March 28 links: Dollar dazzler

Rebels move west. Bloomberg Mission Accomplished. Barack Obama Ugly radiation. Zero Hedge Ireland going for haircuts. Reuters UK folk going for broke. FT Week ahead for the DOW. Calculated Risk Bullard swings to QE2 end. Bloomberg Uber-hawks now control Fed. Jack Barnes Wartering down Dodd-Frank. NYT Corrupting covered bonds. FT ASIC shrinking. SMH Dollar to

Latest posts


Now it’s on the box

It is sunday so I will keep it short. I know this isn’t new to anyone who has been reading my posts for any length of time. But as a good friend of mine used to say “it isn’t real until it is on TV”. I suspect this is just another piece of strategic capitulation


The trouble with fund management

Open the money section of any newspaper and you will be bombarded with stock tips, tables of the best performing funds, and interviews with fund managers who claim they are “beating the market.” Most of this advice and commentary is misleading at best, and, at its worst, downright dangerous to your financial health. In fact,


Weekly Market Analysis: Risk is up!

The S&P/ASX200 index closed 0.91 per cent higher to 4,742.6 points on Friday, after a strong rebound rally. The index is up 116 points or 2.5% for the week, but still down 1.75% since the start of March and no movement at all for the year. For a primer on how I do my analysis,


Hyper-inflation is here

Last weekend, the MacroBusiness New York bloggerspondent, Rotten Apple, mounted an interesting critique of the dominance of neo-liberal economics in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.  It details the hypocrisy of our times: how a global debauch by the financial sector — one of the most irresponsible collective acts, or thefts, ever seen


Weekend Reading: Two-pace, two-face, too much

Rockets: $US, Aussie. Flat:  Metals, energy, grains. Fukushima bleeding. New Scientist Not over. BusinessWeek Why I now love nuclear. George Monbiot Now Syria. FT Bahrain simmers. FT Endgame chimera. Paul McGeogh Oil to stay high. Credit Writedowns Is Spain next? WSJ IMF loosens the purse strings. Zero Hedge The RBA is very happy. The Source The FED’s lovely


Tick Tock goes the clock

For those of you who don’t happen to live in Brisbane you probably will not know who Michael Matusik is. He is an old property bull turned bear who then picked up a job as the property blogger at the Courier mail. It seems however that his time at the newspaper has spurred him back


Here come the rate cuts, not

From Banking Day: The Australian Government will set the cap on the percentage of assets that can be used to support covered bonds at eight per cent, the Financial Review reports – up from the cap of five per cent suggested by the Government back in December. For some weeks, talk in banking and government


Two-up on the Aussie

Years of experience in financial markets has taught me never to crow to loudly on victories as Hubris is an always close stalker. But equally I’ve learnt not to despair to much if you get it wrong. That’s what stop losses are for. There are two sides to every trade and my selling sees someone


Fosters takes the piss

While the bogan has spent the past few years variously coveting foreign-looking domestically produced beer, Mexican beer, and low-carb beer, what has remained constant is that the bogan has continued to enjoy getting the more traditional Australian beers on the cheap. With this in mind, the bogan has been incensed by the revelation this week


The carbon tax bunyip (updated)

When Tony Windsor, MP, said that he would like to see the carbon debate in this country move beyond the words “tax” and the word “lie”, it really struck a chord with me. We seem to be stuck in this Groundhog Day style conversation where each issue is immediately translated into a one line pro


That’s not a first home owner grant!

This is a first home buyer grant. From the UK Telegraph: [A] controversial new mortgage deal is being launched by five local authorities and backed by Lloyds Banking Group, one of the lenders bailed out by the taxpayer during the credit crisis. The scheme is aimed at struggling first-time buyers who are unable to afford the


Australian dollar headfake

I haven’t blogged this week which I hope no one has thought was a result of the Aussie not falling as much as I hoped last week. Its simply been a case that I’m out of the office.  Indeed I wanted it lower because in the .94/.95 region against the USD I thought it would


Bosnia meets Iraq in Libya

Yesterday Australia’s own diplomatic superstar (no, I mean it), Gareth Gareth, wrote in SMH that: The international military intervention in Libya is not about bombing for democracy or Muammar Gaddafi’s head – let alone keeping oil prices down or profits up. Legally, morally, politically and militarily it has only one justification: protecting the country’s people


March 25 Links: Tax flack

Rockets: Aussie, grains. Up:  Ore. Flat:  $US, metals, energy. Struggle at Fukushima goes on. Bloomberg Toyota, Honda extend shut downs. Detroit Free Press Portugese debt. Alphaville, Bloomberg Suppressing Tripoli. FT Sorry, can’t buy the rebels oil. Alphaville MENA crisis and Egypt stocks. Money Game Good, bad US data. Bloomberg Trashing the inflation panic. Tim Duy Era of cheap China


Oh, that’s what he said

This morning I posted a message from a reader about statements by the member for Gaven. I said at the time I couldn’t find the transcript  of his statements so I couldn’t verify the claims. Well our reader has got back to us with some more information, and what Alex Douglas actually said is even


RBA warns banks on expanding risks

Back in March 2009, former Reserve Bank Governor Ian Macfarlane gave a now famous speech in which he outlined why Australian banks had avoided the worst consequences of the GFC, because of dumb luck. One of his principle insights in drawing this conclusion was that the banks had benefited from the ebbing of competitive pressures


Gold: Global currencies and demand

Guest post from The Bullion Baron An interesting article was posted on Mineweb earlier this week comparing the performance of Gold over several currencies. The 4 currencies it was compared in were the US Dollar, Renminbi, Indian Rupee and Euro. With the growth of three tied so closely it was almost just a comparison of


What did he just say?

We received an e-mail from a reader last night about something they had heard on ABC local radio in Brisbane as they were driving home. On the way home from work today, on 612 ABC Brisbane’s news, there was a story about the member for Gaven, Alex Douglas (shown above) suggesting that the state and


Deep T.’s Financial (In)stability Review

There have been some very interesting debates on this blog in the last few weeks, which were enlightening. But is the debate somewhat misguided as to what’s truly the most relevant issue around house prices. For my part the systemic risk in the banking system is the main game. House price bubbles are merely a


Rio’s iron cross

Rio Tinto is complaining that governments are seeking rents when the rents should obviously go to Rio Tinto, as my co-blogger Houses and Holes pointed out. More pragmatically, is the stock accurately priced? Brokers are mostly putting buys on it, because that is the obvious thing to do. Yes, its very, very big — big


How to Sell a Donkey – Ask an “Expert”

The Prince sent me a link this morning to an article in the Oz about the WAN-7 Merger, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.  This quote in the article had me painfully coughing up my Weeties through my nose: “An independent expert’s report found Seven Media was worth between $519m and $986m


Projecting global growth

Below are two takes on the immediate future of the global economy from heavy-hitters RGE Monitor and PIMCO. First from RGE, Nouriel Roubini’s mob: Upside and downside risks to the global recovery The global economy today can be described as a glass that is half full and half empty. Upside/Positive Risks/Trends: Global recovery and actual


March 24 Links: Radioactive quagmire

Tokyo babies can’t drink its water. Bloomberg Other bad signs. Zero Hedge The quagmire beckons in Libya. Bloomberg PIIGS 10 year yields out again: Ireland, Portugal, Greece. But Spain, Italy, Belgium in. Bounce: $US, Ore, metals . Up: Aussie, energy. Ease: grains. US new home sales at record low. Calculated Risk Why PIMCO sold Treasurys. Zero Hedge BRICS slowing. Gavyn Davies Housing market healthy: ANZ. The Age


The economics of government service failure

Today I want to cover a topic that I have not discussed previously. I have often thought about posting on it but it wasn’t until I had a discussion on another thread that I realised how important the topic might be for others. The catch cry of the public is “why does the government waste


Is the first home buyer pool running dry?

Last week, I quoted an Australian Financial Review article explaining how Australia’s banks are lifting maximum loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) and are, in some cases, waving mortgage insurance payments on high LVR loans in an effort to increase mortgage lending: Major banks are pitching special mortgage deals to their customers in an effort to generate business


Rio has a whinge

Some days rent-seeking is a challenging business. Take Tom Albanese, CEO of Rio Tinto, who today held forth on the evils of government intervention in mining. According to Reuters: Besides, technical constraints, we are also seeing human constraints. We are seeing a combination of resource nationalism in some cases,” he said, citing “difficult governance” in


Gov’ should fund equity research

My co-blogger, The Prince, has devised a fine scheme to fund innovation that might prove highly effective. Which is why it will never happen, most probbaly. Still, to continue the practice of tilting at windmills, I wish to propose something else that might prove effective (and so also will probably never occur). Public funding of


DJ’s blames Gaddafi

It’s always good to under promise and over deliver. And DJ’s has done just that in their half year result, posting a good result in depressed consumer circumstances of 4.2% profit growth amidst falling revenue. They also reaffirmed full year guidance of 5-10% profit growth. One has to seriously wonder, however, about the above caveat


Iron ore in the crosshairs

I have been consistently behind the curve on China. Unlike the US, Australia or even global capital markets, where recognisable raw data and a lively media make it possible to forecast with some confidence, China is a black box. There isn’t much data. What there is is unreliable. And the media is lousy. This leaves