Houses and Holes


BHP’s iron ore revisionism

From the AFR today: BHP Billiton president of marketing Mike Henry says the dramatic 31 per cent fall in the iron ore price this year has not come as a surprise, and the world’s largest miner is tipping further volatility in the spot price in the months ahead. “The decline in iron ore prices wasn’t


George W. Abbott can’t carry the policy day

Tony Abbott really is Australia’s answer to George W. Bush. His homespun slogans are attractive to the punters (we’ll call them the great unwashed) , as is his masculine demeanor. The same characteristics alienate the educated and chardonnay sipping middle classes (we’ll call them the wankers) who don’t really matter politically given most of Australia’s


Outer Melbourne delinquency rates lead nation

From Fitch today: Fitch Ratings-Sydney-03 July 2014: Fitch Ratings says that Budgewoi (2262), on the Central Coast of New South Wales, has become the worst performing postcode in Australia for missing housing loan payments, with a 30+ days delinquency rate of 3.7%. Budgewoi has been among the 20 worst performing postcodes each March and September


Richardson, Erskine back macroprudential

The screamingly obvious need for macropudential policy in Australia is running RBA and APRA down. Yesterday I watched Deloitte’s Chris Richardson back the idea for the first time at the Melbourne Institute’s Paths to Growth conference after the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England backed it in the last week and Norway tightened


One disturbing ASIC interview

Find below an interview with ASIC chief Greg Medcraft from the Centre for International Financial and Regulation. The context is Medcraft’s leadership of the the International Organisation of Securities Commissions as a part of the G20. The beauty of this interview is that exposes exactly how scandals like those currently afflicting the CBA take root. Medcraft has


US jobs, jobs, jobs!

Last night saw more good US data, this time in employment. From the BLS: Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today…The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised from +282,000 to +304,000, and the


You can forget AUD/USD parity (members)

You can forget about US dollar parity for the Australian dollar. In his speech and in the Q&A yesterday, Glenn Stevens made it quite clear that current levels of the dollar are far too high and the RBA’s patience runs out at 95 cents or below. Bizarrely, this has largely been ignored by the Australian


No post one child policy baby boom in China

Cross-posted from Investing in Chinese Stocks. Last year when the change in the one child policy was announced, I wrote: China is going to allow couples with one only child spouse to have two children. Currently, only couples in which both are only children can have two children. However, this law is only strictly enforced in


Norway tightens macroprudential

From Reuters: Norwegian banks may have to put aside more money to cover potential defaults by homeowners after the country’s financial watchdog said on Tuesday it was increasing the risk weighting for residential mortgages. The financial supervisory authority, which had warned in February that such a rule might be introduced, has long been concerned about high household


It’s not just a CBA governance debacle

As the call for CBA Royal Commission continues to resonate, one article today sums up how badly the bank has handled its planning scandal. Business Spectator’s Stephen Bartholomeusz has rarely seen a corporate play that he did not like but today even he can’t resist putting the boot in: CBA has mishandled the controversies that


China’s non-manufacturing PMI eases

China’s second official PMI is the non-manufacturing sectors (which should not be confused with the HSBC services PMI) was out today and fell a little, from Xinhua: China’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 55 points in June from a six-month high of 55.5 in May, official data showed on Thursday. The non-manufacturing PMI, compiled


China services PMI snaps back

The China HSBC PMI is out and jumped back in June: HSBC China Composite PMI™ data (which covers both manufacturing and services) signalled a second successive monthly increase of Chinese business activity in June. Moreover, the rate of expansion accelerated to the strongest in 15 months, as signalled by the HSBC Composite Output Index posting


Captain Glenn warns dollar, Sydney speculators

Captain Glenn Stevens is back in a speech this afternoon and has made very clear warnings to both currency and Sydney property speculators to back off. Of course this is entirely contradictory in any actual policy action sense, given addressing one can only benefit the other, which is why the jawbone is being rolled out in


Asia vulnerable to oil shock, Australia not

From RBS today: Asia is most vulnerable to an oil price spike Geopolitical tensions and continued supply outages in the  Middle East prompted a spike in Brent oil to  USD115.71/bbl in June, a nine-month high. Half of the  world’s oil is consumed in Asia (including Australasia). Furthermore, Asia consumes 76% of the Middle East’s oil


Chinese local governments wish for stimulus

Cross-posted from Investing in Chinese Stocks. Ifeng reports an unofficial and informal count by Chinese media puts recently added mini-stimulus projects at ¥10 trillion. Now if only they could sell some land or borrow to pay for it. Data puts local government investment projects at ¥14.7 trillion through May, an increase of 17.6% yoy, the slowest


The FED endorses macroprudential

The dills abroad are humiliating themselves again as overnight the world’s most powerful central banker endorsed macroprudential tools for dealing with specific financial stability risks. It’s different here, of course. We have the powerful talisman of Luci Ellis’s stick figures to keep our financial system stable and it will be immensely gratifying to watch the world’s


US jobs rebound stalls Australian dollar

The mini reprieve for the Australian dollar that started with the tanking trade deficit yesterday (down to 94.6 again) continued overnight as the US ADP jobs report (a private sector report that leads the official report tonight) jumped to its highest level in two years: Private sector employment increased by 281,000 jobs from May to


Algos replace business journos

From Paul Wallbank at BS: Yesterday, the Associated Press announced it was replacing business journalists with computer programs, following sports reporting where algorithms have delivering match reports for some years. Some cynical media industry commentators would argue rewriting PR releases or other people’s stories — the model of many new media organisations — is something that should