We favour developed over emerging equities and whilst we continue to do so, we have


Can targeted stimulus rescue iron ore demand? (locked)

Bloomberg is reporting today that: Chinese regulators increased banks’ capacity to lend money and bolster the slowing economy by changing the way loan-to-deposit ratios are devised. Banks from today can include in the calculation negotiable certificates of deposit sold to companies or individuals, the ChinaBanking Regulatory Commission said in astatement yesterday. They can also exclude loans advanced


China’s anti-corruption drive bags top general

Courtesy of Sinocism, to which you should all be subscribed: Xi Bags High-Level Military “Tiger” Amid Deepening Corruption Crackdown | Center for Strategic and International Studies–very helpful analysis by Christopher Johnson- The announcement on Xu, for example, is not occurring in a vacuum. At the same meeting, the Politburo also ousted three other CCP figures that earlier had


Official China PMI grows

China’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for June is out at 51 as expected. No reaction in the Aussie but I”d take this one as slight disappointment with only a slight acceleration from May’s 50.8.


Coking coal contract disappoints (locked)

From Morgan Stanley today: The 3Q Coking coal contract was set at US$120/t fob. This is a rollover from last quarter’s contract, which was down from the 1Q price of US$143/t. Anglo American and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp negotiated the contract which will likely become the benchmark for other producers/consumers. Stable pricing amid


D&B business expectations power on

The Dun and Bradstreet business expectations survey is out today and it is weathering the storm in consumer confidence with profit expectations still high: Sales too: Capex and employment strengthening: And selling prices are still high if easing: Business credit is back in vogue: Encouraging stuff. The problem with this survey is that expectations very


Manufacturing recession ploughs on

The latest Australian manufacturing PMI is out and nations around the world enjoy bounces- from China to the US – ours sags endlessly on: The latest Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI® ) remained in contraction for an eighth consecutive month in June. It moved down very slightly, by 0.3 points,


Terry McCrann smashes H&H “filth”

I would like to congratulate Terry McCrann for being the first mainstream commentator to realise that MacroBusiness is setting the economic agenda in Australia and for engaging with it. Here is his latest assault: The second primeval scream of pain and inchoate anger at Palmer assuaging the Climate Anti-Christ came from David Llewellyn-Smith on his


Subscription stragglers and feedback

Hi MBers, You will no doubt have noticed that the partial pay wall has launched. For those that missed the deadline, we’re happy to offer the special $99 deal for another couple days. To take advantage, make sure you’re logged in, then proceed to the checkout and enter the following coupon code: founding50off Here is where


With respect, what is Al Gore on?

Al Gore continues to weigh into the Australian climate debate and not in an altogether constructive fashion. From the News: AL GORE has warned Tony Abbott to “change or get out of the way” of sensible environmental policy, labelling the Prime Minister a “straight-out climate denier”. Speaking to Vice after forging an unlikely alliance with Clive Palmer,


Optimus primes Chinese realty as prices fall

Cross-posted from Investing in Chinese Stocks. There’s been really little interesting news in the Chinese financial press the past few days, the calm before the storm that should kick off tomorrow. Here’s a look at how the new Transformers movie is being used to market real estate. This is from iFeng’s website, in what I


BIS warns of “euphoric markets”

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) –  the central bank’s central bank – has released its annual report and the reading isn’t pretty. From the FT: The Bank for International Settlements has warned that “euphoric” financial markets have become detached from the reality of a lingering post-crisis malaise, as it called for governments to ditch policies


China plots 130 million people megacity

From The Nanfang, here’s one to excite The Pascometer: A proposed megacity encapsulating parts of Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin moved closed to reality yesterday with the announcement of a so-called “Beijing Seventh Ring Road”, reported Sina News. Gao Jinhao, head of the Hebei Provincial Office of Traffic and Transport, announced the plans on the department’s official website.


TD monthly inflation donut

The TD Securities/Melbourne Institute Inflation Gauge for June is out and is zero month on month versus 0.3% prior. The year on year figure is 3.0% versus 2.9%in May. The ‘trimmed mean’ measure is in at +0.2% and 3% respectively. It’s been sliding now from high levels for three months. More later.


Mining exploration hits the wall

From the AFR today comes old news: A growing number junior mining explorers have stopped exploring altogether, as falling commodity prices and difficult funding conditions hit the small end of Australia’s mining sector. According to research provided exclusively to The Australian Financial Review by accounting firm BDO, the percentage of junior explorers in Australia’s 800-strong sector that


Pickering: Macroprudential now!

Callam Pickering continues to support MB’s push for Australian macropudential today: The introduction of macroprudential policies is not about saying a bust is imminent — both the UK and New Zealand economies appear set for reasonably strong growth over the next couple of years. Instead it is about risk management. It is the acknowledgment that


Auditing John Laker’s APRA

Today is the last day in the job for the chairman the Australian Prudential Authority (APRA), John Laker. As chairman for 11 years, Laker oversaw the rebuilding of APRA after Peter Costello gutted it following the HIH Insurance collapse in 2001. John Laker’s tenure at APRA is widely regarded as a success and prima facie