New home sales recovery stalls

Via HIA: “New Home Sales and Housing Finance data indicate that the housing market has stabilised over the past 6 months,” stated HIA Economist, Angela Lillicrap. The HIA New Home Sales report – a monthly survey of the largest volume home builders in the five largest states – is a leading indicator of future trends

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Bunnings joins the wage thieves

Because it just so hard to pay people right, at Domain: More than 40,000 current and former Bunnings employees are set to receive their unpaid superannuation entitlements after the hardware giant on Friday revealed the quantum of its underpayment case. In late September, the retailer admitted it had failed to pay a number of its


America First killing global liquidity?

Via GaveKal: Regular readers will know that among the key influences on global markets is what I call “international liquidity,” which I have long monitored using an item on the US Federal Reserve’s balance sheet labeled “securities held in custody for foreign official and international accounts.” This barbaric wording refers to the US dollar foreign


Australia’s retirement system warped by houses

Although older Australians have captured an increasing share of Australia’s wealth: Largely because they have increased their home ownership rates over the past 55 years at the same time as home values have skyrocketed: The situation is nowhere near as rosy for Australia’s renting pensioners, who have the highest rate of rental poverty in the


Australia plunges towards outright deleveraging

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has released its private sector credit aggregates data for the month of October 2019: A chart showing the long-run breakdown in the components is provided below showing broad-based weakness: A long-run breakdown of owner-occupied credit (0.44% MoM; 1.26% QoQ; 4.79% YoY) and investor credit (-0.02% MoM; -0.19% QoQ; -0.18%


Europe declares carbon war on Australia

Slowly but surely, Europe is declring carbon war on Australia. Ealrier this year we saw the begiing of divestitures: Norway’s massive sovereign wealth fund may soon rip up to $3.7 billion out of Australian fossil fuel companies after the Norwegian Parliament passed a tightened set of ethical investment rules. The laws were adopted late on


PBO: Infrastructure spending to tank

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has forecast that Australia’s net infrastructure investment will peak at $38 billion in 2019-20, before falling over the next three years. This is primarily due to expectations that the net debt of the state governments will blow out to around $156 billion by 2022, which would constitute the states’ highest


Australia’s superannuation system is welfare for the rich

Just a week after The Australia Institute (TAI) released a report – funded by Industry Super Australia – backing an increase in the superannuation guarantee (compulsory superannuation) to 12%, the chief economist of TAI, Richard Denniss, has blasted Australia’s superannuation system for “stealing from the poor to give to the rich”: Welcome to the topsy-turvy


Labor: Temporary visa tsunami is crushing wages

Labor has called for an urgent review of the temporary visa system after the latest report from the Australian Population Research Institute (APRI) revealed a high concentration of temporary migrant workers across large swathes of the economy (see below table). From The Australian: Labor has called for an urgent examination of the temporary visa regime


Realty turns pure financial arbitrage

Via FtAlphaville: There’s a popular joke in finance that venture capital is just one giant ploy to subsidise millennial lifestyles. While there’s an element of truth to this with ride-sharing, food delivery or ready-made meal kits, the service provided has always been in-kind — an underpriced meal, or a cheaper-than-cost taxi ride. That is, until


Lunatic RBA blames oldies and women for low wage growth

In the Q&A after Tuesday’s address to ACOSS, assistant RBA Governor, Guy Debelle, blamed higher participation from women and older Australians for adding to labour supply and lowering wages: “It’s ultimately fundamental economics that with demand and supply, if you run out of supply, then the price is going to go up. When demand exhausts


The great housing shrinkflation continues

During the peak of the last housing cycle in 2017, MB coined the phrase “shrinkflation” to describe the peculiar situation whereby housing prices rise strongly alongside crashing sales volumes. Australia’s housing market is experiencing another round of shrinkflation with dwelling values surging at the same time as turnover remains anaemic. A new report from CoreLogic


Private sector investment is as dead as the Dodo

There is an investing narrative that suggests with three interest rate cuts in the past few months, companies are about to unleash a capex spending spree. I’m skeptical. Yesterday’s capex data, which surveys both past and future company capital expenditure, supports my skepticism. I need to preface all of this with the observation (raised before)


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  US markets were closed for thanksgiving overnight, leaving other risk markets to their own devices as the Chinese reaction to continued pressure on their oppression in Hong Kong made a small impression. A lack of further economic releases of any import keep risk aversion contained to a slight dip in European stocks


Hanson accidently does right thing on union bill

Via The Australian: The government has pledged to ­revive its union-busting bill after Pauline Hanson handed the ­Coalition an embarrassing Senate defeat that business branded a “win for union thuggery”. Attorney-General Christian Porter called on Senator Hanson to explain why One Nation ­sided with Labor and the Greens to ­oppose the Ensuring Integrity Bill, leaving


Abul Rizvi: $53,900 wage floor too high for ‘skilled’ visas

Abul Rizvi, former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration and one of the architects of Australia’s faux ‘skilled’ migration program, has penned an article claiming that the $53,900 wage floor for regional skilled migrants is too high: On 16 November 2019, the Government’s much-touted regional migration visas took effect. One of these is a


Links 29 November 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: US stock market record highs amid strong economic data – Yahoo 5 More Signs That The Global Economy Is Careening Toward A Recession – Most Important News How the IMF can battle gradual irrelevance – Jordan Times This digital currency could build a more sustainable global economy – European


MB Fund Podcast: Australia’s housing market dilemma with Martin North

In today’s latest webinar and podcast, hear from MB Fund’s Head of Investment Damien Klassen, Tim Fuller and founder of Digital Finance Analytics, Martin North as they cover “Australia’s Housing Market Dilemma” Topics include an overview of the Australian Housing market with a rebuttal to the property bull case, banking regulation and government policy towards


Foreign influence laws and Peter Dutton a complete joke

This is what Scummo sees as doing something about CCP influence operations in Australia, via Domain: Australia’s flagship foreign interference scheme has issued only one notice to a potential agent of influence, despite sending out more than 1500 letters, as former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull urged the Morrison government to enforce the controversial laws. Fifty


Global steel output tumble deepens

Via World Steel: World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 151.5 million tonnes (Mt) in October 2019, a 2.8% decrease compared to October 2018. China’s crude steel production for October 2019 was 81.5 Mt, a decrease of 0.6% compared to October 2018. India produced 9.1 Mt