Sunday Supplement: 20 September, 2020

‘The Hikers’ 1957, James Cook, Art Gallery of NSW Macro & Markets Worst Shipping Crisis in Decades Puts Lives and Trade at Risk – Bloomberg The next wave of the global recovery could send commodity prices soaring – CNBC Fed’s Kashkari says pandemic aid was also ‘banking bailout’ – Reuters U.S.-China investment flows slide to


Sunday Supplement: 13 September 2020

‘Grey day in the ranges’ 1942, Margaret Preston, Art Gallery of NSW    Macro & Markets China would rather see TikTok U.S. close than a forced sale – Reuters Rio Tinto exits seen reverberating across boardrooms – Reuters China debates cutting US access to drugs as hostilities spike – SCMP Global energy transition already well


Foxtel left behind in booming subscription market

The latest Telsyte Australian Entertainment Subscriptions Study 2020 reveals that subscription services are booming across Australia, driven by streaming video on demand (SVOD) subscriptions and gaming subscriptions like Xbox Gamepass. As shown in the next chart, total subscriptions rose by 5.6 million (17.9%) in the year to June 2020, led by a 3.9 million increase in


New big wave surfing world record?

  I’ve been thinking about giving the new Melbourne wave pool a crack when it reopens. I used to be pretty good. See what I did yesterday? Not. @gregorymckenna As that your son? Geez, dude. He has some big ones. https://t.co/LLWHnFb5Rk — Gregor Samsa (@macromon) September 6, 2020


Sunday Supplement: 6 September 2020

‘The Pink Heron’ Brett Whiteley, 1969, Art Gallery of NSW   Macro & Markets Anthropologist and Occupy activist David Graeber dies – DW…vale, and thanks for the definitive work of our age ‘bullshit jobs’…. China may ditch US Treasuries as decoupling risk looms: Global Times – SCMP…financialised MAD – people have been pointing out there


AMA slams Victorian Government’s COVID failures

In last month’s damning Four Corners report on Victoria’s hotel quarantine failures the testimony of Australian Medical Association (AMA) Victorian president, Julian Rait, stood out: JULIAN RAIT, PRESIDENT OF THE AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (VICTORIA): Well I was hearing from frontline emergency staff that they had concerns about the arrangements for transport of positive patients from


Sunday Supplement: 30 August 2020

‘Trawool Landscape’ 1928, Tom Roberts, Art Gallery of NSW   Macro & Markets The world must have no more illusions about America’s global leadership – SCMP China could weaponise drug exports to retaliate against US chip restrictions, Beijing adviser says – SCMP Which Is The Better Investment: Big Oil Or Renewables? – OilPrice Powell’s white-collar


Stan strikes back against Foxtel

I noted earlier this week how Stan had become Australia’s weakest link in the subscription television market after it lost a series of key exclusive deals, including to rival Australian stalwart Foxtel. Specifically, in November last year, Stan lost its exclusive license to stream Marvel content after Disney Plus joined the Australian market. Then in


Foxtel pushes Stan toward extinction

It’s been a horrid 12 months for local streaming provider Stan. Despite enjoying 19.7% subscription growth in the year to May 2020, taking its total subscriber base to over 4.4 million, Stan’s future has been placed in jeopardy after being stripped bare of exclusive content. The trouble began in November last year when Stan lost


Foxtel enters death spiral

Earlier this month, NewsCorp announced their financial year results with the company reporting a $US1.5 billion loss. Of particular interest, NewsCorp’s subscription television services – dominated by Foxtel – recorded a 14% revenue decline, suggesting that it contributed significantly to the company’s losses. Foxtel lost a total of 460,000 subscribers in the 2020 financial year.


Weekend Links: 8-9 August 2020

Koki Bay, William Dobell, 1951, Art Gallery of NSW   Macro & Markets Dollar slump lifts U.S. bond returns for foreigners – Reuters Dollar most oversold in 40 years, says Morgan Stanley; exits short position – Reuters This ‘dire’ economic situation ‘deserves to be called a depression — a pandemic depression’ – MarketWatch US, China


Can Stan survive in Australia’s crowded streaming market?

Locally owned video-on-demand streaming service, Stan, is an Australian success story. Since its formation in 2014 as a joint venture between Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment, Stan has enjoyed strong growth. It reached 4.4 million subscribers as at May 2020, according to Roy Morgan, and is quickly catching up to local stalwart Foxtel: Despite this


Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker Asian stock markets are quite mixed going into the tail end of the trading week, with all eyes remaining on the big moves in precious metals with gold maintaining and then pushing well above the $2000USD per ounce level with silver again re-engaging its own little bubble, currently zooming past the $26USD


Links 3 August 2020

Macro & Markets US, China both lag badly in industrial robot race – Asia Times Global housing market chaos nowhere near end – Asia Times Central banks’ coronavirus bailouts are distorting the market, but do they even realise it? – SCMP WTO contender Amina Mohamed backs a new rule book in US-China trade war –


Foxtel fleeces Australian taxpayers

Last week it was revealed that Foxtel – jointly owned by NewsCorp and Telstra – would receive $10 million of Australian taxpayers’ money to broadcast “women’s, niche and other under-represented sports” . This represented an extension of a $30 million grant given to Foxtel in 2017. Predictably, the handout was widely condemned as being a


COVID-19 ravages Victorian healthcare workers

Yesterday it was announced that there were 381 active COVID-19 infections among Victorian healthcare workers, an increase of 81 on 24 July. And this doesn’t include hundreds on leave due to possible infection. Doctors contend that inconsistent training in use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is contributing to the rise in infections, while the Victorian


Victoria’s COVID-19 infections surge again

After showing signs of stabilisation, Victoria’s COVID-19 infections have surged again, with 459 cases recorded overnight versus 357 yesterday: NSW recorded 14 new cases, down from 15 yesterday. There are now 4233 active cases in Victoria, 96% of the nation’s total: Victoria has now recorded 8,181 cases since the pandemic began, numbering more than 120


Sunday Supplement: 26 July 2020

‘Sunday Evening’ Russell Drysdale, 1951, Art Gallery of NSW   Macro & Markets No end in sight to the US-China confrontation – DW Apple tax ruling for Ireland shines light on global tax avoidance – DW OK Boomer, We’re Gonna Socialize You – Bloomberg US dollar at risk of sudden collapse? Ex-IMF official warns ‘blow-up


Foxtel’s fake subscriptions rebound

Data released earlier this week by from Roy Morgan shows that pay-TV group Foxtel gained more than 650,000 subscribers during the three months to May. This 13.6% growth in Foxtel’s subscriber base coincided with Australia’s first COVID-19 lockdown, and followed the loss of 98,000 subscribers in the three months to February: Earlier this week, I


Foxtel recovers from near death experience

Three months ago, the prognosis facing Foxtel was dire. The company had lost almost 600,000 subscribers in the two years to February (see next chart), COVID-19 had cancelled sporting events across the globe hitting Foxtel’s sports-centric offering, subscribers were reportedly cancelling en masse, and 270 employees were made redundant. Fast forward to today and Foxtel’s


Stage 4 lockdown imminent as Victoria records 484 new COVID-19 infections

The situation has turned dire in Victoria, with 484 new COVID-19 infections recorded: New South Wales recorded 16 new COVID-19 infections. There are now active cases in Victoria, 96% of the nation’s total: Victoria has now recorded a whopping 6,773 COVID-19 infections since the pandemic began, with the curve as frightening as ever: According to


Sunday Supplement: 19 July 2020

‘Mount Nameless (afternoon)’ 1981, Fred Williams, National Gallery of Victoria   Macro & Markets G20, Heal Thyself – Project-Syndicate, Sachs Coronavirus latest: WHO says health workers account for 10% of global infections – DW World faces staggering jobs challenge, says Microsoft president – BBC…a quarter of a billion jobs equals an awfully large number of


Will Murdoch cut ties with Foxtel?

The past several years have been incredibly difficult for Foxtel and its majority owner NewsCorp. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, Foxtel was bleeding subscribers. According to Roy Morgan Research, Foxtel lost almost 600,000 subscribers in the two years to February at the same time as its competitors experienced explosive growth: Foxtel’s


Sunday Supplement: 12 July 2020

‘Sheep Country, Burra’, Douglas Dundas, 1950, Art Gallery of NSW   Macro & Markets Trump says U.S.-China relationship is ‘severely damaged,’ phase 2 trade deal not a priority – CNBC WHO says it’s ‘very unlikely’ countries can eradicate the coronavirus right now – CNBC Donald Trump hints lack of interest in a phase two US-China


COVID-19 mega-cluster builds in Melbourne

A disturbing development has emerged in Melbourne’s COVID-19 fight, with a mega-cluster forming: Victoria’s two largest ever coronavirus outbreaks have now been linked, forming one huge cluster that health authorities are scrambling to contain. Investigators say it is now clear the 113-case Al-Taqwa College cluster and the 159-case public housing towers outbreak have strong connections.


States brawl over hotel quarantine

Last week, Victoria ceased accepting international arrivals at Melbourne International Airport, owing to the explosion of COVID-19 cases arising from failed hotel quarantine. This ban meant that 65 international commercial passenger flights due to arrive at Melbourne Airport between 1 July and 14 July would need to land elsewhere. However, the NSW Government over the