David Llewellyn-Smith


The end of negative interest rates

Via FTAlphaville: Negative rates are the Manchester United of monetary policy. They annoy a lot of people and their glory days as a major force are behind them. Banks, which’ve struggled to pass the costs they bear on them on to their customers, have always disliked them. Now the tide of opinion is turning within


Rhodium: China’s stimulus binge bill “coming due”

Rhodium Group with an absolute cracker of report on Chinese debt: Local-level credit events in China are piling up, and evidence of broader stress across China’s financial system is accumulating. The ultimate cause is the contraction in shadow banking under the deleveraging campaign, as the informal financial system had previously kept highly indebted local governments


Australian dollar spikes on numberwang

DXY was stable last night: The Australian dollar spiked on ABS jobs numberwang: Gold is still holding up: Oil is off and running: Metals were firm: Miners stable: EM stocks too: Junk fell: Treasuries were bid: Bunds sold: Aussie got pole-axed on numberwang: Stocks are focussed on the moon: Westpac has the wrap: Event Wrap


Trump impeached!

From Bloomie: The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress, the culmination of an effort by Democrats that further inflamed partisan tensions in Washington and deepened the nation’s ideological divide. The historic votes on Wednesday evening, which won the support of almost all Democrats in


Victoria sinks $2m on machine guns for police

In today’s Aussie WTF (which should really be the new URL for MB): More than 700 police will be trained to use high-powered semi-automatic rifles, with frontline officers expected to take immediate action to confront terror attacks and active armed offenders. Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said on Wednesday that police will buy 300 AR-15 30-shot


Australian Government forecasts wages wipeout for 2020/21

As I analysed the recent MYEFO projections, one thing stood out: Here’s the economic outlook: GDP for this year might be OK but it’s odds-on too bullish. But 2020/21 is deluded and so are the outer years. It is tradition to forecast Futureboom! to bailout today’s stupidity. But it doesn’t ususally accompany a forecast commodities bust which


Aussie jobs surge anew!

The ABS is out with November Labour Force and the news is all good: NOVEMBER KEY POINTS TREND ESTIMATES Employment increased by 17,400 to 12,962,000 people. Full-time employment increased by 8,300 to 8,843,600 people and part-time employment increased by 9,000 to 4,118,400 people. Unemployment decreased by 1,200 to 716,300 people. Unemployment rate decreased by less


Druckenmiller: Long in 2020

Via Bloomie: A nice interview with Stanley which, with MB’s four horsemen of the apocalypse vanquished by policymakers, makes a good base case for some kind of global bounce in 2020. We still don’t think it will be a glowing recovery even if the fiscal spending helps, largly because China will keep slowing. We agree


Another Chinese bank goes bust

Via the WSJ: China’s sovereign-wealth fund is coming to the aid of a troubled lender in a 100 billion yuan ($14.28 billion) bailout, the latest show of government support for the banking sector, which has come under intensifying financial stress as the economy slows. Hengfeng Bank, based in eastern China’s Shandong Province, will sell 100


CoreLogic: House prices to slow in 2020

Via CoreLogic comes the 2020 outlook for property: Housing prices are likely to trend higher through the year. At a broad level, we expect dwelling values to trend higher in 2020, however at a reduced pace of growth relative to the second half of 2019. Factors that will propel values higher include the stimulatory effect


More wage thieves confess

Even the super funds are at it, via Banking Day: In an embarrassing admission, ME Bank yesterday confirmed that it underpaid staff A$1.5 million in superannuation entitlements for more than a decade. The bank, which is owned by industry super funds, last week notified 2144 current and former employees about the underpayments that were caused


ScoMo ordered media not to report smoke-free holiday

Via the AFR: It’s the cover-up that has backfired, whipping Scott Morrison’s well-earned pre-Christmas break into a controversy. Over the weekend, the Prime Minister’s minders ordered the media not to report that he had taken leave. This bizarre overreach was designed to protect Mr Morrison from churlish criticism for leaving his post while the bushfires


Australian dollar buoyed by oil

DXY was up and away last night: The Australian dollar was buoyed against DMs: Not so much EMs: Gold is hanging on: Oil is taking off on reflation hopes, shale to follow if this keeps up: Metals did better but are still weak: Miners fell: EM stocks lifted: Junk is cheering oil reflation: Bonds were


“Prudent” PBOC cuts rates

Recall the words of CCP economic working group: First, we will unswervingly implement the new vision for development; 二是坚决打好三大攻坚战 Second, we will resolutely fight the “three tough battles”;三是确保民生特别是困难群众基本生活得到有效保障和改善 Third, we will ensure that people’s well being, especially the basic living standards of those in need, are effectively guaranteed and improved; 四是继续实施积极的财政政策和稳健的货币政策。 Fourth, we will continue


Uhlmann shakes Pompous Pete with working class earthquake

Yesterday we had “Pompous Pete” Hartcher telling us all that we’re all racists: For Trump and Johnson, it really is all about winning. The first achievement of right-wing populism was, through men such as these two, to storm the bastions of the centre-right establishment. The movement’s impulses of nationalism, xenophobia, protectionism and populism now inhabit


Ken Henry clawbacks anyone?

Thanks Ken, via AFR: At the same time National Australia Bank (NAB) was pushing back on the corporate regulator’s investigation into the fee-for-no-service scandal, several of the bank’s own internal reviews had identified major deficiencies in its record keeping and risk management systems, which are now the subject of a Federal Court lawsuit. As chairman


Australian trade the major casualty of US/China trade deal

The scale of China’s trade pledge task is daunting: Clyde Russell has some musings on what it will mean Downunder: Beijing has agreed to increase purchases from the United States by $200 billion over the next two years over and above the level of imports in 2017, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. …While


Millennial inferno: Tiny homes trailor trash bushfire risk

I honestly don’t know how Millennials don’t burst spontaeously into flames of rage, via Domain: With properties hidden away off the grid in remote locations, popular travel startups based out of tiny houses are keeping a careful eye on bushfires. Startups including Unyoked and Shacky advertise themselves as enabling users to get “easy access to the


Australian leading index falls some more

Vai Westpac: The six month annualised growth rate in the Westpac– Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity relative to trend three to nine months into the future, fell from –0.78% in October to –0.81% in November. The Leading Index growth rate has now been below trend for the last


China unleashes first home-made aircraft carrier

Via SCMP: China’s first home-built aircraft carrier was officially commissioned by President Xi Jinping on Tuesday as Beijing flexed its military muscles. The new warship will be called the Shandong and its formal entry into service is a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to build up its naval power. This drive has been viewed


Jobs go as construction bust builds

Via the ABC: Four hundred people have lost their jobs a week out from Christmas after a group of building supply businesses in Melbourne’s west went bust. The SWC Management group, which operates out of a massive newly redeveloped warehouse in Melbourne’s western suburbs, announced it was going into voluntary administration on Tuesday, with advisory


Broomhead’s dangerous intolerance of intolerance

Every year, once per year, Australians are treated to an exposion of pomposity at the Orica annual general meeting, via Domain: Influential businessman and Orica chairman Malcolm Broomhead has lamented the rise of a culture of “self-righteousness” and a mindset where people are “intolerant” of others. In a speech to Orica shareholders, Mr Broomhead said