Another psychopath in The Lodge

It’s hardly news that Prime Minster Scott Morrison is in trouble. The bushfire crisis has two running themes. The first is climate change. The second is ScoMo’s mishandling of the crisis. Today I wish to explore the second. We all know the political motivations behind the ScoMo failure. He won his election purely by attracting



Sydney’s rental vacancy rate rockets

SQM Research has released its rental vacancy data for December, which registered a 0.3% rise over the month but no change over the year: As noted by SQM, rental vacancies typically rise in December, thus the monthly increase represents seasonality. SQM also believes that this may represent the peak, given the sharp falls in dwelling


Links 15 January 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Wall Street hits record, boosted by trade and earnings optimism – Reuters Has The Digital Economy Hastened The End of the Free-Market Paradigm? – Project Syndicate One of the world’s top companies is giving young people the chance to veto projects that hurt the climate – CNN The coolest


Macro Afternoon

Asian stock markets advanced outside of China as the PBOC substantially lowered the fix of the Yuan which saw it strengthen a lot in offshore trading, now down to 6.87 making a new monthly low. The three main Asian undollars – Aussie, Kiwi and Yen – all fell back against the USD as result. Chinese


Another poll shocker for ScoMo

After yesterday’s Newspoll shocker, which showed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating plummeting from 45% to 37%: A Guardian Essential Poll, released today, also shows Morrison’s voter approval rating crashing: The prime minister’s handling of the bushfire crisis has seen his disapproval rating rise 9 points from 43% in December to 52%… The survey, undertaken


It’s time for a rational, mature debate on Australia’s population

By Kelvin Thompson, National Media Spokesperson for Sustainable Australia Party: When the economist Leith Van Onselen was recently asked on ABC radio whether his support for a substantial cut in Australia’s migration program meant he was xenophobic, he replied that he supported a return of our migration program to the numbers we had when Gough


84% of Sydneysiders concerned about high-rise build quality

With high-rise apartments mushrooming across Sydney: A new poll commissioned by the Committee for Sydney has revealed that 80% of Sydneysiders are concerned about the structural soundness of high-rise apartment buildings: An Ipsos poll of residents for advocacy group the Committee for Sydney found the quality of construction and the structural integrity of towers were


Australian household financial confidence collapses

Digital Finance Analytics has released its latest Household Financial Confidence Index, which has collapsed to a record low: DFA is releasing the latest in our 52,000 household survey series examining household financial confidence. The score to mid January is an all-time low of 81.2, well below the neutral setting and the previous low back in


Dan’s West Gate Tunnel hit with another scandal

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


Land baron gets rich off gullible Victorian taxpayers

‘Game of Mates’ is clearly running strong within the Victorian Government, with a property developer making huge ‘planning gain’ windfalls at the expense of Victorian taxpayers. From the Herald-Sun: The delays come as Supreme Court documents reveal another blow for the government over the troubled West Gate project. Documents obtained by the Herald Sun show


Moody’s: Bushfires to hit government budgets

Moody’s says in a new report that Australia’s (Aaa stable) general and state governments can absorb the near-term credit impact from the ongoing bushfires, although they are “likely to result in rising and recurring costs that will test the government’s capacity to mitigate these costs”: The near-term credit implications for the sovereign and the states


Former Labor MP: Temporary visa flood is smashing wages

Former federal Labor MP, Craig Emerson, has penned an article in The AFR warning that the relentless rise of migrants workers on temporary visas is crushing Australian wage growth, alongside the expansion of low productivity personal services industries, like food delivery. According to Emerson, there is minimal sophisticated capital equipment used in these services sectors,


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker? Another bullish day to be expected here in Asia with another record high on Wall Street overnight pushing the risk complex along with tech stocks leading the way. The poor US jobs print from Friday seems to have been forgotten as focus shifts more to risk taking, but currency markets were relatively


Daily iron ore price update (Rio keeps digging)

by Chris Becker The iron ore complex reopened over the weekend with modest upticks on both spot and futures prices, although rebar finally slowed down a little: Meanwhile, Rio Tinto is still digging away with a big project announced yesterday for Monadelphous and Lycopodium, who’ve been contracted to design and construct Rio’s Western Turner Syncline


Australia’s emissions cut delusion

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says it would not be appropriate to discuss potential changes to the state’s carbon emissions reduction policy until the bushfire crisis is over. An independent advice panel chaired by former federal MP Greg Combet has recommended that the government adopt more aggressive targets, including reducing emissions by 40% on 2005 levels


Backlash swells against Sydney bus privatisation

11,000 Sydneysiders have signed a petition opposing the privatisation of the city’s remaining bus network, which would break a pre-election commitment ruling out any additional privatisations: Hundreds of people have rallied outside NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s office to oppose plans to privatise Sydney’s remaining state-owned bus services. Union members and commuters were among those who


University cuts ties with Indian international student scammer

Last year, the Department of Home Affairs deemed student visa applications from India as “high-risk”, thereby requiring applicants to demonstrate higher English-language proficiency as well as prove greater capacity to support themselves financially once arrived in Australia. These changes came amid an explosion in student visa applications from India, alongside a surge in visa rejections


Links 14 January 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: The Most Effective Suicide Prevention: $1 Increase in Minimum Wage Linked to 3.5–6% Drop in Suicide Rate – SciTech Daily Raising The Minimum Wage By $1 May Prevent Thousands Of Suicides, Study Shows – NPR How Hedge Funds Hide – Institutional Investor How Bitcoin Really Has Become a Digital


Macro Afternoon

A mixed start to the trading week here in Asia with only the ASX200 pulling back in response to the small selloff on Wall Street on Friday night, as the rest of the region continued higher. The PBOC fix of the Yuan saw it strengthen a lot in offshore trading, down to 6.90, reaching a


FOMO hits Australia’s mortgage market

According to Domain, mortgage brokers are being inundated with applications from homebuyers wishing to break into the market: Mortgage brokers report they have been inundated with inquiries and home loan applications during what would traditionally be a holiday break. Most interest has come from owner-occupiers including first-home buyers, while some investors are also keen, according


Australian dollar zooms higher on soft US jobs

by Chris Becker Friday night’s US NFP (non-farm payroll) unemployment print for December reset the strong USD meme that had been in place since the New Year with the King of currencies falling back on lower risk expectations. While the headline unemployment rate remains flat at 3.5%: The monthly numbers were well below expectations and


Tassie’s housing crisis escalates

Following his re-election in 2018, Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman rejoiced at the acceleration in the state’s population growth: Tasmania’s population is growing at its fastest rate in five years and the State Government wants to see more of it… “There’s no doubt that Tasmania has ample room for additional intake of people from interstate or


Pessimism engulfs Australians

The traditional Gallup International End of Year survey conducted in countries all over the world shows Australians are amongst the least optimistic about 2020 of anyone: As shown above, only 12% of Australians are optimistic about 2020, versus 40% that are pessimistic. In fact, the only OECD nation that is more net pessimistic than Australia


Sydney’s water savings swallowed by population ponzi

With Sydney’s water storages plummeting at an unprecedented rate, hitting just 43.0%: Another plummeting water storage article has appeared in The SMH: Since the drought started to bite around the Sydney region about 33 months ago, 281 billion litres have flowed into Sydney’s biggest dam at Warragamba. The tally is less than half the previous


Spin engulfs Melbourne’s $50b rail megaponzi

The Sunday Herald-Sun published an extraordinary propaganda article spruiking the State Government’s 90 kilometre suburban rail loop, which it labelled a “game changer”: Melbourne’s new suburban rail loop will operate up to 40m underground and could run driverless trains… A gun team of 150 experts from Australia and overseas has been assembled to get the


Australia can’t meet emissions targets with mass immigration

Yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was quizzed by the media on whether the government intended to meet Australia’s emissions targets as laid-out under the Paris Agreement, and promised to go even further: Australia has pledged to cut emissions by 26 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, under the Paris Agreement. “It is my intention