China Links

Courtesy of Sinocism: After 20 Years of ‘Peaceful Evolution’, China Faces Another Historic Moment – Damien Ma – International – The Atlantic – Supreme Court Backs Privacy Rights in GPS Case – WSJ.com – a win for privacy// The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police must obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS tracker to

Latest posts


IMF warns on OZ bank capital

Yesterday it was Moody’s shaking the Australian bank’s tree, today it is the IMF. Something is in the air… From the OZ A study by the International Monetary Fund is urging Australian banks adopt tougher capital requirements in case of a collapse in the country’s property market. “Combining residential mortgage shocks with corporate losses expected


Unpaid bills spike

Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) have just released their quarterly Trade Payments Analysis, which examines the ability of firms to pay their bills, and pay them on time: …during the December quarter last year, the number of bills left unpaid for 90 days or more grew 20 per cent compared with 12 months ago. While overall


The Australian dollar is going higher

Yesterday Alan Kohler wrote that the Aussie is being bouyed by people using the euro as a funding currency. Last night Nouriel Roubini wrote a piece that said notions of the euro as a funding currency are bunkum. I tend to agree more with Professor Roubini than Mr Kohler but as I wrote back on


Toyota means bailout

The Herald Sun says it’s a crisis. The Age sees 40,000 jobs at risk. The AFR warns of a permanent decline: Toyota’s future as a manufacturer in Australia depends on the company hanging onto its crucial Middle East export markets and a return to international competitiveness, possibly through a lower Australian dollar. Toyota Australia chief executive


Market Morning

Just as I write this post, news came in that a Greek debt deal (for unsecured private bondholders) was rejected by EZ finance ministers. Risk markets were mixed last night, with the US dollar falling, gold rising alongside a resurgence in commodities, whilst Euro bourses put on gains, the US market is flat as a


IMF’s Lagarde on 2012

In the lead up to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, gave a speech in Berlin yesterday in which she discussed “the economic challenges in 2012, and a possible policy path for global cooperation to restore confidence and growth” A video version of this speech is


Data for the Week

The local corporate earnings season officially starts today, with GUD and Oil Search kicking off the ASX200 companies. This will turn into an avalanche of reports as February rolls on. A reminder to foreign MacroBusiness readers that Australia Day will be celebrated on Thursday locally as a public holiday. The focus on local data will


Defending the bubble

In March 2011, HSBC’s chief economist, Paul Bloxham, made the following claims in relation to Australia’s housing bubble: Without some reversal of these structural changes [lower interest rates, better-anchored inflation expectations, and increased availability of housing credit] – which is a virtual impossibility – we do not expect Australian housing prices to fall. Indeed, we


Moody’s isn’t finished

There have been some signs of stabilisation in bank funding costs in the past few days. Big bank CDS prices have fallen materially to 142bps and the CBA’s spreads have tightened on CBA’s recent monster local issue of covered bonds. Yet, yesterday I mentioned that Moody’s had whacked the Bank of Queensland with a downgrade


Australia is still selling the farm

ABARES’s recently released report into Foreign Investment in Australian Agriculture caused quite a political and media stir.  There is a good reason for this.  The report adds a hatful of data and analysis to an important macroeconomic debate. There wasn’t a lot of new news in the report, given that the ABS began its survey of


January 24 Links

  Global:  Complacency risks rising – Markets are ignoring the warning signs (Zero Hedge) IMF’s Lagarde sounds alarm over Europe – Wall Street Journal Text of Lagarde’s Speech – IMF IMF chief unveils Euro plan and warns of 1930s moment – The Telegraph Global markets edge higher on hopes for Greek deal – The Telegraph


Trading Day

The S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped again today, starting the week slowly and on very low volume, with mainly positive leads from other Asian markets. The bourse finished down 14 points or 0.3% at 4225 points: As I explained this morning, the market needs to clear the 4300 area (the upper breakout of the symmetrical triangle


Time for a euro bounce?

As we all know, the euro has been under pressure again lately, as well it might, given moribund politicians and problems with Club Med (PIIGS as we call them now). But for me, one of the main themes this year may divergence between markets and economics. That is is possible is no surpsie for those of us


The BoQ warning

Back in October last year I noted that the Bank of Queensland (BoQ) had been placed on negative watch by Moody’s Investors Service. On Friday of last week Moody’s finalised that watch with a downgrade: Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the ratings of Bank of Queensland Limited (“BoQ”) by one notch, upon conclusion of its


Greece lines up Portugal

Another weekend…. and we are still waiting for an outcome on Greece. The chief negotiators from Institute of International Finance (IIF) have left the country yet we still haven’t heard anything that sounds remotely like a deal. FT reports that the brinkmanship hasn’t ended but there doesn’t appear to be too much wiggle room left: Private owners


CPI previews agree: weak

CPI is out Wednesday and several of the major banks have put out previews today. It is no surpise that all are calling for a weak reading. It’s what I expecrt as well. CBA uses a novel approach of gauging the relativities of spending patterns within their own credit card data to predict a 0.45


China links

Courtesy of Sinocism: Retraction | ChinaHush– why does chinahush wait until saturday afternoon of the start of the chinese new year’s holiday to publish this?//On July 1st ChinaHush published an internet article written by author by the pen-name Wayne Bruce, stating that Mr. Jamie Shorter was deported from China in May for Internet stalking.Mr Shorter


PPI pushes case for rate cut

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released Producer Price Index (PPI) data for the December quarter, which has registered only a 0.3% quarterly increase in final (stage 3) prices – below consensus forecasts of a 0.4% rise – and an increase of 2.9% over the year: The 0.3% in final (stage 3) prices


Picking bottoms again

Craig James had the boffins at Commsec create an analog daily chart of the All Ords, comparing the February-March 2009 bear market bottom to the current December 2011 (incorrectly shown as 2010) to January 2012 daily period. The implication is that the current period is analagous to the Feb-Mar 2009 bottom, which then preceded to


The ‘big girl’s blouse’ jobs debate

In theory it’s the job of media to hold other institutional powers to account. The truth is much more complicated because the media must choose a standard against which to make the judgments that constitute that account. Sure, some of those values are self-selecting: democracy, law and order, social standards etc. But even here you


Data vault

Australian Data TD Inflation Index The TD Inflation index posted its biggest monthly gain since March 2011, rising by 0.5% in December after it fell by 0.1% the previous month however the three-month annualised rate is still rather weak at 1.5% while the annual rate edged up from 2.1% to 2.4%. The trimmed mean also rose in  December by a


2012 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

The 8th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey has just been released and, once again, it ranks Australia as having one of the most expensive housing markets out of the countries surveyed. This year’s report assesses 325 markets in seven countries: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


Crunching RPData’s revisions

Following is a guest post from regular commenter Nathan Webb: You could be easily forgiven for not noticing that RPData’s house price series is subject to revision. The revisions are usually difficult to find and seldom referred to in R.P.Data commentary. Nonetheless, they are there and run the numbers to see what they can tell us


US gas debate vital to Oz

The US economy has shown some signs of stabilisation over the past few months.  For example, retail spending appears to be revisiting a growth path.  According to some commentators, the US economic green shoots appear robust and healthy, while I remain cautious about projecting anything more than muddling though, with a drawn-out grinding improvement in


January 23 links: SOPA fail

Global  Seven ways to fix the system. Martin Wolf United States Week ahead for Dow. Calculated Risk FOMC preview. Calculated Risk Fed to reveal all. Gavyn Davies Q4 GDP forecasts. Calculated Risk Hollywood must regroup after losing net battle. LA Times Yeh, like give up Europe: Euro shorts get longer. All Star Charts The no-brainer trade of


Economics is people not arithmetic

The non-reaction of the markets to the ratings agencies downgrades of European debt underlines a persistent characteristic of the markets that is all too often forgotten. Especially by economic commentators. If it were simply a matter of extending the arithmetic of current economic performance into the future, then economic predictions would usually be right. On


Weekend Musing: Are Electric Cars really Green?

A guest post from reader and commenter “Pellicle” on the Electric Car. MacroBusiness welcomes interesting submissions on economic and related topics, subject to edit and less than 1500 words. Please use the “Contact” item on the menu above for your submissions. Lately it seems that with increasing frequency the idea of Electric cars comes up


Weekend Musing: Direct Democracy and Australia

Guest blogger Steven Spadijer, of Australian National University, completes his series on Direct Democracy. Part One is available here, and Part Two here. In this final post, we will be looking at how Direct Democracy protects federalism and how it might minimise the costs of a federal system. In the broader policy debate of “should