Mirvac joins the capitulators

While delivering the news of a 22.3% fall in net profit yesterday Mirvac, one of Australia’s largest property development groups, stated that real estate price increases are no longer part of their business model. Residential property prices are expected to remain flat with little growth in the foreseeable future, one of Australia’s biggest property developers,

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August 24 links: Bad news is good news once more

Monstered: gold, $US, Treasuries Up: grains, metals, CRB, energy, Euro, Aussie Mixed 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


Can manufacturing seize its opening?

Suddenly there’s a little momentum behind the notion that to save manufacturing, Australia needs to manage its boom better. From the SMH today: The wave of job cuts in the steel industry, blamed on the high dollar, has reignited calls for a sovereign wealth fund to rein in the exchange rate. After BlueScope Steel yesterday


European data

It is a busy day for economic data in Europe today with many countries reporting their national PMI. Given how sensitive the European market is at the moment I thought I would post some of the data as it comes out. Swiss trade data Swiss exports fell in July as the strengthening franc curbed companies’


Trading Day

The S&P/ASX 200 rallied strongly today alongside other risk assets, closing up 91 points or 2.18% to 4173 points. Asian markets experienced gains, with the Nikkei 225 closing up 1.22% at 8733 points, and the Hang Seng up 1.3% at 19740 points. In other risk assets, the AUD bounced back against the USD, now at


China flash PMI offers hope

From Bloomberg on China, the HSBC ‘flash’ PMI: August PMI preliminary reading at 49.8; output index at 49.4 also rebounds from last month’s 48. July HSBC PMI final reading was 49.3, 1st contraction in yr New orders, new export orders, employment may contract: HSBC NOTE: China reported July manufacturing PMI at 50.7, lowest reading since Feb.


‘Boom boom’ speaks

Find below the text of speech just delivered by Rick “boom boom” Battelino, RBA DEputy Governor (analysis to follow): The RBA’s Thinking on the Economy Over the Past Year Ric Battellino Deputy Governor Address to The Bellwether Series: Australia Sydney – 23 August 2011 Over the past year, the Australian economy has been subject to a number


The Jackson hole

I haven’t seen a single commentator predict that QE3 will be foreshadowed at the Federal Reserve Jackson Hole meeting this Friday (US time). The blogospheric consensus is that instead, we’ll get ‘Operation Twist’, a contorted effort to stimulate without stimulating by manipulating the yield curve. Calculated Risk, the FT, and Gavyn Davies all provided commentary on the likely


The Texas housing miracle by Leith van Onselen

Last week, Rortybomb published an interesting article entitled Investigating the Link between Debt, Deleveraging and the “Texas Miracle”. In the article appeared the below chart showing per capita debt balances in key US states using data extracted from The Federal Reserve Bank of New York quarterly data release (excel file available here): The chart shows large variances


European stalemate

It is getting very difficult to determine what is going to happen next in Europe. Over the last couple of days we have seen a renewed and very strong message from Germany and France that a supra-European debt instrument is not going to happen without some significant adjustment in policy governing national fiscal independence. European


Panic is normal?

At MB, one our key reasons for being is to expose ‘the spruik’ wherever we find it. Many of the bloggers at the site have very successfully done so for the perma-bullish housing brigade that used to dominate the national media. No doubt readers have noticed the insistent call to “buy” shares over the past


Equity Spotlight – Infomedia Ltd (IFM)

Following on from Monday’s post on high-yield dividend stocks, today we take a quick look at Infomedia Ltd (IFM). Note: I haven’t done my usual job of thoroughly examining the last 5 years of financial data (time constraints of my full-time job), so I’ll be relying on equity, NPAT and assets figures from a proprietary,


Chart of the day: Subterranean bond yields

Today’s chart of the US 10 year Treasury Note (T-note) is simple and stark and comes from Colin Twiggs new daily blog, which captures his Trading Diary sent to Incredible Charts subscribers*. Colin states the risk in the long term bull market in bonds quite clearly: A “bond market revolt” is a general sell-off of Treasurys


Hong Kong inflation bubbling

Inflation in Hong Kong continued to rise in July.  The headline consumer price index rose by 7.9% compared to a year ago, up from 5.6% in June.  Excluding the effect of all government’s one-off relief measures, the core inflation rate was 5.8% vs. 5.5% in June.  The large discrepancy was due to low base effect on public housing


August 23 links: Ben dines with Muammar

To the moon: gold Up: $US, grains,metals, CRB, energy Flat: Euro, Aussie Down: Treasuries Periphery 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


The AIG wakes up

It seems that the Australian Industry Group has finally gotten my message and has sloughed its genteel suasion of policy in favour of a full-throated roar for protection. The campaign is a macroeconomic gamble and may do nothing to alleviate members suffering. But, at least the manufacturing “crisis” I have been calling for has arrived


Trading Day

The S&P/ASX 200 climbed through midday before wiping out all gains and then some, closing today down 19 points or 0.486% to 4082 points. Asian markets experienced broader losses, with the Nikkei 225 closing down 1.04% at 8628 points, and the Hang Seng down 1.37% at 19133 points. In other risk assets, the AUD slipped


Chart of the Day

Today’s (late) temperature rising chart is from Jesse’s Cafe Americain blog (via NYT and the Globe), explaining the US government debt, who it’s owed to and how it got there. The problem with the debt is not necessarily the size, nor how the rating agencies judge its tenor, but as Jesse rightly puts it: No,


More on “The block” flop

Earlier this year The Unconventional Economist and I were interviewed by Christine Kenneally for an article in the The Monthly. Christine is a well-written journalist and author who has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate and New Scientist along with authoring her own books. Today, inspired by The block flop , Christine


Shareholder confidence falls

It’s a slow data day today so for something a bit different here is the Global Proxy/Melbourne Institute Shareholder Confidence Survey for August. It doesn’t take Einstein to figure out that sentiment is falling but I guess some attempt to measure how far and fast is welcome. Doing so quarterly, however, isn’t terribly useful. GPS


Good news for oil (and Libya)

The FT is reporting that: Colonel Muammer Gaddafi’s 41-year rule over Libya was collapsing as rebel forces advanced deep into the capital, capturing his son, Seif al-Islam. As jubilant crowds filled Green Square at the heart of Tripoli on Sunday night, the rebels said they would grant safe passage to Col Gaddafi and his family


Politics and markets collide

Political economy, once considered an interesting academic aside, is now front and centre in investment thinking. Decades of ideology masquerading as economic truism have resulted in the predictable polarisation of wealth, and that is now starting to become an unavoidable fact in anticipating the direction of markets. Even the investment bank Morgan Stanley is starting


10 steps to manufacturing annihilation

Poor, poor manufacturing. It’s on the ten steps to doom: 1. Resources boom drives up the dollar and crushes competitiveness. 2. Canberra consensus embraces manufacturing’s destruction in the name of “adjustment” towards greater resources output. 3. Australian Industry Group (AIG) adopts a genteel approach to defending its members from annihilation. 4. Ken Henry proposes byzantine resource


Big trouble ahead (posted by Leith van Onselen)

Back in May, former Reserve Bank of New Zealand advisor, Terry “Macca” McFadgen, wrote a guest post on MacroBusiness entitled: Will Aussie housing go bust?  Now Terry is back with another serving of ‘Maccanomics’. In this installment, Terry provides a sobering assessment of the global economy, and maps-out how events might unfold. This is a


What is Mike Smith up to?

Last Friday, the media was full of quotes from ANZ CEO Mike Smith about a coming crisis: “Europe is frankly a mess, with quite genuine concerns about the solvency of countries such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal [and] the contagion effect that has on countries such as Italy and Spain,” he said in a conference call. “In


Dividend hugging in harsh times

Throughout Friday, the azure blue sky above Brisbane was marred by the criss-cross pattern of contrails, as investors panicked and took the first flights to safety they could find.  Gold was a popular holiday spot, whilst Equityville and Commodity City were deserted come close of business. And really, who can blame them?  This graph shows


Messages from the front-line

Anyone that follows the Australian housing market will know that the South-East Queensland (SEQ) and Perth housing markets are in trouble. After registering above average house price growth in the years leading up to the global financial crisis, both regions are now underperforming, registering significant falls over the past 12 months. According to RP Data,



Anyone who has been following my posting for any length of time would know that I am certainly not a friend of the IMF. In my opinion their persistent “one plan fits all” ideology has been very damaging to the world’s economy and has made the recent crisis in Europe far worse. The IMF has


The block flop

Back in June I noted that Channel 9 had completely overestimated the housing market for this year’s production of “The Block”. The production company behind Channel 9′s hit, The Block, may have bitten off more than it can chew after paying $3.6 million for a row of rundown terraces in Richmond. As the property market


August 22 links: Libyan hope

Fighting erupts in Tripoli. WSJ, FT What will Bernanke say? Calculated Risk, FT, Gavyn Davies US growth and earnings. Zero Hedge US rail traffic flat. PragCap Profits of doom miss the mark. SMH LOL More bank discounts. The Age Here comes the manufacturing ‘crisis’. The Oz Hooray! Get ye to the Pilbara you bludgers. The Oz (Being sarcastic) The ‘natural’