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31 Oct 2011 – Victoria leads country in unit development

(31 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p5, Philip Hopkins) “APPROVALS of new apartments in Melbourne is easily outstripping the other capital cities and has reached a record share of the national market, according to Oliver Hume research. Prices are also higher and apartment blocks have more units.” “In 2010-11, half of all metropolitan Melbourne dwelling … Continue reading

31 Oct 2011 – Too much money and nowhere to put it to work

(31 Oct 2011, AFR, p22, Eric Dash and Nelson Schwartz) “Nervous US investors, preferring to not lose money rather than risk it elsewhere, have flooded US banks with cash.” “Bankers have an odd-sounding problem: they are awash in cash.” “Droves of consumers and businesses unnerved by the lurching markets have taken money out of risky … Continue reading

25 Oct 2011 – Super still hit by GFC

(25 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Annette Sampson) “SUPER fund members will have to wait another year or more to recoup the money they lost during the global financial crisis after funds had their worst quarter since December 2008.” “Research company Chant West reports the average growth fund lost 5.1 per cent in the … Continue reading

25 Oct 2011 – Shares gain $35 billion

(25 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p1, Peter Martin) “AUSTRALIAN shares have gained $35 billion and the dollar has hit a six-week high amid hope of a workable stability plan for Europe and news of a boost to manufacturing in China.” “Manufacturing in China hit a five-month high this month, according to the usually reliable … Continue reading

20 Oct 2011 – US profit season may not be so merry

(20 Oct 2011, AFR, p39, Claire Stewart) “Australian investors are being warned to ignore corporate America’s earnings season at their peril. Some of Australia’s biggest companies including CSL, Macquarie Group, Toll Holdings, Boral and Billabong International often take cues from the earnings reports and management commentary from their US peers.” Read more at

20 Oct 2011 – Goldman loss offers poor omen for Wall Street

(20 Oct 2011, AFR, p39, Susanne Craig) “Goldman Sachs has posted its first loss since the GFC, but it’s jsut the canary in the Wall Street coalmine.” “Goldman Sachs, once Wall Street’s highest flier, has been grounded, and it does not bode well for the rest of the financial industry or the New York City … Continue reading

20 Oct 2011 – Moody’s cuts down on Spain

(20 Oct 2011, AFR, p17, Howard Schneider, London) “Moody’s Investors Service has down graded Spain’s credit rating and warned that France’s rating could also be at risk, citing both nations’ vulnerability as Europe struggles to manage its persistent debt crisis.” “In cutting Spain’s rating by two notches, Moody’s said that since it began reviewing the … Continue reading

20 Oct 2011 – Just another leg-up for the big money men?

(20 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p6, Michael West) “Bankers get a little help from their pals in government and it falls on the taxpayer.” “HERE is a tale of two leg-ups: a tale to raise the hackles of the so-called 99 per cent and a tale that plays to the contrast between the US … Continue reading

The World in 2050 (HSBC)

HSBC have published an interesting document “The World in 2050”. “With the rapid growth of the emerging markets, the global economy is experiencing a seismic shift. In this piece, we argue that this shift is set to continue. By 2050, the collective size of the economies we currently deem ’emerging’ will have increased five-fold and … Continue reading

18 Oct 2011 – Cyclicals lead way as stockmarket recovers

[hmm.. interesting article and headline, in light of the follow up action on the markets today.] (18 Oct 2011, The Australian, p33, David Rogers, Dow Jones newspapers) “THE Australian recovery resumed yesterday, with cyclical sectors leading the domestic sharemarket to a six-week high, as offshore markets reacted positively to stronger than expected US retail sales … Continue reading

18 Oct 2011 – Turnaround? or not?

[Now this article in interesting. Published in The Australian newspaper today with the headline: “Signs pointing to a turnaround”, and reprinted from the Wall Street Journal where the headline reads: “Stock Surge Has Its Skeptics”.] (18 Oct 2011 2011, The Australian, p29, Tom Lauricella, Jonathan Cheng, and Wall Street Journal) “Investors might want to keep … Continue reading

18 Oct 2011 – Credit growth ‘building up’

(18 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Clancy Yeates) “NEW lending to business has jumped to levels not seen since the global financial crisis, fuelling predictions that small to medium-sized companies are bolstering their investment plans in response to the mining boom.” “Commercial finance commitments surged 7.9 per cent in August to a three-year high … Continue reading

17 Oct 2011 – Euro zone potholes in recovery’s path

(17 Oct 2011, AFR, p1119, David Bassanese) “Is the worst over? Global stockmarkets are undertandably on the rebound given easing fears of a double-dip recession in the United States and signals from Europe that its sovereign debt problems could be sorted out soon.” “Having touched a low of 1074 on October 4, the United States’ … Continue reading

14 Oct 2011 – Jobs jump surprise

(14 Oct 2011, AFR, p11, Pip Freebairn) “The labout market strengthened in September and added the most jobs since March, helping push down the unemployment rate and dampening speculation¬† of an interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia.” “The unemployment rate fell to 5.2 per cent in September from 5.3 per cent in … Continue reading

13 Oct 2011 – Confidence up as hopes rise of rate cut

(13 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p1, Clancy Yeates, Eli Greenblat) “HOUSEHOLD confidence appears to be recovering from ”recession-like” lows, thanks to growing expectations the Reserve Bank will cut interest rates on Melbourne Cup day.” “The Westpac-Melbourne Institute yesterday said consumer confidence edged up by 0.4 per cent this month, building on an 8.1 per … Continue reading

11 Oct 2011 – Little light on Rembrandt notes

(11 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p5, Elisabeth Sexton) “THE financial adviser that sold loss-making Rembrandt notes to 13 local councils made no effort to work out whether its licence permitted it to do so, the Federal Court heard yesterday.” “If Local Government Financial Services had disclosed the structured financial products it was selling, the … Continue reading

11 Oct 2011 – France, Germany to counter crisis

(11 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p4, Helen Pidd, Berlin) “THE leaders of France and Germany say they are ready to recapitalise Europe’s troubled banks and have reached agreement on a ”long-lasting, complete package” to counter the bloc’s debt crisis.” “But German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy refused to go into detail … Continue reading

11 Oct 2011 – China stocks drop to 2¬Ĺ year low

(11 Oct 2011, AFR, p27, Irene Shen, Shanghai) “Chinese stocks feel, driving the benchmark index to the lowest level since March 2009, as housing sales slumped during a week-long holiday and energy producers declined after the government cut fuel prices.” “Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and China Vanke led financial companies lower after the … Continue reading

11 Oct 2011 – Keeping promises may cost Brazil dear

(11 Oct 2011, AFR, p14, Alexei Barrionuevo, Sao Paulo) “Its problems are small fry compared with Europe and the US, bt they could multiply if the government doesn’t watch spending.” “In the first major test of her stewardship of Latin Americ’s largest economy, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is struggling to break free of an economic … Continue reading

11 Oct 2011 – Germany moves to help Greek economy grow

(11 Oct 2011, AFR, p13, Helena Smith, Athens) “As Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy held another round of crisis talks to resolve Europe’s debt crisis, a new strategy is being pursued in the country on the front line of the drama: for the first time the European Union’s big players are focusing on Greece’s real … Continue reading

11 Oct 2011 – Merkel and Sarkozy set a date

(11 Oct 2011, AFR, p13, Patrick Donahue, Berlin) “Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy turned their crisis-fighting focus to banks in a blueprint this month that will overtake a 12-week old plan that has yet to be put into place.” “We will capitalise the banks”, the French President said in Berlin at a joint briefing with … Continue reading

10 Oct 2011 – Faltering progress in US but jobs still a worry

(10 Oct 2011, AFR, p11, Ben Potter, Washington) “The US economy took two steps forward, one step back over the weekend towards a moderately higher growth rate in the September quarter.” “But another slowdown is on the cards for the December quarter thanks to the European debt crisis, unemployment and the deadlock over President Barack … Continue reading

10 Oct 2011 – Euro falls as Italy, Spain downgraded

(10 Oct 2011, AFR, p11, Jill Treanor, London) “The monetary crisis in Europe intensified as Spain and Italy were downgraded on Friday by the ratings agency Fitch, heightening fears about the health of euro zone banks.” “Fitch’s move came at the end of a day in which 12 UK banks and building societies had already … Continue reading

10 Oct 2011 – Insolvencies compound job woes

(10 Oct 2011, AFR, p3, Katie Walsh) “Insolvency experts have warned that the galloping rate of company collapses poses a threat to jobs.” “The number of companies entering external administration jumped nearly 14 per cent to 1049 in August, the second-highest reading on record, according to figures from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.” “What … Continue reading

8 Oct 2011 – World on brink of disaster: Bank of England boss

(8 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p1, James Kirkup, London) [These days there are many opinion pieces in the press about how good, or bad, the world economy currently is, and the possible outcomes. Here is one from the governor of the Bank of England. The headline says it all; but remember it is an … Continue reading

8 Oct 2011 – Ragtag popular movement is angry at the right people

(8 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p12, Paul Krugman) [This article is worth reading. It includes discussion about the US financial crisis taking place in three acts: bankers taking advantage of deregulation to run wild, bankers being bailed out by tax payers, and bankers turning their backs on the taxpayers who bailed them out. Really … Continue reading

8 Oct 2011 – Few cried for Argentina but many may weep for Greece

[This article includes reference to some interesting detail about the Argentina default in 2002. See the para online which commences “In early 2002, a new Argentine government…”] (8 Oct, 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p13, Floyd Norris) “GREECE would be in much better shape now if it had never joined the euro zone, or if it … Continue reading

8 Oct 2011 – IMF says outlook bright but risky

(8 Oct, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Clancy Yeates) “AUSTRALIA’S ”enviable” economic position is threatened by an overheated housing market and dependence on resource exports, the International Monetary Fund says.” “Despite growing pessimism after recent market turmoil, the IMF yesterday said Australia’s prospects were bright, as it reaffirmed growth forecasts of 1.8 per cent for this … Continue reading

6 Oct 2011 – When worlds collide, facing reality is not always as easy as it looks

[The article mentioned below contains interesting information about the underlying issues of the current credit problems around the world.] (6 Oct 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p6, David Rosenbloom) “The US and Europe took different approaches to the turmoil, writes David Rosenbloom.” “I JUST got back from my native USA. First off, how’s this for dumb? … Continue reading

6 Oct 2011 – Markets surge on EU moves

(6 Oct, 2011, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Eric Johnston) “RISING hopes that European leaders were preparing to directly tackle the euro-zone’s grinding problems through a massive injection of funds into the region’s banks provided a much-needed shot of confidence for global markets.” “After a week of sustained selling, the Australian market had climbed as much … Continue reading