Houses and Holes


Are Chinese international students morphing into insurgents?

From Communist Party of China’s foreign ministry late yesterday: “It is totally understandable and reasonable for Chinese students and other Chinese citizens overseas to express indignation and opposition against such words and deeds that attempt to separate China and smear its image’” “Second, we also hope overseas Chinese can express their patriotism and protect themselves from


Gold to 10k?

So says Jim Rickards at the AFR: He said there is only a 35 per cent chance of a recession in the US over the next year, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s change in monetary policy direction in July when the central bank cut rates by 25 basis points to 2-2.25 per cent. …He said


RBA minutes signal MOAR cuts coming soon

Via Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: Minutes from the RBA’s early August meeting were somewhat dovish in tone. We note the following key paragraphs: The Bank’s response function only allows for a brief pause to “wait and see”: “Having eased monetary policy at the previous two meetings, the Board judged it appropriate to assess developments


Captured APRA declares war on RBNZ

You honestly would not read about it. Following the RBNZ marvelous and necessary move to lift bank capital ratios to something approximating safe, APRA has declared war upon it: The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released a strengthened prudential standard aimed at mitigating contagion risk within banking groups. The updated Prudential Standard APS 222


Four Corners: Dodgy apartments absolutely everywhere

Via New Daily: Australia’s apartment sector is reaping the costs of a “poorly oversighted industry with a lack of competence and, in some cases, a lack of integrity”, says the author of a landmark report into Australia’s building industry. Bronwyn Weir has told an ABC Four Corners special investigation into the apartment construction industry that “commercial imperatives have really


Buy the dip on BHP?

Some amusing analysis here for you with BHP’s new result. It missed consensus profits above $10bn pretty badly:   But that’s history. Looking forward is much more concerning. It’s all about iron ore and coking coal, the two major drivers of returns: Here’s the realised prices: My outlooks for CY2020 are $50 (FOB) for iron


Daily iron ore price update (palliative care)

Texture from Reuters: Iron ore pulled back during afternoon trade amid market talk that China’s top steelmaking city of Tangshan has ordered deeper production cuts over a four-day period – Aug. 18-Aug. 21 – to curb pollution. Reuters could not immediately verify this. Expectations that iron ore supply will further improve also weighed on prices.


Wage theft coming to a profession near you

Via Domain: Job insecurity is no longer confined to low-skilled workers, but is emerging in highly skilled professions including law and computer programming, a leading US employment expert has warned. David Weil from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Boston and a visiting professor at the University of Sydney


CoreLogic leading mortgage index roars on

Via CoreLogic, the leading mortgage index roars on: New listings are now rising but total is falling as demand outpaces supply: Needless to say, this is a recipe for price gains. If this runs through H2 without any external shock and more rate cuts then I’ll be upgrading price forecasts for next year. Full report.


Grattan: War on youth intensifying

Via Grattan: Today’s young Australians are in danger of being the first generation in memory to have lower living standards than their parents’ generation. Older Australians today spend more and have higher incomes and greater wealth than older Australians three decades ago. But living standards have improved far less for younger Australians. The wealth of households


Tiny house leads to Gen Y riches

Via Business Insider: Ryan Mitchell, age 35, completely underestimated the positive impact moving into a tiny house would have on his life. Mitchell, who runs the blog The Tiny Life and is based in North Carolina, told Business Insider he began building his 150 square-foot tiny house seven years ago. While he spent $US30,000 on building costs (including solar panels) over


How to do helicopter money

Via BlackRock: Unprecedented policies will be needed to respond to the next economic downturn. Monetary policy is almost exhausted as global interest rates plunge towards zero or below. Fiscal policy on its own will struggle to provide major stimulus in a timely fashion given high debt levels and the typical lags with implementation. Without a


Poor Victorians give up eating to pay gas cartel

Via HeraldSun: Energy stressed Victorians are turning off heaters or going without food to cope with winter bill blowouts. Welfare agencies expect a big spike in financial help requests from this month as mammoth costs flow through. Vinnies spokesman Gavin Dufty said the shock of heating bills left some on low incomes choosing between keeping


What happens to 100k Aussies if CPC smashes Hong Kong?

Via Domain: Ambassador Cheng Jingye told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the affairs of Hong Kong were “solely the internal affairs of China”, warning that any effort to “mess up” the former British outpost was doomed to fail as pro-democracy protesters there again gathered en masse on Sunday. …The intervention follows escalating


Cracked apartment bill rises above $6bn

Via Martin North: New research commissioned by the construction union has revealed that Australia’s building and construction crisis will cost $6.2 billion in remediation and associated costs. The independent research, undertaken by Equity Economics and contained in the report ‘Shaky Foundations: The National Construction Crisis’ being launched today, analysed the additional costs to owners of remediating water


Another LNG import delay

Via the AFR: Andrew Forrest’s pioneering gas import venture has approached the NSW government seeking approval to potentially double the capacity of the reprocessing terminal it plans to install at Port Kembla. Australian Industrial Energy, which is half owned by the iron ore billionaire, formally flagged the need to restart its approvals process in meetings


The great inflation delusion

Via Dr Ed Yardeni: The Fed, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) came up with lots of headline-grabbing shock-and-awe programs over the past 10 years in reaction to the Great Financial Crisis. Over time, they seemed to lose their effectiveness and ability to shock or awe. Nevertheless, the US economy


Now for some fake “trust in government” reform

The ScoMo Government is a masterful fake. It is currently pretending to cut immigration, pretending to reform banking, pretending to build infrastructure, pretending to be a good economic manager, pretending to care about weak wages, pretending to care about energy prices, pretending to care about anything and everything other than rising house prices. This we