Featured Article

88

CDC: Wuhan flu survived for 17 days on surfaces…

It appears China has gifted us the super virus, via CNBC: The coronavirus survived for up to 17 days aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, living far longer on surfaces than previous research has shown, according to new data published Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study examined the Japanese and U.S. government efforts

163

Rundle: If you can’t pay the rent or mortgage…don’t

Via Guy Rundle at Crikey: The Centrelink lines are going round the block, the government has made vague announcements of rent assistance, twitter buzzes with notes from the newly laid-off wondering how they’ll put food on the table and pay the rent and the mortgage. Here’s a suggestion. Do the former by omitting the latter.

90

Temporary visa holders given welfare support

With 2.3 million temporary visa holders residing in Australia, and many unable to work or travel home, the federal government will offer special welfare payments and visa extensions: The Australian understands that welfare assistance may be available to temporary visa holders if they face significant financial hardship under the Special Benefit payment and the coronavirus

68

RBA cuts, launches QE into carnage

From the RBA just now: The coronavirus is first and foremost a public health issue, but it is also having a very major impact on the economy and the financial system. As the virus has spread, countries have restricted the movement of people across borders and have implemented social distancing measures, including restricting movements within

54

“Boomer Remover”: The natural selection of COVID-19

Bloomie has released some interesting data on the virus’ pathology: More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority. …The new study could provide insight into why Italy’s death rate, at about 8% of total infected people, is higher

73

ScoMo forces plague into Catholic and all other schools

Thank god for “medical advice”. Via The Australian: Scott Morrison personally intervened to prevent almost 600 Catholic schools across NSW from closing in an early morning call to Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher seeking a guarantee the sector would pull back and keep school gates open. A letter obtained by The Australian from the chief executive

129

Today, the fate of civilisation hangs on Phil Lowe. No pressure

Today Phil Lowe faces the most important moment of his career, the gravest moment in his central bank’s history and, to put it bluntly, the most far-reaching moment for the contemporary financial system, as well as the liberal capitalism that it represents, that any Australian central banker will ever face. I am not kidding. Today

96

ScoMo should have shut schools to combat virus

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has just held a press conference relaying the outcomes of today’s COAG meeting with state premiers, which announced that public gatherings of more than 500 people would be banned from Monday. Prime Minister Morrison stated that the government’s goal is to slow the transmission of the virus throughout the community in

34

Liquidate everything. Are central banks losing control of interest rates?

Via the excellent Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: Overnight, the Fed announced it will be increasing its repo size to $1 trillion per week, while the ECB announced more liquidity management and asset purchase measures (refraining from cutting rates into more negative territory). Yet despite all of this massaging, bond yields rose into the close,

44

Australian dream: Italy suspends mortgage payments

Via FTAlphaville: In the first of what we imagine will be many targeted fiscal policies to alleviate the economic stress from the Coronavirus panic, news from quarantined Italy this Tuesday morning. Via the FT’s Miles Johnson: Italy’s deputy finance minister has said the government will suspend mortgage payments and other household bills across the entire country

67

Property industry: Virus no threat to house prices

Australia’s property industry is playing down the threat of a coronavirus pandemic on Australia’s housing market, claiming it may only slow price growth: An economic recession would not automatically drag the housing market into another downturn and a property bubble remains highly unlikely, property experts claim… Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Consibee said a recession would

27

Owner-occupier mortgages bubble

Today’s new mortgage data for January from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recorded another month of strong growth: Total new mortgage commitments (excluding refinancings) surged by 4.6% in January, with owner-occupied mortgages rising 5.0% and investor mortgages rising 3.6%. Year-on-year, total new mortgage commitments (excluding refinancings) rose by 23.3%, with owner-occupier mortgages rising by

55

Ferrari steps off plane. In unrelated news, Australia bans Italian travel

Via the ABC: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says it is only a matter of time before schools close across the state and large sporting and cultural events are cancelled to combat the spread of coronavirus. While the Premier said the State Government had no immediate plans to cancel football matches or the Grand Prix, he

55

Read this, Gittins

A glimpse inside northen Italy hospitals: Jason Van Schoor @jasonvanschoor Registrar in Anaesthesia & ICM | NIHR UCL Academic Clinical Fellow From a well respected friend and intensivist/A&E consultant who is currently in northern Italy: 1/ ‘I feel the pressure to give you a quick personal update about what is happening in Italy, and also give some

47

Abandoning mandatory superannuation the “best possible stimulus”

The Australian Adam Creighton has tweeted suggesting that freezing compulsory superannuation contributions would provide the economy with the “best possible stimulus”: The best possible stimulus would be suspension of mandatory superannuation contributions, supercharging take-home pay by around 10 per cent and avoiding the waste that accompanies government spending.#auspol — Adam Creighton (@Adam_Creighton) March 9, 2020