The natural chaos of markets

Having just watched the second episode of All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace  by my favourite documentary maker Adam Curtis, in which he tells the “story of how our modern scientific idea of nature, as a self-regulating ecosystem, is actually a machine fantasy”, I am once again struck by what an absurd body

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Weekend Links

Up:$US, Treasuries Down: metals, gold,  euro, Aussie, energy,CCI Mixed: grains Hammered again: ore Contagion: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Italy 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Belgium 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year France 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year


Trading Day: bull trap?

The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 5 points or 0.1% higher to 4353 points after a very solid open was sold off during the day. In after hours trading, the index is steady, with Euro and US markets pointing to slightly lower or steady opens after the frivolity of last night. Asian markets outperformed, with Japan’s


Chart of the Day: Euro M1 uptick

The European Central Bank (ECB) has updated its monetary aggregrate data for September and it makes interesting reading after the Greek bailout package announced yesterday. As Delusional Economics forewarned in September, the narrow M1 money supply trend remains extremely weak: Although there has been a minute uptick in M1, M3 has also picked up, but


March 2009 redux?

Time for some perspective – in equity markets around the world, the bulls are popping champagne and hysterically bidding up anything and everything (including iron ore stocks whilst iron ore is crashing), whilst the bears have gone back into hibernation, with sore bottoms and damaged pride. The realists observe that this volatility and switch between


China spoils the party

Let’s party! Yes, it’s a world party and we’re all invited. At least, everyone else is. I’m sober, and, like some stale chaperone, worried. Still, let’s face plant into the punch before we call the police. Preliminary US Q3 GDP came in at 2.5%, right on expectations. Here’s the chart from Calculated Risk: This is an


House price falls accelerate (by Leith van Onselen)

Housing data provider, Australian Property Monitors (APM), yesterday released its September quarter house and unit price figures. It was another poor result with house price falls accelerating, declining -1.6% nationally in the September quarter compared with a -1.2% fall in the June quarter. Unit prices were more resilient, falling -0.6% in the September quarter, matching


EFSF leverage explained

Unless you have been living under a rock you have probably heard by now that “Europe is going to leverage the EFSF”. The stock market certainly seems to have read the headline but I wonder exactly how many people reading those words actually understand what it means, and more importantly how many of the eurocrats


Where is the inflation?

We all know that the cost of living is rising, we feel it every day, see it on the news and read it in the press. Part of Australia’s economic doldrums can probably be slated home to the fact that people are concerned about the rising cost of the high visibility items in their shopping


Occupying Struggle Street

The Occupy Wall Street movement has gained traction globally under the banner of speaking up for the 99% in an era of growing income inequality.  But while the protesters camp out in cities around the globe, low-income earners in the US, and many other developed nations, have been camped out themselves for the past two


China’s developer profits tumble

So, as Chinese real estate developers report their 3rd quarter results, we continue to see falling profits. Xinhua reports that for 47 real estate developers listed on the A share market which have reported their 3rd quarter earnings, revenue for the 3rd quarter amounted to CNY36.476 billion, a 12.5% decline compared to the second quarter.  Net


October 28 links: Heaven and Hell

To Heaven: metals, gold, grains, euro, Aussie, energy Down: CCI (not sure how this is possible) To Hell: ore, $US, Treasuries Contagion: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Italy 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Belgium 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year France 2


Trading Day: Bedlam and Fear

The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 105 points or 2.4% higher to 4348 points after eventually opening from the bedlam at the open and absorbing the news of a “hellish” deal involving a 50% haircut on Greek bonds to European banks. In after hours trading, the index has climbed a further 20 points, with Euro and


NAB nabs market share

The National Australia Bank (NAB) has released details of a record result today, overshadowed by the glitches on the ASX. The basic summary of the result is thus: 19.2% increase in cash profit to $5.5 billion 5.7% increase in revenue 23.6% increase NPAT of $5.2 billion 2.34% to 2.17% decrease in Net Interest Margin (NIM)


Risk awwwn

Last week I wrote that the markets timeframe and European policy makers were at odds and that while Europe sought a long term solution the market just wanted to get on with it. So while it is easy to worry about all of the problems that arise or potentially could arise I think the key, for me at


Europe has a plan

It looks like we have a deal after all. After this mornings report that there was no deal at all on holders of Greek debt we suddenly have an announcement that from officials in Brussels that they have reached a deal with banks on a 50 per cent write-off. This has paved the way for


Will retailers benefit from rate cuts?

Retail is certainly on the nose, and rightly so. The forces working against it are many, from over geared households to the effect of on-line purchasing. But that does not mean that there is not value in teh sector, especially amongst the bigger players whcih are unliekly to go under. A UBS report asks the


ASX halts trading (updated)

UPDATE 4: Trading has resumed at 2PM (AEDST) , with the market up 2% above 4300 points. UPDATE 3: ASX says trading will go pre-open at 1.40PM and resume from 2PM (AEDST) UPDATE 2: ASX says trading will likely resume from 12.55 onwards. Maybe. UPDATE 1: ASX says some trading has been resumed – doesn’t


Chart of the Day: Equity Twilight Zone

Today’s chart comes from my favourite trader, Peter L.Brandt, and explains how the US S&P500 – the equity market that equity markets follow – is stuck “between a rock and a hard place”. As he explains the technicals: the market is arguably a double bottom. The other indexes do not show a similar pattern, but


Europe aims at first base (Update)

We are starting to see a little bit of information coming out of the EU summit but there is still a long way to go. There are stories circulating that this could go on for days, but in the meantime here is what has happenned so far: Overnight the Bundestag voted in favour of using


March of the rent-seekers

Obviously at MB we are more used to bashing the MSM than praising it. But, when a ball-tearing piece of analysis comes along, it behooves us to give it as much promotion as possible. And that’s the case with yesterday’s comment by Jessica Irvine at the SMH. Jessica has recently written some bold stuff, putting


Iron ore = rate cut

The iron ore price continued to fall yesterday. The spot market dropped another 3.3% to 127.40, now down a dizzying 33%: Just as worrying, 12 months swaps resumed their fall, also down 3.3% plus to $113.67: In better news, Shanghai rebar was stable again. We get more on the market dynamics this morning from Reuters:


Shanghai outlaws property discouting

Chinese property developers have been in trouble for the best part of a year.  Recently the penny dropped and many began cutting prices. Then guess what? People who already owned properties got cross and, in Shanghai, went to  smash the showroom and sales office of a developer offering 30% discounts on flats. But China is, after all, run by a


Big Australia myths

Oliver Hartwich, from the oddly named Centre for Independent Studies, has penned an enthusistic treatise in support of a “Big Australia”.  More on Hartwich’s article later. First, a brief background (previous posts, here and here, cover various other aspects of the population debate). The population debate in Australia is certainly not new, although credit goes