Latest posts


Specufestors pulling back from Syd/Melb bubbles

By Leith van Onselen Australia’s speculator frenzy has begun to moderate, according to today’s Lending Finance data for August, released by the ABS. As shown below, the annual value of investor loans in New South Wales (read Sydney) has flattened out, whereas Victoria (read Melbourne) – the second hottest market – continues to rise slowly. By


Do we need a crypto-Aussie dollar

Did the weird just turn super boring? A group of fintech start-ups have submitted cases to the Reserve Bank of Australia and the federal Treasury to demonstrate the need for a new government-endorsed Australian dollar cryptocurrency. “The Digital Australian Dollar would be a huge step to grow our vibrant blockchain and digital currencies industry,” said FinTech


What to expect from China post-Congress

Via Goldman: Interview with David Shambaugh David Shambaugh is Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science and International Affairs, and the founding director of the China Policy Program at the George Washington University. In addition to his work in academia, he has served on the staff of the US National Security Council East Asia


IMF warns on Australia’s rapidly growing debt

By Leith van Onselen After downgrading Australia’s growth outlook last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has turned its sights to Australia’s huge pile of debt and the nation’s vulnerability to “risk premium shocks”. From The Australian: Debts have risen faster over the past decade in Australia than in most other G20 nations, leading the


No Domainfax, home ownership has not gotten more affordable

By Leith van Onselen Domainfax’s Peter Martin and Michael Koziol have penned a misleading article claiming, entitled “An inconvenient truth: you’re paying less for your mortgage now than a decade ago”, that tries to argue that housing affordability for those wishing to own their home (as opposed to renting) has improved, according to the ABS’


What is the Real Estate Treasurer doing in New York?

Interesting stuff as the Real Estate Treasurer continues his bubble-defence world tour: When Treasurer Scott Morrison met Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein in New York late last week, the Wall Street banker was baffled. Blankfein was searching for answers. Why, at a time when most economies were generally performing reasonably, had politics become so


The dark side of consumer sentiment

From Bill Evans, following up last week’s Consumer Sentiment Index: This week we saw a strong lift in the Consumer Sentiment Index. The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 3.6% to 101.4 in October from 97.9 in September. It is the first time since November last year that optimists have outnumbered pessimists and


The rise of Australia’s renting underclass (that is, kids)

By Leith van Onselen The 2016 Census painted a nasty picture for Australia’s renters. First, the Census showed that immigration-fueled population growth has overwhelmed the number of dwellings built: Second, the Census revealed that the number of households in rental accomodation has soared, whereas households in group accommodation has also increased: Third, the Census revealed


AFR says go global stocks

Some good advice, bad advice from the AFR on stocks over the weekend: If you’re not invested in global stocks, say the experts, you’re missing out. You’re giving up a much larger exposure to IT, healthcare and other sectors and stocks that are household entities – and therefore big earners on a large scale –


Newspoll doom 21: When does Do-nothing Malcolm get boned?

Newspoll doom passes 21 as it gets worse: The Turnbull government is struggling to win back support as it prepares for a new fight on household energy prices, with the Coalition trailing Labor by 46 to 54 per cent in another harsh verdict from voters. The latest Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, shows Labor


SA Premier Jay Weatherill rejects East Coast population ponzi

By Leith van Onselen The lobby group representing migration agents has warned that South Australia’s population growth could fall to zero following visa reforms by the federal government. From The Advertiser: Immigration experts are warning that the state’s population growth could slow to wards zero per cent and economic problems will worsen if changes to


Greens declare war on Adani

A bit of ticker finally from the The Greens, via The Australian: Greens leader Richard Di Natale says he’s prepared to stand in front of bulldozers and get arrested to stop Queensland’s Adani mine, and expects to be joined by many thousands of Australians. Predicting the protest action would be bigger than that which stopped


Jess Irvine predicts epic house price crash

Via the AFR: The Reserve Bank of Australia is opening the door to even tougher regulatory restraints on risky bank lending after announcing it would do its own “bank stress tests,” a task usually performed by the prudential regulator. Amid a fresh barrage of warnings that limits on investor lending would not reduce high household


Auctions clearances rebound above 70%

CoreLogic released its auction report yesterday, which reported a small rebound in the preliminary national auction clearance rate to 70.6% from 68.1% last weekend, but remained well below the 76.2% recorded in the same weekend last year: Auction volumes nationally were 2,497 – slightly above the 2,443 recorded in the same weekend last year: As


Shorten tosses a symbolic billion on manufacturing funeral pyre

Our Bill has donned the hard hat: Labor is promising to help embattled manufacturers by establishing a $1 billion loan fund to help the sector modernise factories and move into high value production. In a speech to the South Australian Labor conference on Saturday, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he would commit to creating an Australian Manufacturing


Daily iron ore price update (dead cat bounce?)

Iron ore price charts for October 9, 2017: Tianjin prices jumped 4.5% back to $60. Paper went higher still overnight. Coking coal is slowing. Steel futures went nutso! The cause of the excitement was Chinese trade data which really did impress with iron ore imports soaring to 102.8mt, highest ever by some margin: However, at


Clash of the Titans: Straya and DPRK go at it

From the North Korean official news agency, KCNA: A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea gave the following answer to a question raised by KCNA on Saturday as regards Australia’s frantic engagement in the hostile acts of the U.S. against the DPRK: Lately, Australia is showing dangerous moves of


Links 16 October 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Why 2017 will go down as the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine – Washington Post World Bank President: Everyone Is Excited About Blockchain – Coin Desk How Neoliberals weaponise the concept of an ideal market – Mainly Macro Why James Dimon and Larry Fink Aren’t