Bitcoin bull trap snapping shut

Here’s the chart: And the analogy that matters. You are passing through “return to normal” on your way to “fear”, “capitulation” and “despair”:  It’s not complex. BTC is simply in the process of being shut down: ATO warns Google bans ICO ads G20 to apply AML to crypto Mt Gox liquidation It will intensify and

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Winners and losers from franking credit changes

Labor has proposed a number of changes to franking credits paid on dividends. The proposal absolutely has some merit behind it, as a system set up so that people weren’t taxed twice has evolved into a system where some people get taxed zero times.  But the current implementation has significant issues and creates a lot


Grattan’s John Daley needs to re-read the PC’s immigration reports

By Leith van Onselen On Monday’s Q&A ‘Big Australia’ special, Bob Carr made the claim that Australia’s mass immigration program is putting downward pressure on wages: BOB CARR Yeah, and to a large extent, it’s determined by raw market forces that we’ve opted to allow to determine the way we live, by the laws of


Links 15 March 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Hedge Funds Seek Fixes to Credit Default Swaps After Being Stung by Loopholes – Bloomberg Investors Beware, Nasdaq Strength May Be Last Hurrah for Stocks – Bloomberg Ten Years After the Bear Stearns Bailout, Nobody Thinks It Would Happen Again – WSJ VW Just Gave Tesla a $25 Billion


Populate or perish, says Jeff Kennett

At the Herald Sun today Jeff Kennett pulls the old populate or perish canard: Australia with about 24 million people, is extraordinarily underpopulated given our land mass. …Think of it: only 24 million people in one of the biggest underdeveloped and underpopulated land masses in the world. …History tells us we could easily have lost


Census 2016 confirms lift in Aussie homelessness

By Leith van Onselen I wrote last month (here and here) how homelessness in Melbourne has risen dramatically at the same time as the city’s population has ballooned by nearly one million people (26%) over the past decade, driven primarily by the federal government’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy: This was confirmed by the release


NSW Government in chaos over stadiums

Recently we noted from the Daily Telegraph reports that the Sydney Football (“Alliance”) Stadium rebuild will deliver zero net economic benefits for the state, according to analysis by hired gun KPMG: The Daily Telegraph has obtained the executive summary of the KPMG business case dated January 2018, currently being prepared for the Berejiklian government. The KMPG documents, labelled “sensitive —


NZ house prices bounced back in February

By Leith van Onselen The REINZ has released its house price data for February, which revealed a 0.8% seasonally adjusted monthly rise in the national median house price, with prices also up 7.1% year-on-year: Outside Auckland, seasonally adjusted house prices rose by 2.0% in February, with prices up 8.5% year-on-year. Looking at the major cities,


Chinese mortgage rates still rising

From Ifeng: iFeng: 房贷利率连升14个月!贷100万30年利息多出22万 In February 2018, the national mortgage interest rate continued to rise, rising for 14 consecutive months. According to 360 financial monitoring data, the average interest rate for the first home loan in the country in February was 5.46%, which was equivalent to 1.114 times the benchmark interest rate, which was a month-on-month increase


Do-nothing Malcolm turns tax reform wrecker

Back in 2014 when Do-nothing Malcom was still pretending to care about policy he said: “Looking at Australia’s tax regime you would say that it is too tough on people earning income… but is incredibly concessional to older people who have made their money… All of these areas are very hard to deal with because


Specufestors continue to retreat from Sydney’s housing bubble

By Leith van Onselen Australia’s speculator frenzy has continued to moderate, according to today’s Lending Finance data for January, released by the ABS. As shown below, the annual value of investor loans in New South Wales (read Sydney) continues to fall, whereas Victoria (read Melbourne) has also moderated. By contrast, investor loans in the other major


Fundies fail the index again

Via the AFR: The bulk of professional stock pickers have once again been unable to beat the market, as shown by Standard & Poor’s scorecard for the industry, which reveals another disappointing year for the industry in 2017. Over the 12 months to December 31, the average large-cap Aussie equity fund managed to match the S&P/ASX 200’s return


Is gold the hedge you need?

From Birch Gold Group: It is generally well known in economic circles and in the general public that precious metals, including gold, tend to be the go-to investment during times of fiscal uncertainty. There is a good reason for this. Precious metals have foundation qualities that provide trade stability; these include inherent rarity (rather than


Sydneysiders flee crush-loading

By Leith van Onselen Over recent months, there’s been a flood of stories about how Sydney residents are being forced to leave the city due to its high cost of living and degrading quality of life. According to analysis late last year by economist Callam Pickering, many of the workers leaving Sydney are high skilled,


Consumer sentiment stable

Via Westpac: • The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 0.2% to 103.0 in March from 102.7 in February. Sentiment continues to hold in slightly optimistic territory with March marking the fourth consecutive monthly reading above the 100 level. That followed a year in which pessimism dominated. However, the Index is still well


More China student blow back

Via the AFR: The China Scholarship Council, which is overseen by the Chinese Ministry of Education, has raised concerns with the Chinese embassy in Canberra and universities about the long approval process for PhD students and scholars applying to work in Australia under the program. The China Scholarship Council (CSC), which funds students seeking placements


Retailers demand real cut to minimum wage

By Leith van Onselen Australia’s retailers have demanded a minimum wage freeze, which would result in real pay cuts for low-paid workers if endorsed by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). From The Australian: …the National Retail Association today urged the commission to give “full and genuine consideration” to awarding a zero minimum wage increase. NRA


London house prices falling at fastest pace since GFC

By Leith van Onselen From Bloomberg comes news that London’s house prices are falling at their fastest pace since the Global Financial Crisis: London house prices are falling at the fastest pace since the depths of the recession almost a decade ago, with the capital’s most expensive areas seeing the biggest declines. Average prices fell


Labor’s dividend imputation reform is good policy

By Leith van Onselen In 2000, former Treasurer Peter Costello made the fateful decision to allow the conversion of franking credits into cash refunds for shareholders. This enabled tax-free (mostly wealthy) superannuation holders over the age of 60 to claim imputation credits even though they pay no tax. The Australia Institute explains: When companies pay


NAB’s unbelievable “liar loan” scammers

Via the ABC: The National Australia Bank has been criticised by the banking royal commission for not disclosing fraudulent behaviour by its bankers and third parties to the corporate regulator within the legal deadline. NAB executive Anthony Waldron was grilled today by senior counsel assisting the commission, Rowena Orr, QC, about the bank’s Introducer Program,


Australia’s skilled migration program is a giant fraud

By Leith van Onselen Monday’s ABC Q&A Program featured Dr Jay Song, a supposed “migration policy expert” and recent migrant from Korea, who repeatedly spun the lie that Australia’s 130,000 strong skilled migration program is delivering fantastic outcomes for the nation. Below are some highlights of Dr Song’s testimony: When you look at the data,