Economics

13

Jacob Greber kidnapped by aliens!

We are sorry to report that the AFR’s US correspondent has been kidnapped by aliens and felt the cold kiss of a rectal probe today: Australia’s treasurer hunkers on the top floor of his department’s Langton Crescent HQ in Canberra putting final touches on the government’s finances. …The reason? Inflation has reappeared, seemingly out of nowhere

14

Here’s a Black Swan for ya: Trump does MMT

The Economist tackles MMT today: That perspective is not always clear; there is no canonical mmt model. But there are some central ideas. A government that prints and borrows in its own currency cannot be forced to default, since it can always create money to pay creditors. New money can also pay for government spending;

41

El-Erian nails MMT

Via Bloomie comes Mohamed A. El-Erian on MMT: The current window for the MMT debate has been opened by the protracted period of reliance on unconventional central bank policies that has followed the global financial crisis and the European debt crisis. Despite the initial concerns expressed by some economists, this period of ultra-low interest rates and ballooning

13

The trouble with Alan Kohler and MMT

At The Australian today comes Alan Kohler hosing MMT: The trouble with modern monetary theory (MMT) is that, as with fiscal policy generally, it would be run by politicians, and we’ve only fairly recently managed to prise monetary policy away from them. …monetary policy looks exhausted, at least in terms of stimulating real activity and

86

More economists with balls needed

by Chris Becker From the bowels of Ross Gittins comes “Positions vacant: the nation needs economists (women preferred)” Never in the field of economic conflict was so much analytical effort devoted to so few… as in Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe’s one-man crusade to save the economics profession. This latter-day Lord Kitchener wants more young

106

Ray Dalio: capitalism isn’t working

by Chris Becker It’s always interesting to hear mega-capitalists complain about the very system that provides them opportunity to turn their talents into Scrooge McDuck size piles of cash. Furthermore, it’s usually the most successful that have the most liberal of views and Ray Dalio, head of hedge fund Bridgewater, has weighed in again. From CNBC:

4

The paradigm now shaping our world’s digital cities

Cross posted from The Conversation: by Davina Jackson Honorary Academic, School of Architecture, University of Kent Today’s smart cities rely on networks: squillions of semiconductor devices that constantly pulse electromagnetic waves (light and radio frequencies) through telecommunications satellites. Data Cities, by the author. Lund Humphries (2018), Author provided Another genre of satellites, equipped especially for Earth

162

ABC goes gaga for Modern Monetary Theory

Trust the ABC to  like this idea: The radical idea of offering every person a government-funded job is finding new supporters in Australia as proponents claim it could eliminate unemployment overnight. US economist Stephanie Kelton, who served as Bernie Sanders’ economic adviser during the 2016 presidential campaign, is currently touring Australia to promote the concept

7

Why Trump tax cuts failed

From Paul Krugman: The answer, I’d argue, is that business decisions are a lot less sensitive to financial incentives — including tax rates — than conservatives claim. And appreciating that reality doesn’t just undermine the case for the Trump tax cut. It undermines Republican economic doctrine as a whole. About business decisions: It’s a dirty

10

The problem is not neo-liberalism, it is neo-feudalism

Former RBA boss and blood-sucking banker, Bernie Fraser, is having a whinge today: Neoliberalism has caused “misery and social polarisation” yet remains in vogue with the Coalition government, according to the economist Bernie Fraser. The former Treasury secretary and Reserve Bank governor has made the comments in a presentation circulated to participants of the Australia

9

A statistical rival for Anscombe’s quartet

Quantitative and statistical models are extremely useful in investing. But they are guides, not gospel. Forgetting there are real consumers behind the sales numbers and real companies beneath the profit numbers is the first step to an investment model that is going to fail when you need it most. There is a reason you never

2

A walk through the RBA Chart Pack

by Chris Becker As a chartist, this is my favourite release by the RBA – it’s Chart Pack time! Let’s go and unpack what the boffins at Martin Place have done on their etch a sketches.. First some global GDP, inflation and Chinese economic activity. Worldwide GDP is tracking at 4% – nice and smooth

35

Musk looking to privatise Tesla

by Chris Becker Elon Musk has “surprised” the market by laying out a tentative plan to privatise the currently publicly listed Tesla electric car/solar energy company with a $420 per share price offer. Shares lifted nearly 11% to finish at just below $380 per share in response, following a similar surge after the Q2 earnings

23

Macrobusiness Chartfest 12 May, 2018

AUSTRALIA Australian Federal Government Balances since Federation – note the 50s & 60s, our government is looking to debt load and dissipate with population ponzi again. Australian government debt to GDP – we have driven it higher to bloat property prices and trash our education sector, while exporting the non-mining or agriculture external facing sectors

47

The end of middle management

Cross posted from The Conversation: by Massimo Garbuio, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney and Nidthida Lin Senior lecturer, University of Newcastle The trend of “flat” organisations is catching on at some of the world’s biggest companies. It’s easy to see the appeal when you think of a utopia where everyone in an organisation has a

11

Bitcoin volatility is normal – for Bitcoin

As the Aussie dollar makes new highs, going through 79 cents against USD, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have sold off once again. It doesn’t take much for the volatility to spike with news – rumors actually – that the South Korean Government is flagging a potential a ban on cryptocurrency trading, sending bitcoin prices down over 20%

19

Will Bitcoin follow the silver 1980 bust?

Bitcoin mania has similar parallels with the epic silver bubble of the 1970s: Silver went through a huge bubble, moving from $6 to nearly $50USD per ounce in just over a year due to the Hunt brother’s cornering of the market. At the peak they owned one third of the world’s supply. Sound familiar? The

5

A closer look at the latest RBA Chart Pack

The RBA has released its latest monthly Chart Pack. Here are some interesting visuals to consider going into next month’s meeting: First up, looking abroad where the G-3 economies continue to have flat wage growth but modest unemployment figures since the GFC: Headline inflation is also still flat below 2%, but rising from the 2015

23

Deutsche: Inequality getting worse

Via the FT, Deutsche has a big report out on inequality:   And they think its only getting worse. No surprises there. This is one of our megatrends (see our primer for more details) that we see at the root of the lack of demand and the increases in debt. My take is that we are

22

New Years Chartfest, 2 January 2018

All picked up from Twitter or reading within the last week… GLOBAL MARKETS & MACRO Total Assets of Major Global Central Banks 2017 Best & Worst commodities 2017 Best & Worst Currencies USD – GBP, EUR JPY 2017 Asset Returns Global Bonds and Central Bank balances Commodities v Equities Global Bonds Outstanding   UST Yields

20

Negative interest rates spiral to ever lower depths

by Chris Becker An interesting chart from 720Global: Federal Reserve (Fed) stimulus comes in two forms as shown above. First in the form of targeting the Fed Funds interest rate at a rate below the nominal rate of economic growth (blue). Second, it stems from the large scale asset purchases (Quantitative Easing -QE) by the

2

Abenomics still not working or is it?

by Chris Becker Time to kick the can again on endless QE. Japan’s July CPI figure came in at a stonking 0.4% annualised…Take away energy prices and its only 0.1% per annum. Not a bad situation to be in actually and while stuck at this level for four months in a row, its “better” than

12

Draghi drags QE into normalcy

by Chris Becker The central banker elite meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for their annual symposium later this week, but ECB President Mario Draghi made traders sit up and notice a day or two early last night with a speech in Germany. What was surprising, particularly in the midst of the anti-QE brigade, was his

24

Norway’s SWF does its job

by Chris Becker First world problems in a nutshell. You have to drawdown some of your savings for the very first time – a meager $11USD billion or so from your near $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund (SWF)  – because lower commodity prices are taking big slugs out of your budget. And then, and then

24

Eclipsing petty microeconomics

by Chris Becker There’s going to be a total solar eclipse across most of the continental United States today (well, their today, we’ll all be asleep) and given the uniqueness of the event, there’s been some hyperbowl and superbowl like reporting on it. This one takes the cake though. A consultancy firm reckons the eclipse

8

Tim Toohey jumps to hedge fund

From the AFR: High profile Goldman Sachs economist Tim Toohey has joined Ellerston Capital as trader Brett Gillespie builds his team at the newly created macro hedge fund unit within the $4 billion asset manager. …Mr Gillespie, who worked as a trader at well known macro hedge fund Tudor Investments returned to Sydney from London, and has since

14

The beautiful deleveraging goes ugly

From John Tepper comes this sobering chart of debt in the US post-GFC, just as it hits new highs in the stock market and elects an Administration and Congress hell bent on soaring government debt even higher: Not quite the beautiful deleveraging that Ray Dalio at Bridgewater talked about several years ago as the lessons

49

A new virus in economics

From Elgaronline via Steve Keen: A new virus, known as ‘Reality’, has started to afflict Mainstream Economists, causing them to reject the ‘as if’ arguments they used to use to justify their models. There is no known cure for the virus, and complete avoidance of ‘Reality’ is the only effective strategy to prevent infection. The WHO