Latest posts


Credit Suisse: Aussie jobs leading indicator has tanked

Via the excellent Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: Our argument is as follows: Policy makers clearly feel that easing is necessary, but question the means by which it should be delivered. RBA Assistant Governor Bullock said as much in her speech about lending standards yesterday. Bullock highlights that the period of mandated credit tightening by


Highrise Harry performs Chinese property buyer rain dance

Via Gottiboff today: Triguboff declared: “The market has definitely stabilised in Sydney. All those people talking about how much it will drop are wrong. In fact, it is improving very slowly.” …Triguboff says the Chinese have found a way around the problem and “are organising their finance with or without our banks. In many cases


Aussie jobs market stalls, Aussie dollar booms!

February ABS Labor Force is out and the news is a weakening market: TREND ESTIMATES Employment increased 20,600 to 12,762,800 persons. Full-time employment increased 12,300 to 8,743,400 persons and part-time employment increased 8,200 to 4,019,300 persons. Unemployment increased 1,800 to 673,100 persons. Unemployment rate remained steady at 5.0%. Participation rate remained steady at 65.6%. Monthly


Final auction clearance rate records small rebound

By Leith van Onselen Last weekend, CoreLogic released its preliminary auction clearance rates, which revealed the following results: Today, CoreLogic has released its final auction results, which reported a 4.7% decline in the final national auction clearance rate to 51.4% – above last week’s 47.8%: As you can see, Sydney’s final auction clearance rate was 8.9%


Albo doubles down on high speed rail to nowhere

By Leith van Onselen With an election fast approaching, Labor’s infrastructure spokesman, Anthony Albanese, continues to push hard for a High Speed Rail (HSR) line linking the east coast capitals. Here’s Albo’s latest press release: Scott Morrison’s latest re-announcement of his “faster rail’’ proposal to link big cities with regional centres is too little, too late


Conflicted Migration Council proves again it’s for big business

By Leith van Onselen For years, MB has questioned the efficacy of the Migration Council of Australia, which purports to be an “an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit body established to enhance the productive benefits of Australia’s migration and humanitarian programs”. The Migration Council is chaired by one of Australia’s biggest business lobbyists, Innes Willox, who is


NSW Labor’s idiotic stance on gas

Via the AFR: NSW Labor says it does not believe assurances from Santos that all gas from its proposed Narrabri gas project would be sold to local industry, rather than exported, doubling down on its pre-election declaration that the $3 billion development is ‘dead’. Defying the Australian Workers Union support for the project to reduce


Where’s the Coalition’s population plan?

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this week, MB attacked the Coalition’s fake cut to Australia’s immigration intake, noting that it has been more than offset by opening multiple pathways for foreign workers to gain entry into Australia, as well as an explosion of migrants on bridging visas while they await claims for permanent residency. Today, several


Stalled development hulks spread over east coast

Ever visited an emerging market where the landscape is dotted with failed developments like broken transformers? Welcome to Little China, via the ABC: The property market upheaval brings billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s oft-quoted piece of wisdom to mind: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” As the year progresses,


Aussie bond boom goes nuclear

Don’t say we didn’t warn you! Following the Dovish Fed last night, the Aussie bond boom is now shooting out of the atmosphere: Next stop record low yields across the curve as the RBA is forced to cut by runaway markets. Despite the boom, there has been no curve steepening at all, again illustrating how


Daily iron ore price update (Brucutu)

Iron ore prices for March 20, 2019: Spot hammered. Paper worse. Steel fine. Chinese iron ore port stock lifted to 148.2mt last week. Bloomie has more on Brucutu: Bradesco BBI, Thiago Lofiego Positive development for Vale. However, it’s still uncertain if the company can regain the provisional operating license under which it operated the Laranjeiras


Dovish Fed rockets Australian dollar

DXY fell, EUR and CNY jumped last night: AUD was up against DXY but nobody else: Gold was muted: Oil is rising as a threat to everything: Base metals rallied: Miners were soft: EM stocks too: Junk partied: Treasuries too: The bund curve is still flattening: Stocks also struggled: Westpac has the wrap: Event Wrap


SQM crashes and burns in Labor negative gearing attack

By Leith van Onselen For years, SQM Research’s managing director, Louis Christopher, was a big supporter of negative gearing reform (see here). Then in 2016, Christopher flip-flopped, releasing an incredibly superficial report that was comprehensively debunked by Dr Gavin R Putland. Today, Louis Christopher has updated its 2016 report, which reaches many of the same flawed conclusions.


Is the RBA preparing quantitative easing?

From a reader today who notes the following on RBA minutes: “Members had a detailed discussion of the Bank’s operations in repurchase and foreign exchange swap markets and their role in achieving the Board’s target for the cash rate.” Up until yesterday, when quizzed on this RBA, has been reluctant to intervene to reduce these


UBS: Banks wealth exit “warm up” to house price “main event”

Via the excellent Jonathon Mott at UBS: We have cut FY19E EPS by 3% given exit costs and larger losses from the Advice business, but we upgraded FY20E by 0.6% (exit from loss-making business). However, our forecasts are yet to incorporate further customer remediation charges (fee-for-no-service) for aligned advisers which are very difficult to estimate.


Expert: Sydney will never build enough infrastructure

By Leith van Onselen Infrastructure expert, Professor David Hensher, has warned that Sydney requires “hundreds of billions” of dollars in infrastructure investment needed to fix current congestion problems, let alone keep up with projected population growth. From The ABC: The NSW Government has $110 billion worth of plans for Sydney’s transport — but that’s a fraction


Links 21 March 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Why further financial crises are inevitable – FT Bitcoin Is in the Dumps, Spreading Gloom Over Crypto World – WSJ How to tax the rich, explained – VOX Vitol warns oil demand to peak within 15 years – FT Forget Tesla, It’s China’s E-Buses That Are Denting Oil Demand


Macro Afternoon

Asian share markets are down again today with risk sentiment slumping both locally due to the dour speech by RBA Assistant Governor Bullock while regionally caution reigned as traders await tonight’s Federal Reserve FOMC meeting. Currencies slid against USD as a result, with a lower Aussie the standout. The Shanghai Composite has dropped suddenly after


Sydney Uni: NSW Budget facing giant stamp duty black hole

By Leith van Onselen The University of Sydney has joined MB in warning that NSW is facing a potential Budget crisis as the property crash wipes billions in dollars of stamp duty revenue: With a state election imminent in NSW, it is timely to consider the fiscal opportunities and constraints facing whoever wins government. Election