Website improvements

Hi all, A quick note to offer guidance on the new website. As well as the layout changes that make it easier to access content for new readers, it comes with a dramatically improved sign-up and resubscription process, greatly enhanced speed, and a much better mobile experience (since 95% of traffic is now phone!). The

Latest posts


The happy Dane spruiks Pilbara Killer

RIO is getting spooked that its China-grovelling, Australia-smashing Pilbara killer project is generating negative press. Suddenly, the miner has launched a love-in with a prostrate, Ross Greenwood, to upsell the benefits. But there are none, not for Australia, at least: An alternative iron ore pipeline this large risks emboldening Chinese military aggression. Coming at a


Monthly inflation indicator shoots down rate hawks

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its monthly inflation indicator for January, which posted a 3.4% rise over the year, well below economists’ expectations of a 3.6% rise. The most significant price rises were Housing (+4.6%), Food and non-alcoholic beverages (+4.4%), Alcohol and tobacco (+6.7%) and Insurance and financial services (+8.2%). Housing, which


“Appalling” Treasury “wrong” to blame wages for inflation

On Tuesday night, I was interviewed by Sky News host Sharri Markson where I demolished the Australian Treasury’s claim that wage growth was driving Australia’s inflation. Below are highlights along with key charts backing my claims. Leith van Onselen: The Treasury has got it wrong here. Australian wages only grew by 0.1% more than headline


Relaxing planning won’t stop developers land banking

The YIMBY movement claims that if Australia simply relaxed zoning and planning rules and let developers build apartments wherever they wanted, Australia’s housing crisis would magically resolve. Their argument was demolished by an article published this month in the Daily Telegraph, which reported that “almost one billion dollars worth of housing in one of Sydney’s


Population growth hides recession economies

If you believe Australia is a Ponzi economy, spare a thought for Canada. Canada’s population surged by more than 1.2 million people last year, driven almost entirely by net overseas migration: This population surge has created a diabolical shortage of housing across Canada: With housing starts failing miserably to keep pace with population growth: In


1995 not 1999 for stocks

I agree with this. The Market Ear. 1995 We ran the 1999 analogy chart last year which worked well for big parts of the year. Is 2024 all about the 1995 set up from here? Refinitiv Party like it’s 1995? IT driven productivity growth In the mid-90s, the first wave of IT-driven productivity growth allowed


Iron ore bottoms

For now, anyway, Dalian iron ore futures are trying to hold at the 30DMA: Just as coking coal has: Bouncing off such levels does suggest speculative behaviour. But the rumour mills are still pretty gloomy: Some Chinese steelmakers have postponed plans to resume production amid pressure from poor steel margins or even losses, analysts at


Macro Morning

Equities were the only markets with any decent movement overnight as bonds and currencies held fast as they await more important economic data later in the week. Wall Street bounced back and European shares followed suit while the Australian dollar was again stuck at the mid 65 cent level. 10 year Treasury yields lifted slightly


Greens corner Albo on negative gearing

I still don’t think that this will succeed with Albo’s poltroons, but a backfire would be useful: The Greens have told Labor that leaving negative gearing unchanged for existing property investors while winding back the tax break for new entrants could be part of a deal to get the minor party’s support for the Albanese


Aussie mortgage stress ratchets higher

According to Roy Morgan’s January mortgage stress survey, 31.0% of owner-occupied households with mortgages are “stressed”, the highest level since October 2008, when the official cash rate (OCR) was 2.9% higher at 7.25%. The figure for January set a new record high total for the number ‘At Risk’ of mortgage stress, surpassing the previous record


Australia’s Great Housing Hijack

Author of the renowned “Game of Mates”, Dr Cameron Murray, has published a new book entitled “The Great Housing Hijack”, which explains how vested interests pull the strings on the property market in Australia. He also offers solutions to Australia’s housing policy quagmire. Below is the blurb for the book: Everyone claims to want affordable


Towering Inferno just beginning

Now this is amusing. I somehow missed it a few months ago: Industry super fund QSuper handed back the keys to a prime New York City midtown office tower after its investment went under water just 2½ years after valuing the asset at $US540 million ($855 million) on its books. The decision to appoint a


Perth is the new housing boom town

Perth has become Australia’s housing boom town. CoreLogic’s daily dwelling values index shows that Perth has recorded the largest house price rebound after values nationally bottomed in late January 2023: Perth dwelling values have rebounded by 18.7% from late January 2023, easily beating the 11.0% increase across the five major capital cities. Perth values also


Labor to flood Australia with useless university degrees

The Albanese Government released the Australian Universities Accord Final Report over the weekend, which recommends the following targets for higher education attainment: increasing the tertiary education attainment rate from 60% to at least 80% of Australians in our workforce by 2050; increasing the proportion of university-educated Australians aged 25 to 34 years from 45% to


Is an inflation “second wave” coming?

So say Marko Kolanovic at JPM. In the last 3 years, narratives for the macro regime went from the ‘roaring 20s’ post-pandemic secular recovery, to imminent recession, to the current goldilocks and best of all worlds when it comes to growth, inflation and monetary easing. Optimism now is quite high and some describe the current


Macro Morning

Wall Street stalled again overnight as the new trading week got underway with European markets pulling back. The USD slipped a little while bond yields rose in the absence of any significant economic events although these will start to ramp up as the week goes on. The Australian dollar was again stuck at the mid