Will the US economy bounce?

There is a wealth of debate surrounding the US economy at the moment. The basic tenets of the debate can be summarised as bulls arguing that the current slowdown is the result of high oil prices whacking consumers and the Japanese tsunami whacking production. Bears are arguing there is a structural problem that these shocks

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The secret to house price rises

Yesterday I posted my observations that rates of credit issuance are the main driver for housing price adjustments in Australia. I noted that when the rate of credit issuance rose for a month then prices moved upwards soon after, and the reverse was true for the downside. It was therefore important as a housing investor and/or home buyer to


I said nuclear, dammit!

It never ceases to amaze me how proponents of nuclear power can be against a carbon price, the very piece of policy required in this country to make it economic. At the moment, nuclear power remains significantly more expensive than fossil-fueled power, at around twice the cost. Yet Ziggy Switkowski, one of the country’s most


Ringing a bell at the top

Jonathan Chancellor was the property editor at the Sydney Morning Herald for many years until April this year. The Sydney Morning Herald’s legendary real estate editor Jonathan Chancellor has resigned and is set to launch his own rival property website. It is unclear who his financial backer is but the real estate guru today shocked his bosses


S&P on a China disaster

Late last week, Standard and Poors (S&P) released a 22-page report entitled The Potential Risk of China’s Large and Growing Presence In Commodities Markets, which warns that record high commodities may represent an unsustainable bubble at risk of correcting in the event of a significant slowdown of the Chinese economy  (hat tip Interest.co.nz for the


The market needs churn

There have been a vast number of discussions here and on many other sites about the future direction of the housing market. My own opinion, as I have stated a number of times, is that without some further government stimulus the market will continue its slide. This is mainly based on observations of the market


The new economic glossary

Regular readers will know that I am in the process of building a new glossary of terms to help describe Australia’s dramatically evolving contemporary economy. I’ve just added another today and it suddenly occurred to me that it is time to make it official. Here is the whole dictionary thus far: Politico-housing complex The great public/private


Trading Day: Monday 6th June

The S&P/ASX 200 continues to slip, down 15 points to 4567, after following Wall Street’s losses over the weekend. Asian markets are down even furthera, with the Nikkei down 0.94%, the Hang Seng down 1.31% and Singapore down 0.42%. Other risk assets are steady and even rising, with the AUD at 1.0744 against the USD,


ANZ job ads whacked

ANZ job ads for May are out and got thumped. As usual, the accompanying commentary comes with the rhetoric of boom ahead. I think it’s about time we called this what it is: Futureboom. The worse the data, the bigger the Futureboom, it seems: Total job advertisements on the internet and in newspapers decreased by 6.5% inMay to


Exchange rate exodus

On Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released data on overseas short-term tourist arrivals and departures. Once again, it provided stark evidence that some of Australia’s domestic industries, in this case tourism and retail, are hurting badly from the high Australian dollar. The below chart plots the monthly tourist arrivals and departures to/from Australia


Ups and Dow

As the US market starts to look rocky it is worth remembering that the rise over the last couple of years has been strong. The report by Prudential to which I referred on the weekend had some interesting insights into share valuations in America. It is not being driven by sentiment, it is being driven


In a parallel universe, the RBA holds…

Statement by Deus Forex Machina, Governor – in a parallel universe – Monetary Policy Decision At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.75 per cent. The global economy is continuing its expansion, led by very strong growth in the Asian region. Signs are emerging, however, of a slowdown


Boozing with central banks

In mid to late 2007, I had a couple of beers with a very impressive individual who had just returned from a rather important US Federal Reserve conference. Apparently, the conference had been abuzz with discussion and dark rumour of an ensuing economic accident. My drinking partner told me that there was a distinct possibility


Tale of two corrections

The past 2 years of volatility on the ASX200 is similar to those of us who witnessed or have intently studied prior market corrections. As opposed to the usual bullhawks and “everything is fine” brigade, stock markets actually experience more sideways movement than rallies over their history. The 2000-2002 post-tech bubble market is eerily similar


US depression returns

The past week has provided a steady stream of dismal news on the US economy. Let’s start with the housing market, which, after a brief rebound, now appears to be double dipping, with the major indices hitting new post-bubble lows. In the words of S&P, which is not exactly given to hyperbole, “home prices continue


Avant garde economics

My esteemed co-blogger Deep T made the comment that too little attention is being paid on MacroBusiness to creative solutions to the problems that are documented in great detail on MacroBusiness. I would go a step further. Economic analysis generally suffers from a deep flaw. Because it is a quasi-science (although in no respect truly


Weekly Aussie Market Wrap

The S&P/ASX200 Aussie Index closed at 4583 points, down 100 points or 2.1% for the week, continuing its correction from the mid-April high of 4971 points, or a 7.8% loss. Closing SPI futures from overnight had the ASX200 trading at 4543, 40 points down from Friday’s close. Overnight risk markets remain in a bearish phase,


Australian dollar weekly wrap

It was a week where the Aussie was a little skatty, buffeted by the competing forces of a weak USD and the looming uptick in risk aversion. As the chart below shows over the week there was really much ado about nothing as it traded a very narrow range in the context of the past


Estate agent deflation

Myself and the Unconventional Economist talk a lot about the housing in Australia. But it isn’t really housing itself that I see as the issue, it is the every growing private sector debt that supports it that concerns me. It could as easily be Mars bars, tulips or Nespresso coffee machines because from an economic


We’ve noticed

Houses and Holes posted 6.25 am. https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2011/06/commodity-crash-building/ Karen Maley published 8.17 am. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/US-markets-Federal-Reserve-QE-bonds-inflation-budg-pd20110603-HFTBW?OpenDocument&src=sph


RPData on regions

Earlier in the week I posted on RPData’s press release and queried why the data representation had changed from the previous media releases. You will note that the second chart is suddenly absent in the May press release even though it has appeared in every other release this year. Now I am aware that I could


Australian dollar weakness

I haven’t posted on the AUD this week largely because nothing is happening as it trades within the recent range. Certainly the downside looks more protected than its did for the past few weeks but I’ve been watching it all week wondering why it is so weak? You’re probably wondering how I can say that as


Trading Day: slippery slope

The S&P/ASX 200 continues to slip, down 12 points or 0.25% to 4585 points, after following Wall Street again overnight. Asian markets continue to sell off, with the Nikkei down 0.32%, the Hang Seng down 0.5% and Singapore down 0.3%. Other risk assets are mixed, with the AUD down but steady at 1.0672 against the


Councils flee the carcass

Yesterday Deep T wrote a thought provoking piece about the responsibility of governments at all levels and their part in the ever increasing prices of houses in Australia.  As part of that post he said. It should come as no surprise that the main instigator in this part of the equation is state and local


Flood-pumped retail

Yesterday’s retail sales were unequivocally strong with a print of 1.1%. This flies in the face of what we are hearing regarding arrears levels from the big banks, from retailers themselves, and the rise to an 11.5% savings rate in the national accounts.  Hence, there was a lively discussion yesterday at MB about whether there could have been a