From “noted” to gone in less than 2 months…
From Nomura’s Martin Whetton:
With just over a week before Australia was expected to hit its borrowing limit, the government reached a deal with the Green party in the Senate to abolish the Commonwealth debt ceiling, which is expected to pass Parliament sometime this week.
Noted simply because we didn’t know it existed before:
COMMONWEALTH INSCRIBED STOCK ACT 1911 – SECT 5
Limit on stock and securities on issue
(1) The total face value of stock and securities on issue under this Act and the Loans Securities Act 1919 at any time must not exceed $300 billion…
Politics has definitely been an element in the discussions around who will replace Ben Bernanke at the Fed. That’s probably putting it mildly. But we suspect even the US doesn’t have quite the partisan obsession Australia boasts.
Australia’s central bank cut its cash interest rate to 2.5 per cent today, a record low. Australians being a rather highly leveraged bunch, the RBA’s interest rate decisions are almost always reported with focus on the implications for mortgagees. And this cut happened to be made a few days after an election was called which, surprise surprise, is set to be tightly contested… Read more
Kevin Rudd 2.0 has been quick to highlight the dangers posed by slowing Chinese growth since he was returned as Australia’s prime minister.
For example: Read more
Another day, another Aussie GDP downgrade.
From BofA Merrill Lynch: Read more
That’s recession and the merest hint of the word sends Australian policymakers in to paroxysms of anger.
For example, here’s David Gruen (the Treasury’s chief macroeconomist) speaking before a Senate hearing last week.
From the Sydney Morning Herald: Read more
The pain goes on for the currency dubbed until recently the southern Swiss Franc…
We are, of course, talking about the Australian dollar — now going head to head with the Syrian pound for the title of the world’s worst performing currency.
The latest drop follows a call from Pimco of even lower interest rates. Read more
We are, of course, talking about iron ore which has slipped into bear market territory overnight (defined here as 20 per cent fall from a recent high).
Economists mostly failed to predict that the Reserve Bank of Australia would cut rates to a record low of 2.75 per cent at its monthly meeting today. Yep, lower than during the height of the financial crisis — another sign that we’re living in different times now. Read more
The Aussie banks are very good companies. They are profitable, resilient, well capitalised, well managed, shareholder focused and have a very strong industry and regulatory structure. However, following the significant leveraging of the Australian & NZ households over the last thirty years they are now low growth and remain heavily exposed to housing, funding markets & unemployment risk. Read more
The biggest ASX fallers on Monday…
… all gold.
(yes, even PanAust)
Remember Australia’s inverted yield curve in 2012?
Australian authorities have been considering how to deal with algorithmic and high-speed trading since 2010. Long story short; the local Australian Financial Review says that the federal Treasury has decided that fees on high frequency trades orders are the way to go.
This prompted protests from the chief of Chi-X Australia, Peter Fowler, that market makers should be treated differently: Read more
Move over Gulf Keystone; there’s a new wannabe supermajor in town.
It’s a small Australian exploration and development company called Linc Energy – tagline ‘Fueling our Future’ – and according to some hysterical media reports down under it’s found oil worth $20 trillion. Read more
Time for some property porn.
It comes from the 2013 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey – a piece of work often quoted by bubble hunters and rubbished by the property bulls who babble on about flawed methodology. Read more
The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its cash rate on Tuesday to 3 per cent — making a total of 175bps worth of cuts since November 2011, and bringing the rate to its lowest level since the depths of the financial crisis.
The RBA’s governor’s statement alluded to the bank’s discomfort over the stubbornly high Australian dollar, which is not doing what it tended to do in the past and falling to provide a fillip to the economy: Read more
That’s Australian for ‘bad’.
The country’s trade deficit came in far worse than expected: Read more
When commentators cast around for reasons to explain the strength of the Australian dollar in the face of falling iron ore and coal prices they all arrive at the same answer - haven bond buying by central banks/ sovereign wealth funds. In fact, we’ve also made that very point.
About that iron ore rally…
Forecasting is a tricky thing. The latest quarterly update from Australia’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics predicts iron ore prices will average A$101 a tonne in 2013:
Yep it’s the incredible shrinking iron ore price…
As fantasy banking M&A goes — this isn’t such an outlandish idea, we reckon.
But see what you think: Read more
That the Australian economy may be in trouble will not be news to FT Alphaville readers.
We’ve been warning for a good while that the country is uniquely exposed to the commodity super-cycle, an overvalued currency, a real-estate bubble, not to mention the Chinese slowdown. Read more
Via UBS. (Click to enlarge)
Here’s a bold call: the developed world’s fastest growing (that’s Australia for those of you at the back of the class) will fall in to recession next year as the China-driven mining investment boom ends.
Given the recent declines in Chinese steel prices and spot iron ore price, Deutsche Bank economist Adam Boyton reckons Australia’s terms of trade (the price of exportable goods divided by price of importable goods) could be 15 per cent lower year-on-year by the fourth quarter. Read more
It can’t be much fun being an Australian in London at the moment. (Trailing the Brits is one thing, but lagging the Kiwis in the medal table must really hurt.)
But at least our antipodean visitors can afford to indulge in a little retail therapy at Westfield Stratford City (the Australian dollar is trading close to a record high against the British pound) or, if they are really embarrassed, hop on the Eurostar to Paris (where the dollar hit a record high against the eurothingy just last week). Read more