Sandstone universities’ China maelstrom widens

Wow. How underhanded is this? On the one hand, UNSW is busy apologising to Australians for being a CCP-Nazi apologist: The University of NSW has apologised after tweets about the Hong Kong-China situation, featuring a leading human rights expert, were deleted after an online campaign from Chinese students and media. UNSW found itself at the

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A mortgage war of attrition

According to the Reserve Bank’s latest indicator lending rates, average mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest level on record at just 2.35% for 3-year fixed and 3.65% for discount variable: These are average rates of course, and much better deals – under 2% – can be gained from specific lenders, with juicy cash backs


MOAR DoleHider easy!

Via AFR: The cost of the JobKeeper wage subsidy will increase by more than $15 billion due to the hammer blow to business caused by the Victorian coronavirus crisis. The $15.6 billion JobKeeper blowout, which will take the total cost of the scheme to $102.2 billion this financial year, is due to two factors. First,


Daily iron ore price update ($130)

Iron ore prices for August 6, 2020: Spot scorcher. Paper too. Steel is muted but OK. OK, so get this: Rising car and excavator sales in China further buoyed sentiment, analysts at Beijing-based Sinosteel Futures Co Ltd said in a note. “Good car sales data shows that domestic demand is improving, and excavator sales also


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Another record high on Wall Street, pushing the risk complex even higher and really starting to diverge from other global stock markets that are doing a better job at discounting risk through the pandemic. No new fiscal measures agreed to by Congress and the White House either, going into tonight’s NFP print,


Virus suppression will break “Australia”

Let’s put aside the debate about whether or not Victoria should or shouldn’t crush the virus. Instead, let’s focus on where it is actually going right now. Victoria’s lockdown is backsliding already, under assault from rent-seekers that long ago put aside doing business for lobbying. At rentier headquarters, the AFR: The Victorian Andrews government has


Services PMI shockingly weak

Despite the reopening, services activity is still falling. This is a grim sign from AIG: Check this out: I find this report hard to believe. The reopening should have lifted activity in services more than this. Given there are a few N/As one wonders if AIG is adjusting it correctly. If not, we’re fooked. Full


Australian house prices crashing at GFC pace

With Australia’s property market now declining, it’s an opportune time to compare this current budding correction with prior episodes. The below chart shows the various dwelling corrections over the past 30-plus years at the 5-city level, as measured by CoreLogic: As you can see, this bust is only in its infancy, with the property market


Time for the Green New Deal

Classical economics would prescribe decades of austerity to pay off the levels of government spending seen in the COVID-19 pandemic. But there’s another way, says modern monetary theorist, Dr Steven Hail, Research Scholar at the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity and Economics Lecturer at Australia’s University of Adelaide. Via Struggles from Below: A recent New


CoreLogic weekly house price update: 13th consecutive fall

In the week ended 6 August 2020, the CoreLogic 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, fell another 0.15%: It was the 13th consecutive weekly decline. Falls were recorded across the three biggest capitals: Quarterly dwelling values are falling, led by Melbourne: Annual price growth remains strong but continues


Links 7 August 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Calls Grow to Break Up Facebook, Amazon for ‘Mob-Like’ Behavior, Monopoly Power – Democracy Now Bezos sells more than $3 billion in Amazon shares – CNBC Gold keeps its shine as investors shun dollar – FT As dollar slides, some investors fret about its status as world’s reserve currency


Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker Outside Australia, Asian stock markets are in retreat mode after being mixed yesterday as confidence fades going into tomorrow night’s NFP print, with all risk going into undollars like Yuan, Bitcoin and Yen and of course precious metals. Gold is having another stab at the $2050USD per ounce level with silver again


Coalition pursues wrong kind of housing stimulus

Housing Minister Michael Sukkar told a conference that housing policy will be a key component of the federal government’s 2020 Budget on 6 October. Amongst other things, extending the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and changes to the National Housing Infrastructure Facility are believed to be under consideration. However, Sukkar has reportedly ruled out funding


Parents mental and financial stress soars

The Melbourne Institute has released research on parent’s soaring mental and financial stress arising from COVID-19: In mid-May, 56% of survey participants anticipated they would be personally impacted by the coronavirus for longer than six months. Eight weeks later, 67% now expect the effects to extend for longer than six months. Additionally, after a period


How the Victorian Government failed COVID-19 contract tracing

The hits keep coming for Daniel Andrews’ Victorian Government, with a 9News investigative report revealing that the Government scaled back contract tracing efforts just as the virus outbreak began from failed hotel quarantine: Evidence of Victoria’s contract tracing data is illustrated in the next chart showing the virus erupting in Victoria, while cases have remained


An investor’s guide to good government stimulus

We are in a strange political environment. Globally there have been trillions of dollars of government stimulus announced, deficit hawks have turned chicken, and formerly staunch opponents of government intervention have been leading the charge. How should investors assess each government stimulus announcement? One day the Australian government told us they had the right level


VIC records another 471 COVID-19 infections vs NSW’s 12

Victoria has recorded another 471 COVID-19 infections, down from yesterday’s record 725: There was another 8 deaths overnight in Victoria. NSW recorded only 12 new cases, the same as yesterday. It is also doing a far better job containing outbreaks and preventing community transmission: Victoria now has 7,449 active COVID-19 cases, 96% of the nation’s


Australia’s population to swell regardless of COVID-19

A group of researchers have modelled the impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s future population. They find that Australia’s population will still swell to nearly 32 million people by 2040 even if immigration “plummets to zero in 2020-21 and takes eight years to return to the long-run average”: Our new modelling shows that under a worst-case scenario, Australia


International education agents demand Australia slay its elderly

With COVID-19 ripping through India: An Indian education agent has demanded that Australia open its border to international students: Navjot Singh, a migration agent based in the northern Indian state of Punjab says policymakers in Australia need to do a lot more than just granting post-study work visa rights to retain its current students. “Australia’s


Revenge of the CCP-Nazi apologists

We begin, as always, with Labor and the once hawkish Richard Marles, at Domain: Opposition defence spokesman Richard Marles says a Labor government would not let backbenchers lead the debate on China, accusing the Morrison government of letting “fringe dwellers” damage Australia’s relationship with its biggest trading partner. Mr Marles hit out at government MPs


Gotti wrong again on gas supply

Though at least he covers it. Via Gottiboff: The dam wall holding commercial gas prices at ridiculous levels is starting to crack …The crack in wall was actually opened by ACCC chief Rod Sims late in 2017 when he approved a buying group, Eastern Energy Buyers Group, to aggregate orders from medium sized businesses up


Victorian Government refuses to give quarantine answers

Victoria’s Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos, avoided seven questions on Melbourne’s Hotel Quarantine debacle at Tuesday’s Legislative Council question time by saying she would provide a written response the following day. These questions included topics like: When the government first became aware of problems around quarantine? Who made the decision to outsource to private contractors? Will


RBA’s Tulip polishes his property bubble

Five years ago, RBA’s senior research manager, Dr Peter Tulip, released crazy research arguing that Australian housing is 30% undervalued and that owning a home is “now more attractive, relative to renting than it has been at any time in the past 30 years”. Now Dr Tulip is back, this time releasing a research paper