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30 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Housing debt at record high, RBA data shows

(30 Sept 2014, AFR, p51, Christopher Joye) Former US Fed governor warns RBA over house price tools Christopher Joye | RBA asked to explain backflip on lending risks ‘The amount of mortgage debt ­Australians hold, relative to their incomes, in June 2014 hit a record high of 137.1 per cent, which is five percentage points above … Continue reading

30 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Two-day settlement could trip brokers

(30 Sept 2014, AFR, p25, Joyce Moullakis ) ‘Concerns are rising about the level of preparedness across the Asia-Pacific region for the start of a shorter two-day trading settlement cycle in Europe, as Australia makes small steps towards its own 2016 start date. Most markets in Europe are on the cusp of shifting from a three-day … Continue reading

30 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Sex and drugs set to boost UK economy

(30 Sept 2014, AFR, p20, Szu Ping Chan) ‘Britain’s recent recovery was stronger than previously thought, official figures are likely to show this week, with the inclusion of prostitution and illegal drugs expected to boost the economy by around £10 billion ($18.5 billion) a year. Experts expect a “substantial” upgrade of UK growth over the past 18 … Continue reading

30 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Bullish and bearish talk as dollar falls

(30 Sept 2014, AFR, p17, Mark Mulligan ) ‘Australian equities might be poised to bounce back, according to some fund managers and investment strategists, who say the recent sell-off may ­be overdone. However, others warn that the latest bear run will continue for as long as the country’s sinking currency keeps foreign fund managers at bay. Selling … Continue reading

29 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Buyer demand soars – Real estate prices too hot? Buyers say no

(29 Sept 2014, AFR, p30, Mercedes Ruehl) ‘Homebuyers appear unfazed by warnings from the central bank that Australia’s housing market is too hot, with Sydney recording its strongest ­September auction weekend on record. The result points to a bumper spring selling period to rival the record 2013.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access)

29 Sept 2014 (TheAge, SMH) – As the digital revolution rolls on, will free-to-air television become the next newspapers?

(29 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Dominic White) ‘It is the question vexing investors in traditional media and helping to suppress sharemarket valuations: is free-to-air television the next newspapers? The flight of advertising dollars from print to online has already savaged the print revenues of newspaper owners such as News Corp, APN News & … Continue reading

29 Sept 2014 (TheAge) – Rent drops in Southbank, Docklands as new flats built

(29 Sept 2014, The Age, p4, Clay Lucas) ‘Tony Penna says his experience of the housing market in Southbank could appear in an economics textbook, so simple has been the impact of supply and demand.’ <snipped…> ‘Now, renting out an apartment was not impossible, but some prospective tenants had asked him to knock the price … Continue reading

27 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Coal exporters hard hit by China’s slump

(27 Sept 2014, AFR, p40, Angus Grigg) ‘Australian steaming coal is no longer cheaper than domestic ­supplies in many parts of China, ­causing a slump in imports that is set to continue as growth in the word’s ­second biggest economy shifts down another level. The poor outlook for coal has been accompanied by an absolute … Continue reading

26 Sept 2014 (TheAge, SMH) – Aussie Home Loans’ John Symond says housing solution lies in supply

(26 Sept 2014, The Age , BusinessDay, p27, Shaun Drummond) ‘Aussie Home Loans executive chairman John Symond says governments should dampen property prices by increasing housing supply rather than regulators intervening to douse demand.’ Read more at

26 Sept 2014 (TheAge, SMH) – Bank hybrids on the Australian Securities Exchange are under water

(26 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p27, James Eyers) ‘The recent slump in the price of bank hybrids listed on the Australian Securities Exchange has left some local retail investors – who have invested about $15 billion in the controversial instruments over the past three years – with capital losses. ‘ <snipped…> ‘At the market’s … Continue reading

25 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Wheat price crashes to four-year low

(25 Sept 2014, AFR, p33, Jared Lynch) ‘Fears about tensions in Ukraine have been well allayed, with booming wheat production from the Black Sea region and elsewhere in Europe weighing on Australia’s sixth biggest export. The price of wheat has crashed 31 per cent since May to a four-year low. It was hit hard last week … Continue reading

25 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Chinese consumer sentiment hits three-year low

(25 Sept 2014, AFR, p32, Vesna Poljak) ‘Sentiment among Chinese consumers is at the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2011, dragged down by a sharp drop in perceptions about labour market conditions. The Westpac-MNI China consumer sentiment index came in at 113.8 points for the third-quarter of 2014, the worst quarterly outcome since a … Continue reading

25 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Ukrainian unrest eases as NATO says Russia cuts presence

(25 Sept 2014, AFR, p19, Aliaksandr Kudrytski and Daryna Krasnolutska) ‘NATO said Russia has embarked on a “significant” withdrawal of its forces from Ukraine, adding to signs a truce is taking hold between the government in Kiev and separatist groups. “There has been a significant pullback of Russian conventional forces from inside Ukraine,” said Lieutenant-Colonel … Continue reading

25 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Apartment glut may deter investors

(25 Sept 2014, AFR, p12, Rebecca Thistleton ) ‘The Reserve Bank has singled out Melbourne’s oversupplied apartment market as a threat to property investors. The RBA’s Financial Stability Review, released on Wednesday, said the surge in small units targeting university students appealed to a narrow market. Agents have also reported a spike in…’ Read more … Continue reading

25 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Temporary slide for iron ore: report – Iron ore, coal won’t rise until 2016

(25 Sept 2014, AFR, p9, Joanna Heath) Matthew Stevens | Thanks for the investment boom Boom spoils shared among companies and workers ‘Earnings from Australia’s biggest resource exports will decline in the next year or two because of too much supply, and coal and iron ore prices will not recover until 2016, according to the … Continue reading

25 Sept 2014 (AFR) – RBA targets property boom

(25 Sept 2014, AFR, p1, Jacob Greber and James Eyers) ‘Banks and investors face an escalating campaign of pressure by regulators and potentially tougher credit controls orchestrated by the Reserve Bank of Australia to head off a property bubble. Alarmed by the property frenzy in Sydney, Melbourne and parts of Brisbane, the central bank put lenders on … Continue reading

25 Sept 2014 (TheAge) – Official BREE forecasts show tough times for resources set to continue

(25 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p24, Brian Robins and Jonathan Barrett) ‘The tough near term prospects for the resources sector are showing few signs of moderating,  a trend confirmed by the latest quarterly forecast by the Bureau of Resource Economics and Energy. For iron ore, coking coal and steaming coal, the near term outlook … Continue reading

25 Sept 2014 (TheAge) – Reserve Bank considers tighter lending standards due to concerns about property prices

(25 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Gareth Hutchens, Simon Johanson, James Eyers) ‘RBA suggests it and APRA are considering alternative macro-prudential policies.’ Malcolm Maiden: RBA shaken, not stirred by housing boom Loose rules on foreing investment blamed for fuelling housing market ‘The Reserve Bank has ratcheted up it warnings about Australia’s overheating property markets … Continue reading

24 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Small improvement by China’s factories brings relief for shares

(24 Sept 2014, AFR, p15, Vesna Poljak) ‘Hopes of a rebound in China’s factory output this month helped alleviate ­concerns it is headed for a hard landing, consolidating gains for Australian shares and the currency on Tuesday. With the value of iron ore trading below $US80 a tonne for the first time in five-years to … Continue reading

24 Sept 2014 (AFR) – Regulate planners say banks – FSC admits self-regulation ‘not enough’

[COMMENT: Ah-hah! The elephant in the room. This is what everyone is saying! It’s a pity that this time the bodies saying it have vested interests to protect.] (24 Sept 2014, AFR, p1, Sally Patten and Jennifer Hewett) ‘Banks have taken the unprecedented step of asking the government for greater regulation of the financial sales … Continue reading

24 Sept 2014 (TheAge) – Australian shares get a Beijing bounce on Chinese factories

(24 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p33, Misa Han) ‘A rebound in the big banks and a better than expected reading of Chinese factory activity powered a rally in Australian shares. The local market bounced back after trading below its 2013 closing price the morning after the spot price of iron ore fell below $US80 … Continue reading

24 Sept 2014 (TheAge) – Coal price fall forces job cuts, says BHP Billiton boss Dean Dalla Valle

(24 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Amanda Saunders) ‘BHP Billiton coal boss Dean Dalla Valle says the miner’s decision to cut 700 workers across its Queensland metallurgical coal business is a reaction to dramatic price falls for the commodity and the high cost of operating in Australia. “When we started looking at cost restructuring … Continue reading

24 Sept 2014 (TheAge) – Jitters as iron ore falls below $US80 per tonne

(24 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p22, Max Mason and Peter Ker) ‘The price of iron ore has tumbled below $US80 per tonne for the first time in more than five years as the Chinese government doused speculation it would introduce aggressive stimulus measures to achieve its economic growth targets. Following a short-lived rally last … Continue reading

24 Sept 2014 (TheAge) – Financial Services Council calls for independent governing body

(24 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p20, Gareth Hutchens) ‘The Financial Services Council has become so concerned about the level of public distrust in the financial planning industry that it is calling on the Abbott government to establish an independent governing body.’ ‘The dramatic move follows repeated revelations about the behaviour of financial advisers within … Continue reading

24 Sept 2014 (TheAge) – Surge in auditor warnings for ASX-listed companies

(24 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p19, Gareth Hutchens and Adele Ferguson) ‘The number of Australian companies receiving warnings from auditors about their financial health has jumped to a higher level than that seen during the global financial crisis, new research shows. Auditors last year flagged issued “going concern” warnings to one in three companies … Continue reading

24 Sept 2014 (TheAge Money) – Vertical integration banks on you ceding independent advice

(25 Sept 2014, The Age, MONEY, p3, David Potts) ‘There’s a list of 164 failed or frozen managed funds in one of the submissions to the banking inquiry. While some might be back in business you can add another 13 from van Eyk, which also rates other funds, giving its failures some poignancy.’ ‘The Association … Continue reading

24 Sept 2014 – Opinion: Here’s what will happen to (US) stocks before and after rates rise

(24 Sept 2014, Market Watch, Howard Gold) ‘Last week the Federal Open Market Committee surprised a lot of pundits by doing what it has said it would do. The FOMC announced…’ Read the story at

23 Sept 2014 (AFR) – $50m in rogue trades tipped by forex dealer

(23 Sept 2014, AFR, p15, Bianca Hartge-Hazelman) ‘The currency trader sacked by Deutsche Bank in Australia for trying to ­conceal losses that cost the bank up to $5 million may have overstated his trades by millions of dollars more before internal controls caught up with him. The Australian Financial Review revealed on Monday that Andy Don­aldson was suspended … Continue reading

23 Sept 2014 (TheAge) – ‘Dr Doom’ Nouriel Roubini’s firm warns of 20% Australian dollar slump

(23 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p27, Mark Mulligan) ‘The slowdown in China and a tighter federal budget will pull Australia’s growth down to as low as 2 per cent next year, prompting interest rate cuts and a 20 per cent slump in the value of the Australian dollar, a prestigious global forecaster says. Roubini … Continue reading

23 Sept 2014 (TheAge) – Chinese steel man says production won’t reach billion tonnes predicted by big miners

(23 Sept 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Peter Ker) ‘China’s steel industry is close to peak production and will not reach the highs predicted by big miners such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, a Chinese steel official has told a conference in Melbourne. In comments that are bearish for the Australian iron ore industry, China … Continue reading