Weekend Reading: 13-14 February 2021

‘The camp, Sirius Cove’ 1899, Tom Roberts, Art Gallery of NSW   Global Macro / Markets / Investing: ‘Explosion of risk’: Yellen will fight misuse of cryptocurrencies – Aljazeera History Tells Us to Worry About Inflation – Bloomberg Will COVID accelerate productivity growth? – Bruegel ‘Vaccine nationalism’ could see world economy lose trillions, OECD warns

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Macro Afternoon

Asian stock markets are generally lower given the wavering confidence on global stocks with Chinese bourses closed due to NY holidays. The USD remains fixed a little against the major currency pairs in the wake of the higher than expected US initial jobless claims overnight. Bitcoin continues to soar ever upward, spinning spinning towards freedom,


MB Fund Podcast: The Art of Financial Advice

MB Fund’s Head of Advice Tim Fuller, Head of Operations Shelley George, and Associate FInancial Adviser Christopher Whaler dive into the art of financial advice On the agenda: When do you need advice? What can advice offer you? What is the process for advice? What options are there for advice? Why pay for ongoing service?


Final auction clearance rate surges to 6-year high

CoreLogic has released its final auction clearance results for last weekend, which reveals that the nation’s clearance rate hit a 6-year high of 79.3%: Sydney’s final clearance rate was a red hot 84.4%, whereas Melbourne’s was also strong at 76.0%. Even the smaller capitals, which don’t run many auctions, reported strong results: The number of


The worst are full of passionate intensity

Deary me: Pete Evans has announced he will run for the Senate with former One Nation senator Rod Culleton’s The Great Australian Party. Controversial celebrity chef and known anti-vaxxer Evans was announced as a candidate for the upcoming federal election in a statement from the party about 1am on Friday. “Pete Evans has maintained his


ASFA admits superannuation system is unfair

The superannuation industry has displayed a rare glimpse of honestly, with the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) – the peak policy, research and advocacy group for superannuation funds – admitting that Australia’s superannuation system is grossly unfair in that it provides the greatest concessions to those that need it least: high income earners.


Dictator Dan locks Victoria down again

Last weekend we watched Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews arrogantly boast about the state’s supposed “best” hotel quarantine system, which he claimed was of a “higher standard” that other states: “I am very confident we have a system that is worthy of being copied by others. It’s not about boasting, it’s a fact… If it were


ScoMo abandons homeless Aussies

In the 2018 federal budget, the Coalition Government launched the $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF) to “provide concessional loans, grants and equity investments across five years to local governments to accelerate infrastructure works in new residential areas”. Like many policies coming from the federal government, this scheme is more spin than substance, with


China bans BBC

The Anglosphere is at war with the CCP: In an apparent tit for tat move, BBC World News has been banned from airing in China, according to a statement from China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) on Thursday. The announcement comes one week after Ofcom, the British media regulator, said it had withdrawn a


Goldman: Expensive stocks to get expensiver

Goldman has been the great bullish Pide Piper of the post-COVID recovery. Today it continues the bullish line even though, as we all know, some asset prices are clearly bubbly: Since our last update investor sentiment has continued to be bullish, and we think risky assets are generally overweight in global portfolios. Retail and hedge


Now versus GFC. How Australia compares

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has an interesting tool that enables one to compare key indicators of the Australian economy at one point in time compared to another. Out of interest I decided to compare the Australian economy immediately prior to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in September 2008 against the economy immediately prior


Will K-shaped inflation crash markets?

As we know, the world enjoyed an unprecedented K-shaped recovery last year as goods boomed via stimulus and work from home. But high tough services completely busted amid social distancing. Now, it is becoming plain that inflation trends are following exactly the same pattern. Via some great charts from The Daily Shot on the US


Aussies reject apartment ‘battery chook’ living

One of the biggest side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian property market is that it has reversed the trend towards apartment living. There are several drivers behind this trend. First, the collapse in immigration and international student numbers has dampened apartment demand in inner-cities. This is reflected by the sharp fall in


Has COVID-19 killed recessions?

Has COVID-19 killed recessions? It’s a fascinating question. Let’s hope not because they are vital to advancing living standards as they sweep out the capital misallocation of the cycle and help drive productivity growth. Deutsche Bank muses: So aggressive has been the policy response that the US Covid recession is likely to be the shortest


The Strayan: ScoMo calls Royal Commission into Royal Commissions

Sir Fomo McSpruikerson is an expatriate billionaire and proud proprietor of The Strayan, a vanity media project designed to boost his assets. Morrison announces FuelKeeper for strategic reserve in Antarctica Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that he will respond to the recent announcement of closures of the Exxon refinery in Altona with a new


Melbourne facing 3rd lockdown as quarantine cluster grows to 13

Dan Andrews’ “best” hotel quarantine system continues to leak COVID cases, with the Holiday Inn cluster growing to 13 overnight. Both of the latest COVID-19 cases are primary household contacts of previously announced infections. Six of the cases have also been confirmed by genomic sequencing as having the UK’s highly contagious B117 strain. The only


Macro Morning

Initial weekly jobless claims in the US spiked a little higher than expected, with continuing claims also climbing higher but that didn’t dampen all risk spirits with Wall Street edging slightly higher. The USD was effectively unchanged as were Treasury yields while commodities saw mixed returns as oil pulled back slightly while gold fell back


As the property bubble is nationalised, it only gets worse

In Australia’s scab grab political economy, history (even recent history ) plays no role. It’s a shame because there are, in fact, three distinct phases of the development in the great Australian property bubble. If we understood each then we might end it. So ignorance must be manufactured such that vested interests can continue their


Aussies too scared to travel amid outbreaks and border closures

Earlier this week, I argued that Australia’s tourism industry won’t recover so long as Australia’s quarantine system continues to leak virus into the community and our governments continue to close borders and force people into isolation anytime a few virus cases emerge: The end result is that a form of ‘sovereign risk’ has crept into


Links 12 February 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: There’s Actually No Good Reason for Us All to Go Back to the Office – Medium TikTok Sale to Walmart, Oracle Shelved Amid Biden Review: WSJ – Bloomberg Stocks rise as US and China inflation data comes into focus – Yahoo Human demands on nature far exceed its capacity


Macro Afternoon

Asian stock markets are generally higher except for local stocks despite continued mixed leads from Wall Street and European stocks overnight with local currencies still strong despite the USD coming back a little against the majors in the wake of the lower US inflation print. Bitcoin continues to stall, falling below the $45K level as


Tourism industry talks sense on border closures

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind has urged state governments to co-operate on COVID-19 lockdowns and border closures. Gschwind estimates that lockdowns cost Queensland’s tourism industry between $10 billion and $20 billion in 2020, noting that tourism operators in the regions were especially hard hit. From The Australian: Daniel Gschwind [said]… sudden restrictions and


Six years to vaccinate world from COVID

Dr Mary-Louise McLaws from the University of New South Wales estimates that at least 90% to 95% of Australians would need to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in order to combat new strains of the coronavirus. She adds that achieving herd immunity would require up to 190,000 Australians to be vaccinated every day. Meanwhile, infectious diseases