No one million jobs for you!

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Soup Nazis (DEEWRSN) has today defied the pestering of Tony Abbott’s minions in the release of its five year employment projections, which fell short of the Prime Minister’s catchy 1 million number at a lousy 838,100: The Department of Employment projects employment to grow by 838,100 (or

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Aussie, Aussie, Aussie dollar!

The Australian dollar is flying towards 93 cents, this time on, well, nothing: No news is now an Aussie spike driver! Must have hits some stops and driven short covering. Meanwhile, according to Citi, exporters are choking. From the SMH blog: Citi and East Partners latest quarterly trade and finance index finds that traders started feeling


Farmers win reprieve on coal seam gas

By Leith van Onselen Last year’s 60 Minutes investigation into coal seam gas (CSG) provided an eye-opening account of Australian farmers being forced to allow CSG mining on their land against their will. Today, The Australian reports that Santos and AGL Energy will pledge to the New South Wales Government that they will not enter


Pricing Roy Hill

UBS has terrific note today on Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill, including some estimates on what we’ve all been waiting for, break even cost: The Roy Hill mine is planned to ship through Port Hedland alongside major producers BHP Billiton and FMG. The Roy Hill mine is located in close proximity to FMG’s Cloudbreak and Chichester


Abbott bows to tawagoto no ie trade deal

By Leith van Onselen The AFR is reporting today that the Abbott Government could sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan in early April, with the Government likely to accept a near halving of Japan’s tariff on beef imports, but minimal concessions in other agricultural products: Trade sources have suggested an agreement could be


Swoop of the bullhawks

Feathers are flying, beaks shredding, horns gorging and hooves thundering as the bullhawkian flerd swoops in today. At its head is the Kouk, resplendent plumage swept back in a crash dive, bill yawning in shrieking triumph: In May no less, having missed his first quarter prey. I’ll note, if you can hear me above the din,


Hockey offers cash for pork

By Leith van Onselen Treasurer Joe Hockey has promised to provide the states with additional federal funding if they agree to sell-off state assets and invest in productivity-enhancing infrastructure. From The AFR: At a meeting in Canberra on Friday, federal Treasurer Joe Hockey will impose a deadline on the states to qualify for the incentive


Fortescue races the flood

One of the great races of Australia corporate history continues under the radar (if the Australian press deserves a moniker so precise). From Credit Suisse: Comments by the CEO at Credit Suisse’ Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong (reported by Dow Jones) indicate that FMG remains focused on debt repayment for the next two years


China’s shakeout is on track

While the Australian share market continues to merrily price mining stocks on the assumption of imminent Chinese stimulus, knowing in its heart of hearts that it runs China better than the Chinese, those same Schumpeterian communists have their shakeout firmly on track. Following some furious PBOC liquidity drainage, interbank markets are now firmly back in


Macroprudential worth two rate cuts

Not that it matters any more given the Glenn Greenspan boom and bust agenda, but the RBNZ has made the following point. Via Banking Day: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has estimated its ‘speed limit’ on low deposit mortgages in October reduced inflation pressures by an amount similar to the impact of a 25


Government wants cuts, cuts, cuts!

The Prime Minister and Treasurer want cuts, cuts, cuts! From The Australian: The Prime Minister and Treasurer have locked in harsh measures at “razor gang” meetings in the belief that the bigger political threat to the Abbott government in its first term is disappointing those who expect it to act quickly on repairing the budget.


Australian dollar missile as US bond yields tank

The Glenn Greenspan agenda is on track this morning  with the dollar launching at 93 cents last night before pulling back to 92.5: The proximate cause remains the same: Glennspan’s embrace of a higher currency and house prices and, internationally, the US bond flattening, which is now royally confirmed with an aggressive long bond bid


Should we worry about house prices?

By Leith van Onselen The AFR’s David Bassanese has written an interesting article today arguing that Australian housing valuations are not too stretched and should not illicit too much concern: While there are a few red flags emerging, the good news is that compared to late 2003, housing market valuations and the supply-demand balance are still less stretched. …affordability


Sino Iron ain’t going to close

The AFR has a hopeful story for iron ore majors today: The state-owned CITIC Group has agreed to inject a suite of assets into its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, CITIC Pacific, marking the second bailout by Beijing in just five years. The deal should provide some ­financial stability for CITIC Pacific, which has invested more than


Daily iron ore price update (firm)

Here are the iron ore charts for March 27, 2014: So, a slightly firmer day yesterday in both paper and physical markets although both have contradictory signals with rebar futures falling and the Baltic Dry capesize component tumbling another 7%. Not much to add today. The market feels a little firmer but is far from


Links 28 March 2014

North America: Don’t Fret About GDP, Celebrate U.S. Exports – Bloomberg February Pending Home Sales Continue Slide – realtor.org A Nation of Takers? – New York Times What another record year of corporate profits means for the US economy – Quartz Europe: IMF says no need for Ukraine debt restructuring now – Reuters A Tortured


ASX at the close

By Evan Lucas for Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets Fed differentials and market data Asia has once again gleefully followed the leads from the US; popping yesterday and weakening today. Mixed durable goods order – which, excluding transport, came in a 0.2% from 0.9% but expanded on the headline figure – coupled with


Make road users pay to clear gridlock

Cross-posted from The Conversation This week, Australian motoring groups decided to back road user charges, arguing that it would be a fairer system. At the same time, the groups said the change to user charges would secure sufficient funding for new infrastructure and provide incentives for drivers to avoid driving during peak hours. This is


Household wealth booms with houses

From COMMSEC comes a wrap of the national financial accounts:   Total household wealth (net worth) stood at a record $7,531.8 billion at the end of December, up $253.7 billion over the quarter – the biggest quarterly rise in four years. In per capita terms, wealth rose to a record $322,757 in the December quarter,


Australia’s population ponzi moderates

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the Australian Demographic Statistics for the September quarter of 2013. According to the ABS, Australia’s population grew by 1.78% in the year to September 2013, marginally below the rate recorded in the year to June 2013, but well above the 30-year average of


Why the S&P is a bubble

More excellent work from Westpac’s Elliott Clarke today: A cursory look at the performance of the US stock market would indicate that the Federal Reserve’s efforts to right the US economy have been a storming success. The rally in US equities through the Operation Twist and QE3 episodes has been dramatic, with the S&P500 gaining


PBOC steps up liquidity drainage

I pointed out  this morning that Chinese interbank markets have been tightening this week as SHIBOR and repo market rates rise on People’s bank of China (PBOC) liquidity drainage operations. That activity has resumed today with a vengeance, sticking it up the analyst community that has hung its hat upon impending monetary stimulus. From MNI: