David Llewellyn-Smith


Martin Wolf macrobated

If you pop over to Business Spectator today you can read a really excellent commentary by the world’s biggest business columnist, the FT’s Martin Wolf, on why Europe has doomed itself. But if you really want to be in the know, you can read Delusional Economics, who Martin Wolf references as one of his sources


Why’s it so bloody expensive?

I’m not generally a fan of The Centre for Independent Studies. They have a tendency towards libertarian craziness that I find intellectually vacant and actually destructive to the cause of liberalism more generally. But, they do host some good people from time to time. In the past, foreign policy legend, Owen Harries, was one and


Skilled vacancies rise

The DEEWR Skilled Vacancy report is out shows a bit of relief with a 5.4% rise in December, though the trend continued to fall: This is some welcome relief for a jobs market that’s seen all marginal indicators under pressure since mid year. Jobs rose in all states but the two speeds are still very


Consumer confidence tanks

The Westpac Consumer Confidence Index for December is out and it appears the RBA has hit a brick wall with a big 8.3% fall in December from 103.4 in November to 94.7 in December. No doubt the media will paint this as a big surprise but it isn’t. That’s not because I predicted it, rather


Australia: The safe haven

At various times over the past year, Deus Forex Machina (who is on holidays) and I have argued that the Australia safe haven meme that has dogged discussion of the Australian dollar this year is overblown. Recent months have born that out with the dollar acting as it always has, falling as global risk rose


Parko arcs up

From the SMH this morning: TREASURY boss Martin Parkinson is losing patience with people who call for action to bring down the dollar. ”I will be completely open with you,” he told the Sydney Institute last night. ”Anybody who thinks you talk down the dollar or talk up the dollar is a fool. ”I mean what


Full FOMC Statement

Last night the Fed left things pretty much unchanged which, for some unknown reason, upset equities. What did they want, a party trick? Here’s the full statement: Release Date: December 13, 2011 For immediate release Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in November suggests that the economy has been expanding moderately, notwithstanding


December 14 links: Fed sits

Up: Treasuries, $US, energy, CRB Down: euro, gold, metals, ore, grains Flat: Aussie Contagion: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Italy 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Belgium 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year France 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Germany


Moody’s warns on LMIs

Well, it ain’t just all things Europe under the ratings agencies searing new gaze, as I’ve pointed out numerous times, it’s Australia. And now, more to the point, it’s the Lenders Mortgage Insurers (LMI) which Moody’s has today put on negative outlook. For those that don’t know, LMIs play a pivotal credit enhancement role in


Zombies in a phone box

If you can be bothered, check out this video today from The Australian. It’s a real battle of the slow coaches between the ponderous thinking, oozing cliches and dial-up download speed. I don’t want to be too hard on these fellas, but seriously, how is a couple of boozers having a yack in a phone


NAB Survey: A new normal

So, the NAB Survey for November is in and shows an economy going OK. Here are the key metrics: Confidence and conditions are range bound and pretty soft. But there is clearly an improvement in operating conditions with forward orders, stocks, capacity utilisation and exports improving. The big one, employment, also jumped but it too


Fitch: Mortgage arrears fall

Fitch has released its Q3 Dinkum Index this morning and it shows arrears falling for a second quarter. Total 30+ Days Arrears Drop: Q311 results fell for the second consecutive quarter by 17bp to 1.52%. Households have adjusted to the payment stresses of Q111, eg, increasing interest rates and natural disasters. All arrears categories within


Day of Delusional

For the past year, Delusional Economics has been MB’s point man on Europe. Throughout this period he has been miles ahead of the main stream media and, often, several kilometers ahead of the global blogosphere as well. His sectoral balances approach to analysing the crisis has opened a clear window through the ideological and political


December 13 links: Reality sucks

Up: Treasuries, $US Monstered:  euro, Aussie ,  gold, metals, ore,  energy, CRB Flat: grains Contagion: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Italy 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Belgium 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year France 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Germany


Surplus shrinks on gold

ABS International Trade in Goods and Services for October is out  and shows a contracting surplus: OCTOBER KEY FIGURES Aug 2011 Sep 2011 Oct 2011 Sep 11 to Oct 11 $m $m $m % change BALANCE ON GOODS AND SERVICES Trend estimates 2 116 2 147 2 156 . . Seasonally adjusted 2 627 2


Housing finance weak, but…

ABS housing Finance is out for October and is ugly: OCTOBER KEY FIGURES Trend estimates Seasonally adjusted estimates Oct 2011 Sep 2011 to Oct 2011 Oct 2011 Sep 2011 to Oct 2011 Value of dwelling commitments(a)(b) $m % change $m % change Total dwellings 20 812 0.0 20 458 -2.5 Owner occupied housing 14 514


China links

Courtesy of Sinocism: School bus safety draft regulation released – Xinhua | English.news.cn– BEIJING, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) — A draft regulation on school bus safety management was made public Sunday by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, with the public invited to submit comments on it.The draft stipulates that local governments above the


The tyranny of optimism

One of the more curious ironies about being an Australian is that although we pride ourselves on being misfits and larrikans, we are also rigidly conformist and prepared to lop off the head of anyone that gets too big for their boots. This irony derives, I believe, from the dominant value system of our culture.


Links December 12: Kyoto lives, EU dies

How Britain blew it. The Economist Germany vs US on Europe. NYT Farewell democracy. FP Still need the ECB says Goldman. Zero Hedge The Fed’s crisis loans. Calculated Risk  FOMC preview. Calculated Risk Week ahead for Dow. Calculated Risk Europe keeps money cheap for the US. Money Game Betting against China. WSJ Global central banks fire


China’s inflation bust

So then, Chinese inflation is falling precipitously: There’ll be more big falls in the next few months too with some big numbers from twelve months ago dropping out of the series. It’s not hard to see where such a swift change is coming from: Look at that food bust go! As Zarathustra predicted last month on the


Fearful Symmetry sees a slowing India

A month ago Fearful Symmetry spent the bulk of this chronicle detailing the weakening trend in the partial domestic activity data, highlighting the weak international macro-financial and real economy backdrop and underlining the threat posed to the domestic investment cycle by protracted period of soft capital inflows.The September quarter national accounts provided some early justification for


Chinese inflation falls

Here’s some good news, if expected, from Bloomberg: China’s inflation cooled to the slowest pace in 14 months in November, giving policy makers more room to loosen policies as export growth slows because of Europe’s debt crisis. Consumer prices rose 4.2 percent from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said on its website. That was lower


Stevens warns on financial regulation

The Inaugural Warren Hogan Memorial Lecture Glenn Stevens Governor Sydney – 8 December 2011 It is a very great pleasure, as a former student of Professor Warren Hogan, to give this lecture in his memory. Thank you to the Hogan family, many of whom are here this evening, and to the School of Economics at the University of


December 9 links: Undollar awful

Up: Treasuries, $US Down:  euro, Aussie , energy,  ore, gold, metals, grains, CRB Contagion: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Italy 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Belgium 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year France 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Germany 2


ANZ announces coup

NAB and CBA have followed with full rate cuts but how about this from ANZ via The Oz: ANZ Australia chief executive Phil Chronican said passing on the full cut was the best move for customers. “In the face of the economic and banking crisis in Europe, our decision on the size of the interest


Is the ANZ mad?

Something very important just happened. In truth, it isn’t new, but it’s been made official. The ANZ will now set its interest rates completely independently of the RBA. According to the SMH: ANZ Bank has moved to avoid the “treadmill” that follows Reserve Bank rate changes by introducing a regular monthly announcement of its interest


An affordable Rolls Royce

The SMH howled this morning that “Housing affordability improves as prices slip”: Weaker house prices and falling fixed interest rates have increased affordability in the housing market for the third straight quarter, according to a survey. The Housing Industry Association-Commonwealth Bank housing affordability index rose by 1.2 per cent in September quarter to a reading


ANZ blinks first

From the SMH: ANZ has become the first of the big four banks to cut interest rates in the wake of the Reserve Bank’s decision on Tuesday, matching the 25 basis-point reduction. After two days of silence in which the major banks have been resoundly criticised for holding off, ANZ said today that given the


Employment in detail

OK, so, regular readers will know I’ve been looking for a pop in unemployment for three months. We finally saw it in full time jobs, down 40k on the month (with a margin for error grain of salt) but it was offset by a jump in part times. Even so, For some reason, this was