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Burn baby burn. It’s a Scummo inferno!

It’s unprecendented, at News: New South Wales still has “a long way to go” before the bushfire threat is over, with one particularly dangerous fire still covering 150,000 hectares on its own, and another wave of bad weather on the horizon. Today the focus also shifts to Queensland, where increasingly windy conditions and temperatures in


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Swings and roundabouts as the risk meter returns to the positive polarity overnight, with European and US stocks lifting in response to a delay in proposed US tariffs on European autos. The USD is mixed against the majors, with Pound Sterling lifting alongside the Swiss Franc while Euro is falling as the


International students “dumbing down academic standards”

May’s Four Corners “cash cows” report on Australia’s international student industry showed that universities have eroded both entry and teaching standards to entice huge volumes of lower-quality, full fee-paying international students: “In terms of attracting international students, universities will do whatever they need to do…they are the cash cows. There is no doubt about it.”


Links 13 November 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Dow closes at a record high of 27,693.55 – CNBC AI Tops Emerging Technologies List Set to Inject Billions into the World Economy, New Research Shows – CRWE World Fed Says $500 Billion in Losses Show the Economic Threat of Climate Change – Bloomberg Why Decentralized Banks can Take


Macro Afternoon

The mixed session from overnight markets has seen an equally mixed result here across Asia as tensions in Hong Kong remain high, while tech stocks and a softer Yen are lifting risk appetites only in Japan. The USD continues to firm against most of the majors, in particular Kiwi as traders await tomorrow mornings RBNZ


Hartcher: Cutting immigration is White Australia policy

Via Peter Hartcher today: Yet Australia itself, where sane and centrist politics has largely prevailed, isn’t immune to the danger of a xenophobic populism in future. The Lowy Institute’s Sam Roggeveen has written an essay with the disturbing title Our Very Own Brexit. “The tacit agreement between among our political class to support high immigration


What Brexit is likely now?

GaveKal on Brexit: Until last week there were so many permutations of Brexit that efforts to foresee events beyond the next political deadline were doomed to failure. This changed abruptly on Thursday after a meeting between Boris Johnson and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar unexpectedly produced the outline of a Brexit deal, more or less


Insiders: Morrison’s FHB deposit subsidy to lift property prices

Various property insiders agree that the Morrison Government’s first home buyer (FHB) deposit subsidy is likely to raise property values when it is introduced in January, thereby eroding housing affordability: SQM Research real estate analyst Louis Christopher said the Morrison government’s free LMI for 10,000 first-time annual buyers would “marginally” increase prices from January… “Past


Aged Pension: “an economically costly inheritance preservation scheme”

The Australian’s Adam Creighton has continued his war against the Aged Pension’s largesse towards wealthy retirees, labelling it “an economically costly inheritance preservation scheme”: Last week figures emerged showing about 255,000 pensioners lived in homes worth more than $1m, costing taxpayers an estimated $6.3bn a year — enough to reduce the top marginal tax rate


More on the CBA complaints boom

Via the ABC: The recently formed Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) opened its doors to receive financial complaints during the tail end of the banking royal commission, and there has been a rush of Australians venting their spleens ever since. Those complaints have come from far and wide but a large number have been centralised


More reasons to be bearish iron ore

Via GLJ research: Iron Ore Prices Have Been Getting Battered Lately, at a Time When Seasonal and Cyclical Factors Suggest Prices Should Be Seeing Some Support; but, Given an Array of Company Production Updates + Trends in Seaborne Imports + Structural Changes in Chinese Steel Production, We Believe we Understand Why Prices Are “Bucking the


NAB business survey hints at economic bottom

Via NAB: Key messages from the Survey: This month’s survey results continue to point to only modest outcomes in the business sector, though forward-looking indicators have improved slightly and may be pointing to a stabilisation in conditions. Conditions and confidence each saw a small improvement in the month with conditions edging up 1pt and confidence


Does scum burn?

Via The Australian comes scum of all colour and hue: Senior Coalition and Labor MPs have launched a bitter attack on the Greens for suggesting climate change policies are responsible for the catastrophic bushfire threat confronting NSW and Queensland. As firefighters braced for the arrival of high winds and low ­humidity that threaten some of


CS: Chinese driving Sydney property price recovery

Via Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: We have just published an article on the drivers of the Sydney housing market recovery. Key points are as follows: Sydney house prices are rising at a 22% quarter-annualized pace – but the speed of the recovery cannot be explained by local demand and supply factors. Our model of house prices based on


Roy Morgan business confidence crashes back to election lows

The post-election bounce is well and truly over, with Roy Morgan reporting that business confidence has crashed, with forward indicators driving the decline: Roy Morgan Business Confidence dropped 4.6pts (-4.2%) to 106.0 in October, putting it at its lowest level since the Federal Election in mid-May. The fall was heaviest in forward-looking indicators, with the


CBA best zombie in class

CBA’s result is out and, as usual, it is best in class. The problem is, it is a class of zombies: Solid profit versus others but remediation is worse too and NIM is a problem that will get worse (even if CBA continues its tradition of being least transparent about it): Credit quality is a