Grantham calls the top

For those of you with a memory longer than a few days, it was Jeremy Grantham of GMO who famously called the bottom in the great GFC equity rout. Whilst I never put anyone on a pedestal, Granthan is one of the few equity strategists that sees the way markets actually work these days. Overnight

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Links May 12: Sell

Rocket: $US Smashed: energy, gold, grains, Aussie, CRB Flat: ore Bloomberg says its inflation. Bloomberg Grantham calls a sell. Zero Hedge Treasuries are back! Crossing Wall St US trade deficit blowing out. Calculated Risk Journey to default. Martin Wolf Chinese commodity demand falling. Alphaville Inflation spreading beyond food. Bloomberg SocGen. No, its deflation. Alphaville


RBNZ tells it straight

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) today released its biannual Financial Stability Report (FSR).  For years, I have been a keen reader of the FSR as it provides an alternate view to the biannual Financial Stability Review released by the Reserve Bank of Australia in March and September. I also follow events closely in


Transitional Planning for Boomers

Readers of MacroBusiness have turned my attention to a recent “AskNoel” question on Domain from 2 (early) baby boomer investors. Q. I’m 48 and my husband is 55. As a result of renovations blowing out to $300,000, our mortgage is $690,000.  Our home is worth $1.1 million. We have two positively geared investment properties, owing


Trading Day – 11th May

The S&P/ASX 200 is up almost 1% this afternoon, after digesting last night’s Budget. Asian markets are up generally, with the Nikkei up 0.5%, the Hang Seng steady and Singapore up slightly. The AUD is rising past 1.085 again against the USD and 87 against the Yen (which is highly correlated with the ASX200) Local


Big retailers confirm consumer funk

Given some of the, er,  happy interpretations in the press, you really should read the quarterly releases of David Jones and Myer for yourself (full reports are at the end). Not much here to worry the RBA. First, DJ’s: DAVID JONES REPORTS 3Q11 LFL SALES OF -1.3% 2H11 PAT GROWTH GUIDANCE ~+5% ·  Challenging trading conditions


Budget buy bye

The budget does not seem to have spooked equity analysts, but it has not excited them, either. Perhaps, as Delusional Economics suggests, it is about the best that can be done in the circumstances — that is, not much. Balance the books, hope China continues to do well, nibble at the marging on skills shortage


CBA Quarterly Update

As the last of the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) released its quarterly update today. CBA operates on a slightly different financial calendar to the other 3 big banks and this is just an update with a summary, not interim/half year results. Profit and Earnings Unaudited cash earnings for the quarter ending


Public debt deficit

The Budget papers are huge and Delusional Economics has done a great job of summing up them up. But for statistical wonks like myself it is the full papers that really excite . I’ll troll through the papers over the next day or so to draw out anything interesting. For today, the below chart was


Crash testing

As mentioned by Delusional Economics yesterday, the bastion of the Aussie punter, David Koch, has issued a warning that Australian home values are on the slide. The question now is how far will prices fall and over what time period? SQM Research’s Louis Christopher recently issued a newsletter predicting falls of 5-10%, whereas many bank


Links May 11: Budget warfare

Up: energy, gold, grains, Aussie Down: $US QE forever! Bloomberg Commodity financialisers get whacked. Matthew Lynn CME hikes margin requirements for oil. MarketWatch Germany gives in to Greece. Bloomberg Surprise! Not. 60 billion more for Greece. FT Bahrain bulldozes Shia. McClatchy (h/t Naked Cap) Gaddafi gasping for gas. FT US housing crashing at 18% per annum. Calculated Risk China surplus


Budget paralysis

Wayne Swan’s budget handed down his budget last night. His speech began with: Mr Speaker, the purpose of this Labor Government, and this Labor Budget, is to put the opportunities that flow from a strong economy within reach of more Australians. To get more people into work, and to train them for more rewarding jobs. So


Koshee’s news

David Koch is an interesting chap. Not because I think he is able to provide valuable economic insight, but because I feel he is the average Aussie’s TV economist. So once Koshee says something it means two things to me. Whatever it is happened six months ago. Everyone in the country now knows about it.


Budgeting the Australian Dollar

It’s that time of year when the financial community’s attention is focussed on the Australian Government’s budget. But the Federal Budget is not the only game in town at the moment, companies all over Australia are also doing their sums as they try to work out their budgets for the next and subsequent finanical years.


Trade bounce

The trade balance roared back in to surplus in March as exports surged 9.2% over the month, outpacing the 1.2% rise in imports. The surge in exports was drive by an 11% jump in non-rural goods exports which account for two thirds of total exports. While imports were mixed with intermediate imports climbing 7.5% while


Trading Day – 10th May

The S&P/ASX 200 is down slightly at midday, with strong intra-day selling pressure. Asian markets are mixed, with the Nikkei down a little but Hang Seng and Singapore up. The AUD is steady at 1.07 against the USD and 86.5 against the Yen (which is highly correlated with the ASX200) Short term price action as


Go slow on carbon? Check!

I was at the Melbourne Mining Club lunch yesterday where BHP Billiton Chairman, Jac Nasser, delivered a thought-provoking speech which touched on carbon, among many other issues. A transcript of his speech is available here. His call for a “go slow” on carbon has resulted in front page headlines in The Australian and the Fin


Lilliput Inc.

Australia’s bigger companies, with a few exceptions such as BHP, Rio and News Corporation, are awful at globalisation. This is becoming obvious with the Australian dollar at such high levels. Global companies adapt to high currencies by relocating production elsewhere, acquiring offshore, manipulating their cross border value chains. That way they can at least respond,


Mirror image

It’s an advanced Western nation with historically weak household debt and rising savings, booming exports but a weak external position, a set of cunningly guaranteed too-big-to-fail banks, slumping house prices and a dramatically two-speed economy. Pop quiz: Is it the US or Australia? It’s a trick question because the answer is it’s both. Last week


Links May 10: Commodity bounce

Rocket: energy, gold, grains Up: Aussie Down: $US, ore US manufacturing boom. Bloomberg We’ll default: Ireland. Daily Mail US rail traffic shows it’s all about exports. Calculated Risk US housing accelerating down. Calculated Risk UK too. Alphaville US household deleveraging flattens. Alphaville US ISM and investing. PragCap Fed clinging to forecasts. Tim Duy Dun and Bradstreet offsets NAB survey.


Mortgage madness

Houses and Holes today posted a nice summary of the recently released report from the Senate Inquiry into Competition within the Australian banking sector. While there are some sensible recommendations in the report, including establishing a broad ranging inquiry into the Australian financial system, there are some absolute shockers aimed at increasing the availability of


Buy a house because I said so!

It seems the ah…fans…of housing are getting nervous. I’m not sure if there has been recent guild meeting but last week saw a number of bullish property pieces. It’s worth assessing their merits. In the latest Eureka Report, Monique Sasson Wakelin penned an attack on the “bubble brigade”. In it she argued the real question


Low flying birds

I am not sure exactly why people invest in Australian airlines. Qantas is busy cannibalising itself with Jetstar. This was always a danger for a member of a protected duopoly, that it would go for the low cost solution and get a low cost result. Virgin Blue, sorry, Virgin Australia, is not expected to pay a dividend and


Trading Day – 9th May

The S&P/ASX 200 is up 1% at almost 4800 points after finding a bottom late last week. Other Asian markets are mixed, with the Nikkei down a little but Hang Seng up, Singapore steady after their weekend election results. Short term price action as illustrated last week showed a decelerating correction – it looks like


NAB survey goes to the hawks

The NAB April Business Survey is out and it’s got something for everyone. For the rate doves, the lead Business Conditions Index softened: And the internals dropped pretty substantially: However, two other key indexes for the RBA are strongly inflationary. First and foremost, labour: And employment: In sum, I would say that despite the weakness,


Senate endorses politico-housing complex

Well, I guess I can’t complain about no takers for the “Lost Child of Wallis Competition” over the weekend. If I couldn’t find the inspiration to give up my weekend on the document, I can’t blame anyone else for doing likewise. I’m glad I bothered this morning, though, because the results are, in a word,


June not a done deal

On Friday and over the weekend the consensus came down strongly in favour of a June rate rise. Those declaring June the day included Peter Martin, Terry McCrann and Michael Stutchbury (that gives you all the major papers). Amongst bank economists there is Westpac, RBS and ANZ, as well as, of course, the bullhawks, Adam


Osama, Obama and the 2012 Presidential election

It has been some time since I’ve posted on this blog. And what a strange couple of months it has been in US politics. The ongoing fiasco that is the US budget, ludicrous debates about President Obama’s birth certificate, and most recently, the death of Osama bin Laden. What, if anything, does all this mean


Links May 9: A tale of two Budgets

More extend and pretend for Greece. Reuters No exit. Wolfgang Munchau Week ahead for the Dow. Calculated Risk Deposit revolution. Common Dreams (h/t Naked Cap) Kochie indicator: Debt revulsion.  Sunrise Iraq halves projected oil output. Zero Hedge US earnings past the peak. Bespoke Commodities crash. The Economist Chinese, US manufacturing costs converge. Alphaville More retail


Weekend Musings: AFG, Turning bearish, Budget and Greece

Another weekend, another dive into what is rumbling around my thought box. AFG Mortgage Index. AFG’s latest mortgage report came out this week. Their overview of the lending market was fairly bearish. AFG, Australia’s largest mortgage broker, has called on the Government to address weak consumer confidence, after figures for April showed mortgage sales fell