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30 June 2012 (AFR) – Australia unscathed by Libor scandal

(30 June 2012, AFR, John Kehoe) ‘Manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) by Barclays may have raised the cost of funds for Australian banks tapping European debt markets but only at the very margin, say local debt market experts.’ ‘Barclays was fined £290 million for attempting to manipulate the benchmark borrowing rate in … Continue reading

30 June 2012 (AFR & The Telegraph) – Barclays admits to falsifying Libor during GFC

(30 June 2012, AFR, p15, Harry Wilson, London, & The Telegraph) Bob Diamond: Barclays falsified Libor to protect bank during financial crisis ‘Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has admitted for the first time that the bank made a conscious decision to falsify Libor rates in order to protect the bank at the height of the … Continue reading

30 June 2012 (AFR & The Telegraph) – Disgrace nets more banks

(30 June 2012, AFR, p15, Robert Winnett, London, & The Telegraph) RBS and Lloyds drawn into rate-rigging scandal ‘Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds have been accused of systematically rigging financial markets in a growing international scandal which wiped billions off the value of shares in Britain’s biggest banks. ‘ ‘Bob Diamond, the chief executive … Continue reading

30 June 2012 (AFR) – Germany blinks at euro crisis meeting

(30 June 2012, AFR, p14, Geoff Winestock) ‘The euro zone leaders have taken a step back from the brink.’ ‘The midnight deal in Brussels should significantly reduce borrowing costs for Italy and Spain, and perhaps Ireland.’ ‘There is now a lower risk that in coming months Spain and Italy will default on their debts and … Continue reading

30 June 2012 (AFR) – Euro deal a lift after bearish year

(30 June 2012, AFR, p1, Geoff Winestock) ‘A midnight deal to stave off the collapse of the euro zone pushed up the Australian market by 1.2 per cent on Friday but with shares still down 11.1 per cent this financial year, bearish sentiment is likely to persist.’ ‘Euro-zone leaders in Brussels agreed on measures to … Continue reading

28 June 2012 (AFR) – Prognosis poor for construction

(28 June 2012, AFR, p47, Zoe Fielding) ‘The non-residential construction sector has been ailing for about a year now and the prognosis from here on is not good.’ ‘Non-residential building peaked in 2009-10, when government-funded stimulus spending – especially on the Building the Education Revolution program – helped the national value of work done to … Continue reading

28 June 2012 (AFR) – Broker rankings hardly count in flat trading conditions

[COMMENT: This is interesting. The published article headline in the paper (above) is somewhat different to the online version (below). Not sure why? The online article includes two tables of brokers’ rankings.] (28 June 2012, AFR, p23, Ruth Liew and Joyce Moullaki) Brokers’ rankings count even in volatile trading conditions ‘Citigroup, UBS and Goldman Sachs … Continue reading

28 June 2012 (AFR) – Chi-X struggling to pump up the volumes

(28 June 2012, AFR, p19, Joyce Moullakis) ‘Alternate exchange operator Chi-X Australia is unlikely to generate a profit in the near to medium term, as trading volumes dwindle and it struggles to meet industry estimates for market share.’ ‘Chi-X averaged daily turnover of $112 million last month, suggesting on trading revenue alone it is bringing … Continue reading

28 June 2012 (The Age) – Great nations must forsake the treasure

[COMMENT: This is a very interesting perspective of financial crises, putting a number of aspects into perspective.] (28 June 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p7, Nicholas Gruen) ‘WHEN the allies met in New Hampshire’s Bretton Woods in 1944 to agree on the postwar international monetary architecture, John Maynard Keynes offered one of his many plans. He … Continue reading

28 June 2012 (AFR) – A year of mostly burnt offerings from newcomers

[COMMENT: A great wrap-up of IPOs in 2011-2012, with a table listing some winners (with 25% to 115% increase in price) and some losers (with -16% to -83% decrease in price.] (28 June 2012, AFR, p33, Tony Featherstone) ‘The initial public offerings market is on its knees. Capital raised this financial year was paltry, listing … Continue reading

27 June 2012 (The Age) – Welcome in the middle

(27 June 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p5, Clancy Yeates) ‘Confidence among medium-size companies has edged up in recent months, and the sector continues to remain more optimistic than big and small business, a new report says.’ Read more at

27 June 2012 (AFR, & The Guardian) – Moody’s downgrades Spain’s bank

(27 June 2012, AFR, p14, Charles Penty, Madrid, and The Guardian) Moody’s downgrades credit ratings of 28 Spanish banks ‘Announcement comes on day Spain’s government formally asks for help in cleaning up sector.’ ‘Moody’s is cutting its credit ratings on 28 Spanish banks, saying the weakening finances of Spain‘s government is making it more difficult … Continue reading

27 June 2012 (AFR, The Guardian) – Cyprus joins bailout line

(27 June 2012, AFR, p14, Larry Elliott, London, and The Guardian) Cyprus seeks eurozone bailout ‘Cyprus becomes fifth eurozone country to ask for outside financial help after it is caught in backwash of Greek crisis.’ ‘Cyprus has become the fifth eurozone country to seek outside financial help to shore up its ailing economy after a … Continue reading

27 June 2012 (AFR, The Guardian) – Greek tax take tumbles

(27 June 2012, AFR, p14, Phillip Inman, London, and The Guardian) Greece economic woes deepen as tax receipts nosedive ‘Athens budget statement shows big fall in tax income and rise in social security payments.’ ‘Greece is struggling to cope with a collapse in corporate tax receipts, according to the latest figures from the Greek finance … Continue reading

27 June 2012 (AFR) – Clients allowed MF Global to use funds, court hears

[COMMENT: The news article quoted below confirms that even though the legalese in contracts, and the lengthy Terms and Conditions, might look “standard”, and thousands of people accept them, it does still pay to read the fine print, and maybe to steer clear of the product offering.] (27 June 2012, AFR, p12, John Kehoe) ‘Clients … Continue reading

26 June 2012 – (The Age) Investment vehicles wrap up year’s end

[COMMENT: Interesting views in this article about the “window dressing” of some managed funds and other investments that can take place before key reporting times like end of financial year…] (26 June 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p7, Michael West) ‘A SHARE buyback is the only way you can legally manipulate your company’s share price and … Continue reading

25 June 2012 (AFR) – Spotting the next financial crisis

[COMMENT: Great article with more background about financial crises, and reference to a “field guide”. Also includes some great charts.] (25 June 2012, AFR, p27, Alan Mitchell) ‘Perhaps you are working on the assumption that, if you get through this economic crisis, you should be safe from global financial crises.’ ‘After all, this has been … Continue reading

25 June 2012 (The Age) – Bears tipped to snore through a decade

[COMMENT: I think the sub-editor who titled this article really meant to say “Bears tipped to ROAR through a decade”, because if the bears snore, it means they go off to hibernate and the bulls take charge. Or maybe it was a test to see who is actually “reading” the material? What do you think?  … Continue reading

22 June 2012 (AFR) – NZ growth spurt can’t go on

(22 June, 2012, AFR, p40, Tracy Withers, Wellington, and Bloomberg) New Zealand GDP Growth Accelerates 1.1%, Most in 5 Years ‘New Zealand’s economy grew at the fastest pace in five years last quarter, sending the local currency near a seven-week high as investors reduced bets the central bank will cut interest rates.’ ‘Gross domestic product … Continue reading

22 June 2012 (AFR) – Signs Beijing braked too hard

(22 June 2012, AFR, p25, Joanna Heath) ‘China’s manufacturing sector has contracted for the eighth consecutive month, according to a private sector survey, bringing concerns about the pace of slowdown in Australia’s largest trading partner back to the fore.’ ‘The HSBC flash purchasing managers’ index, released on Thursday, delivered a reading of 48.1 points, down … Continue reading

22 June 2012 (AFR) – ASX decries falling liquidity as deals migrate to dark pools

ASX faces battles on multiple fronts (21 June 2012, AFR, p22, Bianca Hartge-Hazelman) ‘The Australian Securities Exchange has been the chief venue for buying and selling securities in Australia for the past 24 years, but the launch of Chi-X in October has given an unaccustomed shake-up to the business of providing platforms for securities trading.’ … Continue reading

21 June 2012 (AFR, Bloomberg) – Surprise as India keeps rates on hold

(21 June 2012, AFR, p19, Anoop Agrawal (Mumbai) and Bloomberg) Subbarao Says India’s Inflation Rate Is Above Tolerance Level ‘Indian inflation exceeds acceptable levels and restraining it may require sacrificing economic growth, central bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said.’ ‘ “Headline inflation has come down, core inflation has come down to below 5 percent, but WPI … Continue reading

21 June 2012 (AFR, Guardian) – Asian millionaires trump US brethren

(21 June 2012, AFR, Simon Neville, London, from The Guardian) World wealth report: Asia overtakes America in millionaire stakes ‘But the overall level of wealth in North America is still highest in world, with its multimillionaires controlling $11.4tn’ ‘The number of millionaires in Asia has overtaken North America for the first time in a sign … Continue reading

21 June 2012 (AFR) – Japanese exports hit by EU crisis

(21 June 2012, AFR, p19, Andy Sharp, Tokyo) ‘Japan has reported its first trade deficit with the European Union since the Japanese Finance Ministry began tracking data in 1979.’ ‘An overall shortfall last month of ¥907.3 billion ($11.2 billion) was bigger than economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expected. The trade gap with the EU was … Continue reading

21 June 2012 (The Age) – Merkel and co take on Spanish bond gamble

(21 June 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p8, Larry Elliott) ‘IF THE stories coming out of Los Cabos are correct, the Germans have surrendered. Angela Merkel, it appears, has agreed that Europe’s bailout fund should be used to buy up Spanish bonds.’ ‘This is precisely the show of ”shock and awe” the markets have been demanding, … Continue reading

21 June 2012 (The Age) – Housing starts on edge of huge chasm

(21 June 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p4, Simon Johanson) ‘HOUSING construction slumped further into the doldrums with new dwelling starts falling for eight straight quarters despite Australia’s population growing last year.’ ‘In the three months to March, housing starts across the country were down by 12.6 per cent.’ ‘In New South Wales, they were at … Continue reading

20 June 2012 (The Australian) – Coalition builds in bid to save Greece

(20 June 2012, The Australian, Peter Wilson, Athens) ‘GREECE’S mainstream political parties made a breakthrough agreement last night on the formation of a new government as foreign leaders pressured Athens to form the broadest possible coalition to implement a gruelling austerity program.’ ‘New Democracy, the centre-right party which topped Sunday’s tightly fought national election, convinced … Continue reading

20 June 2012 (AFR) – CFD providers air their differences

(20 June 2012, AFR, p24, Brendon Lau) ‘The war of words between local and overseas contracts for difference (CFD) providers has escalated, with both groups accusing each other of exploitation.’ ‘The Australian CFD Forum, made up of offshore CFD providers, has vehemently denied allegations by local players that the body is trying to force them … Continue reading

20 June 2012 (AFR) – ASX warns on dark pools

(20 June 2012, AFR, p15, Stephen Shore and Bianca Hartge-Hazelman) ‘The Australian Securities Exchange has stepped up calls to curb the growth of “dark pools” amid concerns high frequency traders are driving investors away from traditional exchanges, reducing market liquidity and the ASX’s revenues.’ ‘ASX deputy chief executive Peter Hiom told The Australian Financial Review … Continue reading

20 June 2012 (The Age) – Cassandra banker maps out Europe’s road to fiscal ruin

[COMMENT: Here is one analyst’s view about how the euro crisis might pan out…] (20 June 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p14, Andrew Ross Sorkin) ‘IF YOU want to be scared, truly terrified, listen to Mark J. Grant. He might be right. For two years, Grant, a managing director based in Florida at a regional investment … Continue reading