Refinancing boom

ABS Housing Finance Commitments is out for August and there’s a big move on. Here’s the state by state chart for total value of new loans: As we’ve noted many times, housing finance moves in lock step with price rises so surely prices are about to rocket in Sydney and Melbourne! Well…no. And here’s why:

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Consumer confidence bounce stalls

So, the bounce in consumer confidence has stalled, increasing by just 0.4% in October from 96.9 in September to 97.2. There is a interesting picture building around consumption at the moment. On the back of flattening expectations for rate hikes, we’ve seen a little pop in retail sales, pent up demand if you will. I’ve also


Under attack

Dear Reader, MB comments are under attack from some unpleasant person or persons replicating user names and posting insulting comments willy nilly. No premium content details have been hacked. Of course we take this as a signal that we are doing an excellent job and upsetting some interest or another. For the time being, I’ve


The historic parallels for trade war

In his masterpiece, The World in Depression, Charles A. Kindleberger concludes the major cause of the Great Depression was a paralysis of leadership caused by the decline of the UK and the immaturity of the US. Neither was able to provide leadership and put themselves forward as the economy of last resort. Kindelberger argues that during


Slovakia gets in the way (updated)

Well, it was all eyes on Slovakia last night. But we still don’t have an outcome, although the situation does seem to be getting a bit more desperate even though I still find it difficult to believe that there will not ultimately be a ‘Yes’ vote, but there is much more politicking to be done


Chanos on China (again)

Have you ever wondered why it seems that Jim Chanos always ends up shorting Australia? He’s at it again, persisting in his big short on the ‘Chinese real estate bust’. He returns to interpret Monday’s Chinese purchase of it’s banks as a glowing endorsement of these shorts. It’s always helpful to remember that Mr Chanos


Is a rising yuan inevitable?

Let’s face it, China is manipulating its currency.  You can call it whatever you want, but China is manipulating its currency. As part of its trade policy, China has been trying to prevent they Yuan from appreciating quickly.  They have also taken the lesson from 1985 Plaza Accord in which the US and others forced


The fat tax chimera

A couple of weeks back I noted that Hungary’s new fat tax is unlikely to slim the populous or reduce health costs.  While MacroBusiness has a wide readership, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is clearly not amongst them, as his recent suggestion of a ‘food levy’ to battle obesity suggests. Also, it was too late


Chart of the Day: Qantas’ real problem

Qantas (QAN) has been making headlines recently through industrial disputes with their engineering workforce.  Shareholders may be concerned the dispute will impact QAN’s image or maybe even its profits through future strike action. Well, investors can rest assured that strike action won’t have much of an impact on QAN’s future. As we can see from


October 12 links: Ore breaks

Up: $US, Treasuries, euro, grains, metals, energy, CRB Down: Aussie,  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 Germany 2 Year


NAB survey indicates no rate cut

The NAB survey has put in a solid performance for September. Business confidence remained subdued but conditions and trading jumped. So too did the employment index. Forward orders was still in deep negative territory and exports are subdued. Given the backdrop of global volatility, I see this as a very good result. As does NAB:


The perfect storm driving savings

The IMF released a treasure trove of stuff on Australia last week. I’ve been enjoying it immensely. Partly because it’s very good and in line with the MB view of the economy and partly because I’ve had the time to read it thoroughly. The campaign for national ignorance spearheaded by Gittins! ensured there was no


Europe plans its plan (updated)

Another happy night on the European equity markets once again based on the hope that something may finally be being done to sort out Europe under a new “plan”. The EU summit has now been moved to allow some more time to work out what the “plan” might actually be: The President of the European


Policy green shoots

Who will ever forget Ben Bernanke’s “green shoots” in March 2009. It was Bernanke’s finest hour as a forecaster and was taken up and boosted in markets by discussion of the “second derivative” economic indicators that showed that the pace of economic slowing was slowing. The rest is history with the moment marking the start


China’s lonely power

Late yesterday, the Lowy Institute released a fascinating new study by John Lee (a former colleague of mine at The Diplomat) into whether or not China will be able to convert its growing economic power into strategic dominance. Regular readers will know that the schism in Australian policy on this topic has been a bugbear


China buys its banks

China’s Central Huijin is buying shares of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and China Construction Bank according to Xinhua: Central Huijin Investment Ltd, an arm of China’s sovereign wealth fund, bought shares in four major Chinese State-owned banks on the secondary market on Monday, the company told Xinhua.


RPData on August

The latest RPData video came out last week with an overview of the market using their August data. If you don’t want to watch the entire 17 minutes but are interested in a particular market Sydney is @3:50, Melbourne @5:35, Brisbane @7:42, Adelaide @9:40, Perth @10:55 , Darwin @12:25, Canberra @13:20 and Hobart @14:30. The


Chart of the Day: Eurobanks get worse

In today’s chart we have the results of the Euro Banking Association stress tests on 21 major European banks (courtesy of Zero Hedge).  As we can see from the chart below, only 7 of the 21 banks have better tier 1 capital ratios now than they did in 2010. In total, the tier one capital


Ageing debate hijacked by vested interests

Kevin Rudd’s political career was over when he uttered the words ‘big Australia’.  Dick Smith, the hobby pilot and millionaire political agitator, took it upon himself to raise the profile of the population debate, making it the Australian identity crisis of 2010.  Many economic commentators came out in support of the high rate of population


October 10 links: Undollar delight

Hammered: $US, Treasuries, ore Up: Aussie, euro, grains, metals, energy Down: CRB 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 Germany 2


Housing stock on market up in September

Apologies readers. Although we put up a Chart of the day on Friday containing SQM research’s stock on market data we neglected to provide a broader post on the rest of the data. Please find SQM’s latest newsletter  below. Figures released this week by property research house SQM Research revealed that residential property listings have increased


China realty goes BOGOF

The National Day Golden Week is ended in China.  Traditionally, the Golden Week (or more broadly, September and October) has been a peak season for real estate sales for China. No longer. The increasingly tough purchase restrictions in some cities and credit and monetary tightening have crushed the transaction volumes across the country for the


Job ads fall in adjustment overshoot

The softening of the jobs market predicted at MB earlier this year is showing more evidence, with ANZ job ads slowing again in September: Job advertisements on the internet and in newspapers decreased by 2.1% in September. Annual growth in total job advertisements decelerated to 3.1% y/y. • Newspaper job ads were flat in September, while


Chart of the Day: Pay dirt in AUD

The Prince is on hiatus for a week, so I’ll be filling his Chart of the Day shoes. Today’s chart shows iron ore and thermal coal prices in Australian dollars.  They are typically quoted in USD however our big miners pay their Oz operations in Oz dollars, so these graphs are important. Iron ore’s recovery from the GFC


Should we occupy Martin Place?

Last week, Paul Krugman wrote the following on the growing protest, Occupy Wall Street: There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear, but we may, at long last, be seeing the rise of a popular movement that, unlike the Tea Party, is angry at the right people. When the Occupy Wall Street protests


IMF stress tests China/Australia bust

With the Gittins! campaign for national ignorance going swimmingly, it is not at all surprising that we must look offshore for a sensible risk assessment of Australia vis-a-vis China. On cue, as a part of its annual report on the Australian economy, the IMF has produced a three part stress test of the Australian fallout in


Europe promises the world

Another weekend in Europe, yet another round of meetings with a “promise” to do something: The leaders of Germany and France promised Sunday to unveil a new comprehensive package for solving the euro zone’s debt crisis by the end of the month, but offered no details and papered over differences on how to shore up European


Data vault: Last week in charts

Australian Data TD Inflation Index Inflationary pressures continue to ease in Australia according to the TD-MI inflations gauge with headline inflation rising by 0.1% in September following a fall of -0.1% in August with the annual pace of inflation slowing to 2.8%. The trimmed mean index also rose by 0.1% in September with the annual


Australian dollar rally falters

No surprise really that toward the end of the week, and after a week like we saw, that the Australian dollar rallied hard up to 0.9880 then failed.  It seems to me that the short term trading nature of the market is the key driver at present and while on conventional analysis the Australian dollar