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More "surprising" news

Today we note another piece of “surprising” news after yesterday’s “surprise”, but “nothing to worry about” GDP numbers. Retail sales fell away in October, dropping 1.1 per cent seasonally adjusted, against expectations for a 0.5 per cent rise. The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics follow a rise of 0.1 per cent in



There’s a war going on in Canberra. It’s being fought between the Reserve Bank of Australia on one side and the Treasury allied with the government on the other. This blogger has no special leak to offer, nor insight from the generals that are directing the battle, but the war is now out in the


The fifth pillar

Australia’s best business journalist, Adele Ferguson, has a scoop today on what the government’s new competition measures will look like. From the SMH: Wayne Swan is poised to unveil controversial measures to create a fifth pillar of the banking system using the muscle of the $73 billion credit union and building society industry. It is


Well, glad that’s over

It’s all ‘risk oooaaarrrrn’. And this blogger doesn’t buy it. EQE can’t save the euro. It can only devalue it. That stuffs the current macro settings for reflation and sooner rather than later the markets will realise it. The US recovery cannot carry the world without a falling dollar even given it’s slow strengthening. Moreover,


Links December 2: EQE rally

Here comes EQE. FTOr massive IMF pool. Zero HedgeWhat’s wrong with poor old Belgium? Spreads widen. All else in.Clear macro weaknesses. Martin WolfIreland the rise & crash. NYRB (h/t nakedcapitalism)Politics to kill Europe. Michael Pettis, Barry Eichengreen, Yves SmithUS bond bubble bust. MarketWatchFinancialisation of commodities. VOXThe fifth pillar. SMH Australia’s shitty growth. Tim Colebatch (h/t


Negative Gearing Revisited

My cousin, Peter van Onselen, writes for the Australian. In my opinion, he is one of the more insightful and balanced commentators on their roster (of course I am biased). Today he published an article explaining the political sensitivities and difficulties of reforming Australia’s housing policy, in particular our overly generous taxation concessions (such as negative gearing)


Did you buy gold ?

Although we never offer investment advice, back in September we posed a few questions about gold and the AUD. Obviously gold is seen as a safe haven, but is also being traded by those who think others will see it as a safe haven. In Australia the economy is rolling along, but is leveraged to


Banks telling staff to stay away from property

A few weeks ago we heard a rumour that Suncorp executives were “informing” people that it might be a good time to reconsider their current property portfolio given the current and perceived future state of the market. This was only a rumour, and we did not receive any information to validate it. Today however we


Aussie at the brink?

That looks like a pretty tight head-and-shoulders top on the Aussie battler. The neckline is already busted and its along way down to the waste. For extra frisson, have a look where it was trading during the last bout of European debt woes in May. Time to buy those $US travelers cheques… Though you didn’t


Fish food

Carassius auratus auratus, the common goldfish, a much maligned creature, rumoured to have a memory-length sufficient for one circuit of its bowl. What do Australian business readers have in common with this humble fish? There’s the easy life and danger of obesity. Certainly a small pond. And there’s one more similarity. The presumption of their


Fitch as a fiddle II

The Age via Bloomberg reports this morning that: Australia’s banks and insurers would find the fallout following a 30 per cent tumble in house prices ”manageable”, Fitch Ratings said yesterday, as it released partial results of a stress test. Whilst this blogger is reassured that Fitch has passed the mortgage complex, it might have been


Links December 1: Solvency not liquidity

Ireland, Portugal in a little. Spain, Greece, Italy, Belgium widen.EU corporate bonds widening. FTMarket focussed on solvency not liquidity. Eurointelligence, AlphavilleUS dollar up, euro/risk down. BarchartMetals decoupled.RBA, APRA wary of covered bonds. The OZBank porn. SMHMore bank porn. The Age on FitchBubble porn. SMHMore bubble porn. Peter van OnselenUS house prices slide again. Calculated RiskUS


End of Months Blog Stats

Another month runs by, time for some more blog stats. As you can see from the chart our readership is in a speculative bubble with 100% growth per month. We find it very hard to believe we can keep this sort of growth up, but then again we are constantly surprised that more than 5


Atlas shrugged

Reader Atlas has down the heavy lifting and answered this blogger’s challenge in fine style by explaining Michael Stutchbury clearly for us all: …isn’t Stuchbury simply saying: a) much of the media has missed the point in that the RBA is saying we need to allow big banks fail without it killing the economy;b) this


The RBA’s RMBS anxiety

The RBA appears to be running interference against interests in favour of a Budget guarantee for securitisers. From a speech today by deputy governor Guy Debelle: In thinking about the AOFM support for the RMBS market, I believe the AOFM program has a number of advantages relative to alternative means of support: it can be


House Prices on Cliff edge

RPData released its latest data today for October. We have attached the previous months data so you can see the trends. Melbourne and Sydney have had a small uptick, the rest are following the downward trend. Brisbane and Perth are once again head of the pack. Proponents of “soft landing” theory will be cheering these


Credit aggregates unchanged

The RBA released the October credit aggregates this morning and what the RBA itself defines as ‘modest’ credit growth continues. Owner-occupier mortgage debt was up 7.1% annualised and investor mortgages 6.9%. Other personal loans clocked up 5%. Business credit is still in serious decline, down at a 9.3% annualised rate. No sign here of any


Reflation toast

The SMH reports this morning that: Europe’s credit crisis could help with Australia’s borrowing efforts by alerting investors to the economy’s strength, says the departing head of the government’s debt management agency. Neil Hyden, who retired last week as the chief executive of the Australian Office of Finance Management, said Europe’s woes had not tainted


Links November 30: Worse than May

World bank: No double-dip. Sell now. ReutersContagion rampant: Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, BelgiumCDA carnage hitting core. Zero HedgeBailout fail. GuardianFour scenarios for Europe. Simon JonsonNot waving, drowning. Paul KrugmanEQE. Zero HedgeEuro growth to be hit. BloombergImproved US indicators. Calculated RiskOrderly transition vs markets. El-ErianDepression back on. Megan McCardle. The Atlantic$US just begun to rise. Money


Glenn the CentralBankopian

Today we noted an article about RBA chief Captain Glenn’s words at the house economics committee. If we didn’t know any better we would swear he was reading from the CentralBankopian Handbook. The commodities boom should be used to increase national saving and the focus on boosting productivity should not be lost, Reserve Bank of


Aussie toppy?

An extraordinary article at Seeking Alpha caught this blogger’s eye today. In it, one Ananthan Thangavel argues that the Aussie dollar is better than gold. There can be no surer signal that you are close to a top than when boffin traders announce your currency is more valuable than the yellow metal. And sure enough,


The truth about Queensland

As our readers would be aware we concentrate mostly on the Queensland real estate market. There are two reasons for this. Firstly we live in Brisbane so have first hand knowledge of what is happening and the “local” reasons for it. Secondly it has been the leader in showing signs of trouble that we believed,


See you in 6 months Ireland

Moronic political stupidity seems to have won the day yet again in Europe. This morning we note that: European Union finance ministers have agreed to an 85 billion euro ($117bn) loan package for Ireland. The ministers have also agreed to create a permanent financing mechanism for euro area governments that would require sovereign debt holders


No one likes when the gravy train stops.

The property price gravy train is loaded with people who don’t want the good times to stop. These people come in many different shapes and sizes, but you can always tell if they are “on-board” by what they say and do.Today we noted this article. The Real Estate Buyer’s Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) has


The Six Million Dollar Central Bank

This blog delivered the RBA a bit a of a serve for inconsistency late last week after the boffins’ appearance in Parliament. Having read the hansard, however, what is also obvious is just how much the RBA is rebuilding itself from the ruins of the crashed debt pilots of yesteryear. Let’s take a look. Gone



Late last week, the blog Data Diary posted on the dynamics of how a Chinese slowdown would trigger an Australian bust. According to the capital market community that is ‘short’ the banks and commodity giants: 1) Australia has had a massive terms of trade boost as a result of the Chinese property building boom. This


Links November 29: Better than gold

Aussie dollar better than gold. Seeking AlphaIreland should default. MishIrish on the streets. NYTWeek ahead for the DOW. Calculated RiskEuropean crisis cheat sheet. Zero HedgeItaly next? VoxCDS to blame. WSJAll boom ahead. Barf. Gittins.Suncorp calls for Wallis. The OzRio: pedal to the metal. The Oz


Not all populism

This blogger has just finished reading the hansard of Glenn Stevens’ parliamentary appearance on Friday. Although completely unreported, there was this excellent exchange between Kelly O’Dwyer and the Gov: Ms O’DWYER—Our task is to draw you out! Mr Stevens—Indeed it is—and my task is to try not to be drawn too much! Ms O’DWYER—Indeed. I