Houses and Holes


China: No stimulus for you!

Via Bloomie: China isn’t in a rush to add massive monetary stimulus, in contrast with other central banks around the world, and must maintain a prudent policy stance, central bank Governor Yi Gang said. Overall financial risks are contained and those in the shadow banking sector and some key institutions have been resolved, said Yi,


Generalissimo ScoMo orders more mortgages, CBA obliges

The fasco-housing complex is running hard today at the AFR: Scott Morrison says Australia’s banks must not shy away from lending after the Hayne commission as he pushes back against what he calls an “instinctiveness” in society towards responsible lending standards that are too onerous. Speaking to the Australian American Association in New York, the


Australia settles into carbon pariah role

Via The Guardian: Scott Morrison is increasingly seen as running a “denialist government” that is not serious about finding a global climate solution and uses “greenwash” to meet its emissions commitments, analysts and former diplomats say. Australian observers in New York said Morrison’s failure to attend a UN climate action summit on Monday despite being


Dr Doom: The four horsemen of recession

Via Nouriel Roubini at Project Syndicate: In the classic game of “chicken,” two drivers race directly toward each other, and the first to swerve is the “loser.” If neither swerves, both will probably die. In the past, such scenarios have been studied to assess the risks posed by great-power rivalries. In the case of the


Bitcoin safe haven status craps the bed

Readers will know that for some time I have been testing the thesis that Bitcoin is some kind of new-fangled safe haven asset. As preposterous as it sounds to make an untested, immaterial, anarchistic electron a safe haven, that’s what the boosters claim so we need to test it. It’s been doing OK in recent


RBA permabull turns permabear

Via Phil Lowe last night: An Economic Update I would like to thank the Armidale Business Chamber for the invitation to speak this evening. I grew up in regional New South Wales – in Cootamundra and Wagga Wagga – so it is a treat for me to have been invited to speak in another great


Daily iron ore price update (head and shoulders)

Texture from Reuters: Cities surrounding Beijing have imposed routine output curbs on steel mills, coking coal producers and other industries to improve air quality as the nation prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on Oct. 1. China’s northern regions are facing a sustained period of pollution for at


Heil fasco-housing complex!

Nine years ago I wrote: Australian housing doesn’t have anything to do with economics. It long since ceased being a “market” at all. Rather, it is a political complex – a quango – that represents the single largest page in the socio-economic contract between the government, the Australian financial system and an ageing baby-boomer population.


Global children condemn climate failure

Via the ABC: Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has captured the world’s attention in a fierce and passionate speech at the United Nations headquarters, accusing world leaders of failing to act on climate change. The UN event was aimed at mobilising government and business to break international paralysis over carbon emissions, which hit record highs


Bulk commodity juniors punished

A few thing are beginning to break as bulk commodity alarms go off. The thermal and coking coal crashes have claimed Whitehaven: Goldman Sachs has cut its target price for Whitehaven Coal by 7 per cent after the coal miner’s inaugural investor day. The target price was cut to $2.70 a share from $2.90 a


How substantial is the trade war thaw?

From the NYT: The combination on Friday of tough words from President Trump and the cancellation of a planned trip by Chinese agriculture officials to two farm states seemed to cast a cloud over prospects for a trade deal and caused a sell-off in New York stock trading. But both sides moved on Saturday to



What will RBA QE look like? UBS has a go at it: The RBA thinks unconventional monetary policy is “unlikely”. But “If growth failed to pick up, and the unemployment rate started rising noticeably, then all arms of public policy would need to address how to combat that… in extremis, unconventional policy measures would need


How low will Australian yields go?

Via Westpac: Having been “out of the money” with our October RBA call prior to last week, market pricing has now moved back to an 80% chance of our 25bp rate cut forecast being delivered. There were two main catalysts for the re-pricing. First was the Minutes of the RBA’s September Board meeting in which


Kow towing Labor finds all new ways to grovel to China

If only “Labor” put as much effort into governing for the working classes as it did into China groveling. Via the AFR: Australia should embrace closer military co-operation with China, Labor deputy leader and defence spokesman Richard Marles has declared, labelling attempts to define Beijing as an enemy a “profound mistake”. In a significant speech


Can bullshit jobs be high paid?

Economic blogger Jason Murphy says they can at Crikey: Australia’s services industry is booming. But the transition away from traditional industries (manufacturing etc) is making some people extremely nervous. The old good jobs are going, they say. This idea is the prime focus of a 2018 book by Jennifer Rayner, titled Blue Collar Frayed. Rayner


Corrupt APRA reflates housing bubble in record time

Via Grattan: Spring has sprung in the Australian housing market, at least in Sydney and Melbourne. Why have house prices started rising again? There are a few candidate explanations. The first theory is that the Coalition’s surprise victory in the May 18 federal election  boosted prices. Labor’s policies to reform negative gearing and halve the


Daily iron ore price update (steel gusher)

Texture from Reuters: China steel futures rose on Monday, rebounding from a two-week low on falling inventory and fuelled by tightening output curbs in smog-prone cities pledged by the environment regulator ahead of the heating season. …Steel products’ stockpile in China dropped for the sixth week to 11.4 million tonnes in the week ended Sept.20


China runs out of railways to build

This is the problem, via SCMP: China’s spending on railways, a key driver for growth in the last decade, tumbled in August – in part because all major towns are now covered by the country’s extensive railway network. China’s economic planning agency said on Wednesday that railway fixed-asset investment was 449.6 billion yuan (US$63 billion)


India prints to cut taxes

Via Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: Trade war negotiations remain in the limelight, with investors fearing that US-China talks had collapsed again on Friday night following the cancellation of a Chinese delegation trip to Montana and Nebraska. However, over the weekend, it was revealed by Chinese officials that the trip was not cancelled because of


Council of Financial Regulators busy “monitoring”

Always watching, watching watching, never doing: At its meeting on 18 September 2019, the Council of Financial Regulators (the Council) discussed risks facing the Australian financial system, regulatory issues and developments relevant to its members. The main topics discussed included the following: Financing conditions and the housing market. Council members discussed credit conditions and recent developments in


Twiggy opens way to import Aussie gas to Australia

Recall this: EnergyAustralia, Australia’s third-largest energy retailer, on Wednesday agreed to buy gas from a liquefied natural gas (LNG)import terminal planned by a Japanese-backed joint venture, in the first of several deals needed for the project to go ahead. The Port Kembla LNG terminal is one of five proposed LNG import terminals that could help


McGrathmageddon starts renting

Never listen to what he says, watch what he does, via Domain: John McGrath, the man once dubbed “Mr Real Estate,” has quietly sold his last remaining property asset. The prominent real estate figure has reputedly offloaded his harbourside penthouse for an estimated $8.5 million. However, for a man who is known to demand loyalty


UN: Climate doom at hand

Via New Daily: Global warming is already eroding Earth’s ecosystem in ways that will release misery on a global scale if it is not mitigated soon, a landmark UN report has revealed. The past five years were the hottest since global temperature records began, the report – compiled by the world’s leading scientists for the


What Saudis can teach Australia about coal

Via Jacob Brown, Future Energy Leader – Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) from  The World Economic Forum: On 18 May this year, Australia had the most surprising election upset in decades. The coal-supporting Liberal-National coalition wrenched victory from the jaws of defeat in what had been termed the ‘unloseable election‘ for the opposition. Against all