Houses and Holes


Daily iron ore price update (Costanza market)

Iron ore prices for December 14, 2018: Spot up. Paper up. Steel up. There’s nothing the iron ore Costanza market likes more than crashing Chinese demand data. That’s how conditioned it is to stimulus these days. My outlook is unchanged. Strength through new year and January then weakness as demand falls away. I don’t think


Gilets Jaunes exposes the Fake Left

Via The UNZ Review: So it appears the privatization of France isn’t going quite as smoothly as planned. As I assume you are aware, for over a month now, the gilets jaunes (or “yellow vests”), a multiplicitous, leaderless, extremely pissed off, confederation of working class persons, have been conducting a series of lively protests in


Nature: Global warming accelerating

Via Nature: Policymakers have less time to respond than they thought. Governments need to invest even more urgently in schemes that protect homes from floods and fires and help people to manage heat stress (especially older individuals and those living in poverty). Nations need to make their forests and farms more resilient to droughts, and


What to expect from asset markets in 2019

Via the excellent Bill Evans at Westpac today: What do our economic forecasts for 2019 mean for Investors? Our key economic themes are: Australian economy and markets • Growth in the Australian economy will slow in 2019 under the weight of political uncertainty; falling house prices; a contraction in residential construction; global volatility; and a


ECB turns cautious

Via Westpac: At the December ECB meeting, the Governing Council confirmed the end of net asset purchases and repeated the forward guidance that key policy rates will remain on hold “at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary”. In addition, they gave forward guidance on their reinvestment


Latest Labor MP’s China links exposed

Via The Australian: West Australian Labor MP Pierre Yang’s political mentor, influential Perth businessman Edward Zhang, is a member of five China-based organisations directly run by the Chinese Communist Party’s powerful United Front bureaucr­acy. …The Australian revealed last week that Mr Yang, the Mc­Gowan government’s upper-house whip, was a member of two pro-Beijing organisations that


Banks continue to defuse interest only time bomb

APRA released it quarterly ADI property exposures yesterday and banks continue to defuse the interest-only time bomb. IO was only 16% of mortgage flows at $14.4bn: And the stock outstanding IO loans fell sharply again to 26% of the book or $434bn: This is down from a balance of $542bn when macroprudential 2.0 began. It’s


CBA Flash Australian PMI sinks again

From the CBA: Growth was maintained in the Australian private sector during December, but signs of softer demand were evident across both the manufacturing and service sectors. New orders increased at the slowest pace in four months, with output growth and job creation slowing accordingly. Meanwhile, business sentiment was at a two-and-a-half year low. There


The Goldie catches a Chinese property cold

Via the AFR: Chinese developer Forise is tossing up taking on a joint venture partner for its $1.2 billion high-rise luxury residential tower “Spirit” in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, or sell the site altogether, as it struggles to sell apartments. …The DBI-designed Spirit 89 storey tower with 479 apartments is currently on the


Resistance is futile: Chinese workers assimilated by The Borg

Via SCMP: Workers outfitted in uniforms staff lines producing sophisticated equipment for telecommunication and other industrial sectors. But there’s one big difference – the workers wear caps to monitor their brainwaves, data that management then uses to adjust the pace of production and redesign workflows, according to the company. The company said it could increase


Lunatic RBA runs riot

The politico-housing swamp has entered a corruption blow-off. One doesn’t need to be Albert Einstein to see why. House price falls are steepening and the panic in official circles is mushrooming. This week saw two extraordinary events that illustrate the circling of the wagons among the ruling class. The first was the COAG meeting which


Dodgy RBA lifts Aussie markets

As John Kehoe observes today: The RBA’s fingerprints are all over the CFR statement, which says “an overly cautious approach by some lenders to incorporating relevant laws and standards into loan approval processes may be affecting lending decisions”. The result is that the bond market has gotten hosed today as it mulls whether the RBA can


Inside MYEFO

Via Westpac: • The Treasurer will release the Federal Government’s MidYear Economic & Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) on Monday of next week, December 17. • The update will reveal an improved budget position – largely higher tax revenue – on stronger national income growth, a robust labour market and, to date, an undershoot on expenditures. •


ANZ rate rigging went right to the top

Via the ABC: ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott and other senior managers have been implicated for the first time in the interest rate rigging scandal that rocked Australia’s financial system. The details are outlined in a tranche of court documents obtained by the ABC that were quietly filed by the corporate regulator shortly before a


Dodgy regulators beg banks to lift criminal mortgages

These guys really are just too much: Quarterly Statement by the Council of Financial Regulators As part of its commitment to transparency, the Council of Financial Regulators (the Council) has decided to publish a statement following each of its regular quarterly meetings. This is the first such statement. The statement will outline the main issues