NZ Labour’s immigration lies exposed again

In the lead-up to the September 2017 general election, the New Zealand Labour Party launched a plan to reduce immigration by around a third in a bid to relieve chronic housing and infrastructure pressures (especially around Auckland): …in recent years our population has been growing rapidly as record numbers of migrants arrive here. This has

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China releases fraud trial video of alleged spy

The Global Times obtained an exclusive video of self-proclaimed Chinese spy #WangLiqiang being tried for fraud at a Chinese court in 2016. https://t.co/arjVebRxes pic.twitter.com/PpWcrSWGGG — Global Times (@globaltimesnews) November 27, 2019 Make of that what you will. All I will add is that say the CCP has a long history of using our own media


Budget and RBA confront “material downside” in capex

Via Westpac’s Andrew Hanlan: 2019/20 capex plans Overview Capex plans for 2019/20 have been downgraded, largely led by services. Business capex plans are lopsided, with strength in mining and weakness in services. This is consistent with the fundamentals (a challenging and uncertain global backdrop and weak demand domestically) and consistent with our reading of the


Auction clearance rates begin to fall

Last weekend, CoreLogic released its preliminary auction clearance rates, which revealed the following results: Today, CoreLogic has released its final auction results, which reported a 4.4% decline in the final national auction clearance rate to 68.5% – well above the same weekend last year (41.9%) but below last week’s 70.1%: As you can see, Sydney’s


RBA: Newstart lift would stimulate economy

In a Q&A after Tuesday’s address to ACOSS, assistant RBA Governor, Guy Debelle, admitted point blank that lifting Newstart would provide the economy with stimulus: Guy Debelle: “Newstart has been constant in real terms for the past five or six years. Sorry, 25 years… If those people got higher income, would they spend it? Probably


Grattan: Private hospitals less efficient than public

Earlier this week, The Grattan Institute released research arguing that gouging by specialists at private hospitals is driving up private health insurance costs and premiums. Interestingly, this report claimed that private hospitals are actually less efficient than their public hospital counterparts: Private hospitals need to lift their game too. They are less efficient than public


David Jones confirms crushed consumer

Via JSE Woolworths on David Jones: WHL: WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED – Trading update: 20 weeks ended 17 November 2019 Trading update: 20 weeks ended 17 November 2019 Woolworths Holdings Limited (Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa) Registration number 1929/001986/06 Share code: WHL Share ISIN: ZAE000063863 Bond code: WHLI (`the Group´) TRADING UPDATE: 20 WEEKS


More incremental Chinese stimulus as bank stress grows

Via Caixin: China’s central government has issued new bond quotas for 2020 to some provincial-level governments early, as the state seeks to fund infrastructure construction in a bid to shore up a flagging economy. Several financial officials in provincial-level governments told Caixin they have already received next year’s quotas of so-called special-purpose bonds from the


Actual capex records minor fall

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released data on capital expenditures (capex) for the September quarter, which registered a 0.2% seasonally adjusted fall in capex volumes over the quarter and a 1.3% decrease over the year (see below table). The 0.2% quarterly decline missed market expectations of 0.0%. The first chart below shows actual


MB Fund Podcast: Australia’s Housing Market Dilemma with Martin North LIVE TODAY

In today’s LIVE webinar (12:30 pm AEST, Thursday 28th November), 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


Capex intentions ring alarm bells

More alarm bells for the Aussie economy with business investment begin to waver: Total capital expenditure Estimate 4 for total capital expenditure for 2019-20 is $116,692m. This is 2.5% higher than Estimate 4 for 2018-19. Estimate 4 is 3.4% higher than Estimate 3 for 2019-20. Mining Estimate 4 for Mining for 2019-20 is $38,386m. This


How far the great stock blowoff?

Readers will know that we are not a believer in the global recovery narrative driving the great stock blowoff. It is impressive nonetheless as down days all but disappear: Daily price swings too: Not to menton the death of vol: As America First leaves the world well and truly behind: Thanks to buybacks: And cyclicals:


Aussie towns lash Coalition’s regional visa farce

Predictably, Australia’s towns are unhappy about the Morrison Government’s farcical deeming of Perth and the Gold Coast as “regional” despite being bonafide metropolitan areas: Small regional towns like Swan Hill in Victoria are now competing for migrant workers against cities like Perth and the Gold Coast… Jason King’s business needs workers with skills, but it’s


Auditor-General slams Dan’s dodgy West Gate Tunnel deal

In late 2017, the Victorian Labor Government completed a shady $6.7 billion deal with Transurban to build the West Gate Tunnel Project, which will see Transurban contribute $4.4 billion towards the cost in exchange motorists paying $15 billion in additional tolls on CityLink until 2045. Former Premier Jeff Kennett described the deal as “absurd” and


McGrathmageddon 2.0: The Sexaning

Never trust a real estate agent. Via the AFR: A senior McGrath agent has been allowed to continue working at the publicly listed real estate agency despite a string of serious sexual harassment allegations since 2014, former and current employees have revealed. The agent is now in the middle of a second sexual harassment investigation


Uber, not mass immigration, blamed for traffic gridlock

With Melbourne’s population having soared by around 600,000 people over the past five years: And the city turning into one giant construction site, a Victorian parliamentary committee is trying to pin the blame for Melbourne’s growing congestion on ride sharing services like Uber: The growth of ride-share vehicles since Victoria’s taxi industry was deregulated two


VIC builders panic as flammable cladding list hits 1200

Victoria’s building industry has called for an amnesty from prosecution for building dodgy high-rises with flammable cladding: The Master Builders Association says the Andrews government’s get-tough approach, including “litigious posturing” and rhetoric on dodgy builders, is damaging the effort to tackle the [flammable cladding] crisis. More than 1200 buildings with risky levels of flammable cladding


Generalissimo Scummo enjoys the game of mates

Via Crikey: This is the sequence of events. Angus Taylor, federal cabinet minister, used a doctored document to publicly accuse Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore of being a hypocrite on climate change because her councillors spent, allegedly, $15 million on travel in a year (the real figure was about $6000). The document was a forgery,


Daily iron ore price update (much ado)

Texture from Platts: An iron ore trader in China’s Shandong province expects steel mill margins to increase further before the country’s Lunar New Year holiday which starts on January 25. Restocking of iron ore before the coldest winter months and ahead of the Lunar New Year usually supports iron ore prices, he said. But steelmakers


America first, Australian dollar last

DXY powered on last night with EUR falling away: That kept the Australian dollar in the dog house: Gold fell: Oil too: And metals: Miners were mixed: EM stocks subdued: Junk mixed: Treasuries weak: Bunds firm: Aussie bonds bid: And stocks to the moon: Westpac has the wrap: Event Wrap US data: the update (second


Australia aggressively targets Indian international students

Over the past five years, Indian international student enrolments across Australia’s educational institutions has skyrocketed by 138% to 126,000 as at August 2019: The number of Indian student visa applications granted has also soared by 125% over the past three years alone, signalling a further lift in enrolments: This explosion in Indian student enrolments is


Desperados wait for infrastructure Godot

It’s amusing to watch the dunderheads wait the infrastructure Godot, from the HIA: “The impact of the credit squeeze that caused the rapid deterioration in building conditions over the past 18 months is evident in today’s construction data,” stated Angela Lillicrap, HIA Economist. “This is the right time in the economic cycle for governments to


Are electric cars worse than diesel?

Via FTAlphaville: We admire German economist Hans-Werner Sinn for taking it upon himself to warn us that driving an electric vehicle is a halfhearted fix to global warming. From The Guardian’s comment pages: Electric vehicles also emit substantial amounts of CO2, the only difference being that the exhaust is released at a remove — that is, at


Links 28 November 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: WeWork shows that real profit still matters more than “growth” – The Drum Audi To Cut 9,500 Jobs To Fund Shift To Electric Vehicles – Forbes Decentralised finance in developing countries: it’s potential and constraints – Medium Americas: The great American labor paradox: Plentiful jobs, most of them bad


Macro Afternoon

Asian stock markets are quite mixed across the region with local shares buoyed by Westpac’s call for two more rate cuts by the beleagured RBA, which sent the Aussie dollar down, while Chinese stocks continued their pullback as the Yuan fix hovered around the 7 handle. No news on the US/China trade deal is good