Magnus: China must reform or bust

Cross-posted from George Magnus: There’s a cute expression that last did the rounds after Lehman went belly-up. As the destruction of balance sheets tore through the the financial system, the black cry rang out that  ‘there’s nothing right on the left side of the balance sheet, and nothing left on the right’. Eventually we recovered.

Latest posts


Links 24 March 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Robotization Without Taxation? – Project Syndicate Cyclical forces in the global trade slowdown – Vox Economic growth and reductions in carbon emissions – Vox Is Bank Lending A Concern? – Economist’s View Americas: Americans’ Shift To The Suburbs Sped Up Last Year – Five Thirty Eight Death rates for uneducated white Americans rise – FT


Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker Is the dip already over? Most stock markets in Asia put in positive or scratch sessions taking the shaky but still positive lead from US stocks overnight. Currencies were effectively unchanged with a small rally in USD against Yen offset by a lower Aussie and Kiwi dollar as commodities pulled back slightly.


Spare capacity to weigh-down wages, inflation

By Gareth Aird, senior economist at CBA: Key Points: Spare capacity in the Australian economy continues to weigh on inflation and wages growth. Labour market slack varies across the states reflecting divergences in state final demand. Talk of rate rises is premature because there is a significant amount of spare capacity in the economy. Overview:


Australia’s immigration ponzi reignites

By Leith van Onselen The ABS released its Australian demographic statistics for the September quarter of 2016, which revealed that Australia’s overall population growth rate has accelerated led by unprecedented growth in Victoria, which has once again obliterated records. According to the ABS, Australia’s population rose by 1.46% in the year to September 2016 to


Australia’s regulators unwilling to investigate mortgage fraud

By Leith van Onselen LF Economics have lodged a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection in the Banking, Insurance and Financial Sector, which highlights negligence by our financial regulators in their duty to protect consumers from mortgage fraud: … there appears to be adequate protections available to consumers afforded by the law


Former Santos boss blames everyone else

Via The Australian comes former Santos chief executive John Ellice-Flint: “Australia’s east coast gas supply dilemma can be viewed as the total failure of users — utilities and manufacturers — to contract short, medium and long-term supplies of gas,” Mr Ellice-Flint says in his opinion piece. “While our east coast domestic gas buyers have been


Salt of the Ponzi collapses into confusion

By Leith van Onselen KPMG’s Bernard Salt – the self-proclaimed “unabashed supporter of a bigger Australia” – has penned another piece in The Australian spruiking mass immigration and claiming that the march toward ‘mega-cities’ will drive the nation’s productivity: There will be more growth in ­Australia’s biggest cities over the next 30 years than in


NSW land registry sale another dumb monopoly privatisation

By Leith van Onselen In late 2014, the Productivity Commission’s (PC) released a report on the provision of public infrastructure, which explicitly warned that the Coalition’s financial incentives to the states to sell-off public assets (“asset recycling”) “could act to encourage privatisation in circumstances that are not fully justified and encourage the selection of new


CBD apartment demand halves

Via the AFR: Lenders and developers are offering property investors lucrative incentives ranging from annual commission payments of $100,000, loan discounts of more than 100 basis points and cash incentives, a review of top deals reveals. Developers are also encouraging investors with promises of deluxe fixtures, rental guarantees, price discounts and ‘special deals’ before state-based


Real estate agents back money laundering curbs

By Leith van Onselen I never thought I’d see the day that Australia’s real estate lobby – the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) – supports Australia’s anti-money laundering (AML) regime being extended to real estate gatekeepers, provided offshore sales offices and websites are also captured. From The AFR: Real estate agents with offshore sales offices


Barnaby cuts through 18c guff

I’m not a big Barnaby Joyce man but yesterday he cut through nicely: “It’s like fascinating yourself with the drivel scrawled on the back of a toilet door,” a frustrated Barnaby Joyce explains. “It’s best you just ignore it, do your business and move on.” He’s talking about the ongoing distraction over the conservative cause