The future of central banking

Find below a one hour and 20 minutes keynote from the weekend’s Institute of New Economic thinking in Hong Kong. The subject of the keynote is central banking in the modern era covering many topics that will be of interest to MacroBusiness readers including fiscal-monetary co-ordination, QE, balance-sheet recession dynamics, macro-prudential regulation, the effect of

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Super changes inch Government higher

While Labor’s election chances posted new lows heading into the Easter weekend, they largely flat-lined for much of last week. The pre-Easter fall was given renewed impetus by a JWS Research poll of 54 marginal seats, which indicated that Labor stood to lose at least 24 seats at the next election. However, there was surprisingly little market movement from there on. At


Closing tax loopholes is not revenue grabbing

Please find below an interesting post from economist, Matt Cowgill, questioning the level of tax expenditures on Australian superannuation. Be sure to also check out Matt’s blog, We Are All Dead, which examines a wide range of political and economic policy issues. Imagine if everyone with a surname starting with the letter C didn’t have


Links 8 April 2013

Global Macro/Markets: IMF’s Lagarde Says Substantial Part of Global Economy Better – Bloomberg Analysis: Big inflows into bonds undercut the Great Rotation – Reuters Beware of those who cry ‘bubble’ about bonds – USA Today North America: Some Senators Think Big U.S. Banks Could Use An Extra Trillion Dollars Or So Of Capital – Dealbreaker


Trading Week: Dr Copper catches cold

By Chris Becker Here’s my roundup of what happened in major macro markets in the last week and what could happen in the weeks ahead as the world’s central bankers continue to apply the “milkie wilkies” of easing, liquidity, and low/zero interest rates. This week has seen 3 key events and several ancillary ones (including the


Weekend links 6&7 April 2013

Global Macro/Markets: The Long Mystery of Low Interest Rates by Kenneth Rogoff – Project Syndicate North America: Yellen: Fed should focus on jobs, even if inflation edges past target – Reuters As Hedge Funds Thrive on Mortgages, the House Party Is Far from Over – Institutional Investor Only a Tiny Percentage of Americans Opposed to


Roy Morgan unemployment high in March

The Roy Morgan unemployment figure is out this afternoon and is comment worthy: In March 2013 an estimated 1.37 million Australians (10.8% of the workforce) were unemployed. This is down 0.1% from last month. The Australian workforce* was 12,644,000, (a record high) comprising 7,671,000 full-time workers (up 174,000); 3,604,000 part-time workers (down 50,000) and 1,369,000


Super changes won’t lead to a sustainable system

Cross-posted from The Conversation Today, the Australian government announced additional taxation of high income funds in the decumulation or retirement stage of investments in superannuation. Arguably, the changes add more to complexity than they do to equity, and they leave open the need for further changes to achieve a sustainable system. In principle, funds invested


Property Council: “60,000 construction jobs lost”

By Leith van Onselen The Property Council yesterday claimed that around 60,000 construction workers are jobless following a three-year recession affecting the sector amid a sharp slowing of housing construction and renovation activity. From the Australian: ALMOST 60,000 construction workers who lost their jobs amid the global financial crisis are still unemployed, as the sector


Opposition austerity champion talks up the cuts

Australia’s new austerity champion, Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb, is ramping up his rhetoric on severe budget cuts. From the AFR: Mr Robb told The Australian Financial Review on Thursday that an assessment of the underlying structural position of the budget “will inform how we plan our medium term fiscal strategy”. The structural budget position seeks to


Super changes puncture hysteria balloon

God knows what the Australian business media loon pond will make of them, but today’s announced changes to superannuation do not add up to great deal. Property has been ignored sadly and there is some tightening of benefits for those with assets over $2 million. None of the changes are retrospective. The measures will save $900


The Business (ABC TV) tackles housing supply

By Leith van Onselen For those who are interested, I last night appeared on The Business (ABC TV) to discuss the role played by planning constraints in driving-up house prices and making housing markets more susceptible to price volatility (boom/bust price cycles). The video segment is shown above. Note that in the interview, which went


Macro morning: BoJ smashes yen

No mucking around at the Bank of Japan yesterday with the vote to double the size of the balance sheet and try to hit 2% inflation by March 2015. The fact that the vote was unanimous behind the new BoJ Governor Kuroda is also instructive that after 2 decades of moribund growth the Japanese are growing


A new Australian dollar/yuan nirvana?

Cross-posted from The Conversation. James Laurenceson is currently a Senior Lecturer in Economics at The University of Queensland. He has previously also held appointments at Shimonoseki City. ———————————————————————————————— Julia Gillard leaves Australia for China tomorrow, her second trip to the Middle Kingdom as Prime Minister. As befits China’s status as Australia’s most important trading partner, the


Have Aussies embraced apartment living?

By Leith van Onselen The latest dwelling approvals data, released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), confirmed that apartment living is growing ever more popular across Australia, but particularly in Australia’s larger and more expensive capitals. While house approvals are at recessionary levels, unit & apartment approvals are running near their all-time high


Melbourne building boom drawing to a close?

By Leith van Onselen As noted previously, Melbourne has, since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis, led the nation in housing construction. The recent boom in housing construction is easily recognisable by the below charts, which track the total number of dwelling approvals in the five major capitals since the late-1980s, as well as


Links 5 April 2013

Global Macro/Markets: Koo: Currency Markets Misinterpreting QE – Pragmatic Capitalism QE Forever? – Naked Capitalism Japan and UK must lead way to reflation – Financial Times North America: Don’t panic – financial reform is coming to America – Financial Times Fed member hints at summer slowing of QE3 – Financial Times Should Fed Raise Rates


ASX at the close

Despite most forex and Japanese equity players being transfixed on perhaps one of the most eagerly-awaited central bank meetings for some time, there are still some very interesting thematics which are gripping other parts of capital markets. Perhaps for us, the other two key talking points are the ever-changing repricing of Fed expectations from the


Gillard fills empty factories with empty words

In a speech this afternoon to the Foreign Correspondent’s Association, Julia Gillard outlined her glorious plan for the future of Australia knowledge economy: The Asian Century will also involve difficult adjustments, and the high dollar is a clear example of this. It’s painful to many sectors. But like Germany under the towering deutschmark in the


Inequality rising, but more people better-off

Cross-posted from The Conversation After several decades of unprecedented growth, have the benefits trickled down to all Australians? The answer according, to a new study by the Productivity Commission, is a resounding “yes … probably, but it’s hard to say”. It’s an honest assessment. What the study does show is that: more people are working;


Dwelling approvals lift for houses & units

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released dwelling approvals data for the month of February. At the national level, the number of dwelling approvals rose by a seasonally adjusted 3.1% to 13,371, with both detached house (+4.2%) and apartment (+1.6%) approvals rising. Consensus was for a total rise of


Retail sales surge

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released retail sales figures for the month of February, which registered a seasonally-adjusted 1.3% increase over the month versus an expected 0.3% rise. The result was strengthened by an upward revision to December’s figures to 1.2% from 0.9% previously. Retail sales appear to


PSI edges towards expansion

The Australian Industry Group’s services PMI for March is out today and shows continued improvement albeit at a slowing pace, up 1.1 points to 49.6 and on the verge of expansion: The internals are not quite so encouraging. The sectoral split shows that penny-pinching food is still dominating activity: And new orders did not improve