High-rise approvals collapse into black hole

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its dwelling approvals data for January, which recorded a modest trend rebound in apartment approvals: However, apartment approvals remained 46% below their June 2016 peak. Today, I want to focus on the high-rise apartment segment, which has driving the apartment bust. The next chart shows the picture at

Latest posts


Chinese firms flick switch on fake power consumption

Via Caixin: Local companies and officials are fraudulently boosting electricity consumption and other metrics in order to meet tough new back-to-work targets as the spread of Covid-19 in China wanes, a Caixin investigation has found. As new coronavirus cases in China slowed in recent weeks, local governments in less-affected regions pushed companies and factories to


Links 6 March 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Man loses $60M in Bitcoin when landlord cleaned the house and sent everything to the dump unwittingly – Mazech Media Should CEOs run two companies at once? A Silicon Valley practice comes under scrutiny – CNN Each time the US10YR Yield has reached such a low a recession has


Macro Afternoon

Much more optimism in Asia today as risk followed Wall Street’s big lift overnight with strong bids across all the major bourses. Gold remains stuck at last night’s high while the USD is still weak against most of the majors, although it seems the panic buying of Aussie isn’t being sustained as much as the


Crashing jet fuel meteor points way for oil, gas

Via Reuters: Already-battered jet fuel refining margins in Asia may come under further pressure in coming months as global airlines suspend more flights and more passengers cancel travel plans due to the widening spread of the coronavirus. The Asian jet fuel market has already suffered unprecedented losses this year due to the virus, which has


NSW Government lets dodgy builders off the hook

Geoff Hanmer, Adjunct Lecturer in Architecture at UNSW, claims that proposed NSW Government reforms to building certification will let dodgy developers off the hook: The News South Wales government is struggling to implement building industry reforms recommended by the Shergold-Weir report over two years ago. Developers are home free in its proposed legislation; the Design


Mass school closures loom

Xmas holiday’s nearly killed me but now there’ll be more! At The Australian: Mass school closures remain a possibility in the event of a coronavirus pandemic, with the nation’s top education bureaucrat revealing that any decision would be governed by expert medical advice. Department of Education secretary Michelle Bruniges has told a senate hearing in


Treasury Secretary Kennedy: Virus must be secret to protect confidence

I like Treasury Secretary Stephen Kennedy. He’s a sensible bloke. But this is a bit dubious in parliament today: “Given the high degree of uncertainty surrounding the economic impacts of COVID-19 Treasury is assessing the situation on an ongoing basis.” “At this stage we expect the virus to detract at least a half of a


Let ACOSS run the federal government

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has demanded an urgent economic stimulus package targeted toward those most in need, including a $95 a week lift to Newstart: “This leaves us in no doubt that the tax cuts failed to stimulate growth in spending and economic activity. Now the combined impact of the fires and


Darwin’s extraordinary 5.5 year housing crash

CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless has tweeted the below fascinating chart showing the boom and bust of Australia’s various property markets: While most markets have staged strong rebounds, Darwin’s has fallen for 68 months and is 32.7% below its May 2014 peak. In inflation-adjusted terms, Darwin’s dwelling values have declined by around 36% from peak. Perth is


MB Fund Podcast – Australian Economy: Calm before the storm

The Q4 National accounts are hot off the presses, showing 0.5% of economic growth in Q4 2019, higher than analyst predictions. However, if you look below the surface, it’s far from all roses for the Australian economy. If you exclude net exports, Australia’s economic growth was lower than population growth. Slides referenced throughout the episode


Trade surplus holds on booming iron ore exports

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released trade data for the month of January, with Australia’s trade surplus falling by around $150 million to $5.2 billion: The next chart shows that Australia’s trade surplus is still running at strong levels: In January, both exports (credits) and imports (debits) fell: In seasonally adjusted terms, goods


How virus contagion will hit Aussie banks

Via Credit Suisse’s monetary wizard, Zoltan Pozsar: Today’s liquidity conditions are like the waters receding before a giant wave. The coronavirus outbreak and the shock that preventative measures introduced to manufacturing and services activity will lead to missed payments globally. Missed payments will force more and more firms to become deficit agents; as this cascades,


“Super Saturday” delivers strong final auction results

Earlier this week, CoreLogic released its preliminary auction clearance rates, which revealed the following results: Today, CoreLogic has released its final auction results, which reported a 3.2% decline in the final national auction clearance rate to 73.9% – well above the same weekend last year (50.4%): As you can see, Sydney’s final auction clearance rate


Crazy ASX rallies again

The Australian dollar has been unable to add to the RBA stupidity premium this morning: But bond markets have, getting absolutely flushed: XJO has rallied in forced madness from Wall St: But S&P futures are down again: Big Iron is fixed! Not so much Big Gas. I expect oil to end this crisis with a


Conference industry next up for virus smash

Via the ABC: Leaders of Australia’s $30 billion events and conference industry are watching nervously as clients take precautions to keep visitors safe, or — in rising numbers — postpone or cancel their plans due to coronavirus. Chief executive of Meetings & Events Australia Robyn Johnson said when the economy contracts, the events industry is


Urban planner infill dystopia bakes us under concrete

For years, the development industry and urban planners have called for Australia’s supposedly underutilised middle-ring suburbs to be bulldozed for apartments and townhouses in order to house the many millions of extra migrants projected to inundate our cities over coming decades: This transformation into a dense urban form is to be most stark in Sydney,


Europe begins shut down as China revives

And so it goes, via Bloomberg: Italy announced a nationwide closing of its schools until March 15 as it redoubles efforts to curb the worst outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in Europe. The shutdown of schools and universities, set to start Thursday, will further hit an economy that’s expected to contract sharply in coming months.


Morrison prepares wrong stimulus, at wrong time, for wrong people

Looking backwards is what Australia does best. We are peerless at it. Today we have another glowing example as the Morrison Government prepares for the virus, at The Australian: Treasury and the Reserve Bank are forecasting the ­coronavirus will cut growth by ­0.5 percentage points, likely putting the economy in negative territory for the first


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  The Fed surprise has turned into a Super Tuesday surprise with the promise of a moderate Democrat in the form of VP Joe Biden boosting Wall Street’s hopes that no stinking socialist will grace the White House anytime soon. Stocks soared, surpassing the 4% level with the Dow up 1000 points again,


Australian economy gasps on public sector life support

Yesterday’s December quarter national accounts release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) was hailed by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as another tick of approval for the Australian economy: The Australian economy continues to grow with today’s National Accounts seeing growth increase from 1.8% through the yr in the Sept qtr to 2.2% in Dec. This


Universities must wean off Chinese international students

The Australian’s Higher Education Editor, Tim Dodd, believes Australia needs to do everything in its power to hold onto or expand Chinese international student enrolments: If all goes well, most of these students will return to complete their degree, which means it’s revenue deferred, not revenue permanently lost… The long-term danger to Australian universities from


Links 5 March 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Coronavirus scare cost the world’s 5 richest people $36 billion in one week – Mazech Dollar declines after Fed rate cut – Yuv News Apple to pay $25 each to iPhone users for slower performance – Yuv News Companies are contracting out more jobs—that’s not great for workers –