Straya in “notable” slide down corruption index

Hoocoodanode, from Transparency International: Wrap from the ABC: Australia has once again slipped in a global corruption index, suggesting Federal Government measures to crack down on bribery and the diversion of public funds are failing. In a corruption perceptions study of 180 countries conducted by Transparency International, Australia ranked as the 13th least-corrupt nation, ahead


Fake Right prints corporate tax cut propaganda

From the Fake Right (AKA AFR) today: In between offering praise for Pauline Hanson, Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist declared victory this week over the Coalition’s plan to reduce business taxes. “Not just the politics, but the economics of those tax cuts has been exposed,” he says. On the contrary. The economics didn’t change


MacroBusiness Weekend links 20-21 January, 2018

Loading the Jinker, W Lister Lister, 1914 Art Gallery of NSW   Asia China pads GDP with spending boost before party congress – Nikkei Asian Review China’s economy grew 6.9 per cent in 2017, eclipsing official targets but doubts remain – ABC China asked Marriott to shut down its website. The company complied. – Washington


Stamp Duty creep killing affordability

Via HIA: “Stamp duty bills have increased almost three times faster than house prices since the 1980s and this trend will continue unless stamp duty is reformed,” explained HIA Senior Economist, Shane Garrett. This result is contained in the latest edition of the HIA’s Stamp Duty Watch report which is released today and provides an


What hope for energy price relief?

Some blah from Alinta today: Alinta Energy plans to aggres­sively drive down electricity prices and challenge the market muscle of the big three east coast power companies after finalising the $1.1 billion purchase of the Loy Yang B brown coal power station in Victoria. Alinta managing director Jeff Dimery, who is beefing up his coal exposure


Weekend Links 6-7 January 2018

Tree of Life, John Coburn, 1965, Art Gallery of NSW Macro Markets & Investing Can The Fed Really Boost Bond Yields? – RealInvestmentAdvice China has become the new Japan, as nation eschews coal for natural gas in its war on air pollution – SCMP Why Low Inflation Is No Surprise – Project-Syndicate DeLong ‘Melt-up’ coinage


More on Dick Smith’s challenge to multi-billionaire Harry Triguboff

I posted on Wednesday Dick Smith’s challenge to multi-billionaire, ‘Highrise’ Harry Triguboff, to give some of his $11-plus billion fortune to charity (read transcript here). Dick Smith has also appeared on A Current Affair, where he upped the ante on Highrise Harry: Good onya Dick. Highrise Harry has been a prime financial beneficiary of the


Dick Smith calls on multi-billionaire Harry Triguboff to give to charity

Millionaire Philanthropist, Dick Smith, has released a podcast urging multi-billionaire, ‘Highrise’ Harry Triguboff, to give some of his fortune to charity. Below is the transcript: Hi, it’s Dick Smith here, for Dick Smith Fair Go, and this is a podcast that I am doing particularly for Harry Triguboff. Harry, I have to concede defeat. You’ll


Australia: a nation of gamblers

By Leith van Onselen Back in February, The Economist published the below chart showing that Australia was leading the world in gambling losses, losing just under $US1,000 a year per resident adult, with nearly half of these losses coming from poker machines (see below graphic). According to The Economist: To the general public, Australia hardly


Who will replace Turnbull?

The spill is only a matter of time now, via Domainfax: Senior ministers believe a cabinet leak that revealed the Turnbull government considered reversing its opposition to a banking royal commission was designed to damage Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton and create chaos in the government. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull once again slammed


Moody’s: Sweden, Canada, Australia housing banks at risk

Via Moody’s: Possible house price drop poses some risk for Canadian, Swedish, Australian banks House prices and household debt have risen to unprecedented levels in Canada, Sweden and Australia. This increases the risk that adverse economic developments could trigger a house price drop, leading to higher loan losses for banks. We have recently taken rating


Macro Morning (Trading Week)

By Chris Becker  The October non-farm payroll (NFP) print came and went on Friday night with no surprises, although a little on the disappointing side, it still pushed the headline unemployment rate down to 4.1% and reinforced the Federal Reserve’s resolve to hike interest rates sooner rather than later. While the longer term trajectory is


IT billionaire preaches immigration class war from harbour mansion

From Mr Scott Farquhar: Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar has warned the government’s proposed changes to modernise the visa system could stunt the growth of local tech companies, and are already causing harm, ahead of the expected release of the official report next week. The tech billionaire said Australian-based technology companies needed to bring in specialist top


Asian LNG customers demand more discounts as we overpay

Via Reuters: After getting Qatar and Australia to lower gas price, India today pitched for flexible terms for LNG purchase including provision of pricing review, flexible take or pay and abolition of destination restriction clause. Speaking at the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference here, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the global LNG market is undergoing a major


Cutting sugar in beverages “could save 155,000 lives”

By Leith van Onselen The Obesity Policy Coalition has called for mandatory reformulation of sugary beverages following new modelling showing that at least 155,000 premature deaths would be averted if beverage makers slashed the energy content of their sugary drinks by 30%. From The Canberra Times: “The results are a clear demonstration of the harm


RBA still neutral

From the RBA: At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent. Conditions in the global economy have improved. Labour markets have tightened and above-trend growth is expected in a number of advanced economies, although uncertainties remain. Growth in the Chinese economy is being supported by increased


Netflix’s rise is free-to-air TV’s loss

Netflix continues to grow in popularity in Australia, with 7.6 million Australians now watching the online streaming service, according to a new Roy Morgan Research survey. By comparison, Australians continue to switch-off from free-to-air television: The growth of Netflix use over the past 18 months far exceeds its Australian Free-to-Air competitors. An estimated 7,558,000 Australians


How exposed is Melbourne to the next drought?

By Leith van Onselen A decade ago, Melbourne was gripped in drought. Water storages had fallen to below 30% and widespread water restrictions were in place across the city: Several years of strong rainfall followed and today Melbourne’s dam storages sit at a healthier 69%. However, today The ABC reports that Southern Australia is getting


Australia’s pokies addiction is doing us harm

By Leith van Onselen Back in February, The Economist released the below chart showing that Australia was leading the world in gambling losses, losing just under $US1,000 a year per resident adult, with nearly half of these losses coming from poker machines (see below graphic). According to The Economist: To the general public, Australia hardly


Links 8 September 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Automation will make countries with a youth bulge more volatile – Global Risk Insights Goldman’s Blankfein on Markets: ‘Things Have Been Going Up for Too Long’ – WSJ Ray Dalio: How to build a company where the best ideas win – TED Is Blockchain Ready for Fiat? Why Banks See Big Promise


Weekend Links, September 2-3, 2017

Spring Moon, John Aland, 1967, Art Gallery of NSW   China China sees new world order with oil benchmark backed by gold – Nikkei Asian Review ‘We must send our best to the front line’: Xi Jinping goes all out to rid China of poverty in three years – SCMP China bans new deposit certificates,


Farewell cricket

Via The Australian: Throughout their long and bitter pay dispute, Australia’s cricketers kept telling us it wasn’t about the money. It is just as well. If the past four days under a hot Dhaka sun have told us anything, it’s that money is a poor measure of a cricketer’s worth. The hapless 11 who yesterday


Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker Easing tensions on the Korean peninsula have caused stock markets to rally and a retreat from key safe havens like Yen, which lifted Japanese stocks for the first time this week. Gold prices remain elevated while a small selloff in local bonds continues as iron ore prices also retreat. In mainland China


Victoria labeled “parasite state”

Via the Herald Sun: VICTORIA has been dubbed a “parasite” state for relying on the rest of Australia to fund its extravagant lifestyle. Last year, Victoria imported more than $50 billion of highly manufactured goods, including cars, TV sets and machinery, official trade figures show. But despite promises in the early 2000s of the state