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Oz Blog News Commentary
MacroBusiness Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 00:07 Source

By Chris Becker There was good news all round for the US economy last night which sent some volatility through stock markets, but not much across the pond or indeed in the commodity complex. The New York Fed Empire survey showed improved conditions while industrial production for May ramped up above expectations. This will give [...]

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 00:05 Source

Global Macro / Markets: Argentina slips into sovereign default mode again on bond ruling - Reuters Japanese bond market paralysis could spread to others – Bloomberg Pope criticizes speculators in food prices – Bloomberg The ISIS conflict in maps - NYT Russia cuts gas to Ukraine – abc.com Americas: US Industrial Production rises in May [...]

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Popular Science Monday, June 16, 2014 - 23:31 Source

Global warming is remaking the Arctic, with changes like ice-free sea lanes across the Arctic Ocean in summer, or no-longer-so-eternal permafrost on land, unprecedented in human history. How much one laments or celebrates these changes probably depends on where one's values fall across a scale extending from “untouched wilderness” at one end to “lucrative oil field” at the other. But it's indisputable that they're creating new opportunities for scientists to learn more about the region than they've been able to in the past--and a new sense of urgency.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Monday, June 16, 2014 - 23:11 Source

“If you’re a school leaver or unemployed and between the ages of 18 and 30″ writes Edward Eastwood, “then you’re considered fodder for the Job Network System as a unit of profit”. Edward demonstrates how the system is designed to make money from those unfortunate enough to be unemployed.

In 2011, the Gillard government announced a policy of ‘Earn or Learn’.

The initiative was designed to ensure that high school students completed Year 12, either through an academic stream or an optional vocational stream.

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Political Owl Monday, June 16, 2014 - 23:08 Source
  • Carbon pricing won’t solve climate change. Innovation will – “Putting a price on carbon doesn’t work because no one wants to pay the real cost of using fossil fuels. But funding R&D and demonstration projects that lower clean-energy costs will create real economic incentives to fight climate change.”
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Poll Bludger Monday, June 16, 2014 - 22:52 Source

The latest fortnightly Newspoll results, related through Twitter by Stephen Murray, have the Labor two-party lead down from 54-46 to 53-47, from primary votes of 37% for the Coalition (up one), 36% for Labor (down one), 10% for the Greens (down two) and 17% for others (up two). Bill Shorten maintains a lead as preferred prime minister but it has narrowed considerably after a post-budget blowout, down from 45-35 last time to 40-37. Personal ratings for both leaders are down, with Abbott off three points on approval to 30% and up two on disapproval to 61%, while Shorten is down four to 34% and up two to 45%.

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Core Econ Monday, June 16, 2014 - 20:50 Source

Successive Australian governments have rested on their laurels regarding reforming health insurance. However, Stephen King and I have always maintained that there was more to be done to ensure welfare gains at the margin. This is why we re-released our book, Finishing the Job, this year ($1 at Amazon and free on iBooks).

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The Australian Independent Media Network Monday, June 16, 2014 - 19:50 Source

“While some sections of the media continue to show their political bias by accentuating what they think is a negative, Mr Abbott and Mr Obama, although from different sides of politics, have found they get on together.” Herald-Sun Editorial 16th June, 2014

Ok, I suppose most of you have read about Frances Abbott breaking her lease. If not you can read about it by Googling it or just reading the clearly biased post from Jennifer Wilson.

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Croakey Monday, June 16, 2014 - 19:19 Source

The GP copayment would appear to be one of the most unpopular of the 2014 Budget proposals, amongst both the public and those working in health.  In this post, Professor Anthony Scott, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The...

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Peter Martin Monday, June 16, 2014 - 18:45 Source

I am a big believer in states’ rights, but you’ve got to know where to stop.

If there’s one thing the Abbott government’s Commission of Audit got right it’s that our system of eight separate states and territories is a strength rather than a weakness. It ensures that our decision-makers ride the same trams, use the same schools and get treated in the same hospitals as the rest of us.

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Your Democracy Monday, June 16, 2014 - 18:39 Source

the rising tide .....

The gap between the rich and poor in Australia is growing and the most affluent are not paying enough tax, according to a survey by the Oxfam charity.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Monday, June 16, 2014 - 18:23 Source

Frances Abbott, 24 year-old daughter of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, made news a couple of weeks ago when it emerged she’d been offered a $60,000 scholarship to attend the Whitehouse Institute of Design. The scholarship has been awarded only once before, to the daughter of the school’s director, and students interviewed say they had no idea such a scholarship was available, and would have applied for it if they had.

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Drag0nista's Blog Monday, June 16, 2014 - 17:17 Source

The Greens play tough but will avoid double trouble. Weekly column for The Drum.Filed under: Politics Tagged: ABC The Drum, Budget, double dissolution, Greens, Senate

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MacroBusiness Monday, June 16, 2014 - 16:43 Source

By Stan Shamu for Chris Weston, IG It has predictably been a mixed start to the week, with a lack of drivers to dictate price action. As a result Asia has been left to its own devises and investors seem reluctant to bid equities higher. The one factor in play at the moment is an [...]

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Harry Clarke Monday, June 16, 2014 - 16:37 Source

A friend I met in Cairns (who is a expert photographer with premium Nikon equipment and lenses) showed me his “travel camera” a relatively cheap “ultra zoom” made by Fujifilm. Ultra zooms are point-and-shoot cameras with a fixed lens that offer 50X and even 60X magnifications. These are equivalent to telephoto lengths in excess of 1200mm for a standard full-frame DSLR camera. The ultra zoom cameras sell in the US for less than $400 and weigh in total about 600 grams.

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MacroBusiness Monday, June 16, 2014 - 15:27 Source

By Chris Becker Here’s a few Aussie stocks I’m watching a bit closer this week from several points of view, including technical, event and fundamental. I’m using a filtered watchlist here, so plenty of volume and depth of market, but some might be labelled “speculative”. Austbrokers Holdings (AUB) has had a marvellous run these past [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, June 16, 2014 - 15:17 Source

Callam Pickering lines up behind myself, the freshly-minted Kouk and Goldman Sachs in expecting more rate cuts (of course, I’d also install macroprudential tools and cut rates by 50bps): …the crux of the issue facing the RBA: despite its best efforts, it hasn’t got the timing perfect and there is growing evidence that the economy [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, June 16, 2014 - 14:25 Source

You can’t keep a good sell-sider down. After downgrading Chinese property and upgrading the iron ore glut, Deutsche says buy the big miners. From Bloomie: *Cyclical weak Chinese steel demand creates unique buying opportunity Our recent trip to China uncovered high levels of property inventory. However we believe the property market (and steel demand) is [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, June 16, 2014 - 14:05 Source

By Chris Becker From Commsec: World oil prices have lifted over the past week on fears that the violence in Iraq could lead to a disruption of oil supplies in the region. But the good news for Aussie motorists is that the Aussie dollar has also been rising, putting a cap on imported fuel prices. [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, June 16, 2014 - 13:49 Source

The RBA’s Christopher Kent is on the hustings this afternoon talking up lousy wages growth: While the growth rates of labour demand and supply have both been weaker over the past couple of years, we know that the former has been more significant than the latter. The fact that labour supply has not been constraining [...]

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We are all dead. Monday, June 16, 2014 - 13:18 Source

The latest HILDA report is out! The HILDA survey is an extremely valuable resource – it asks a large sample of people a whole bunch of questions about income, family life, and other things, and tracks respondents over time. We learn things from HILDA that we can’t learn from any other Australian data source.

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We are all dead. Monday, June 16, 2014 - 13:18 Source

The latest HILDA report is out! The HILDA survey is an extremely valuable resource – it asks a large sample of people a whole bunch of questions about income, family life, and other things, and tracks respondents over time. We learn things from HILDA that we can’t learn from any other Australian data source.

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MacroBusiness Monday, June 16, 2014 - 13:04 Source

Cross-posted from Martin North’s DFA blog. Today we start a series on our updated household surveys, which will in due course feed into our next edition of the Property Imperative, due be released later in the year. The current edition, is still available, but there are some significant changes in household intentions since then. We run [...]

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Prosper Australia Monday, June 16, 2014 - 13:01 Source

Concerns continue to grow in China where the value of land sales are down 38% y.o.y and VOLUME down 45% according to Market Watch: Total land sales fell to 1,767 transactions in May in 300 Chinese cities, down 45% from a year ago and 19% lower than in the previous month, according to a survey published […]

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MacroBusiness Monday, June 16, 2014 - 12:50 Source

By Chris Becker You don’t have to be Einstein or Charlie Munger to work out that since March 2009, central banks have led the recovery (and then some) in global stock market prices (I won’t say value, because they are not the same, just like mistaking volatility for risk). But it turns out it’s not [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, June 16, 2014 - 12:44 Source

Here is Tony Blair from his website arguing that his Iraq War did not give rise to today’s ISIS insurgency. I am no Blairite but agree with some of the points made. My main issue is the selectivity of the argument. It’s impossible, very misleading or grossly naive to make a values-based stand on Western [...]

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Delimiter Monday, June 16, 2014 - 12:34 Source

It has become more or less the norm for global technology companies to minimise their Australian tax liability in a way that much of the local population finds at least mildly objectionable. Well, perhaps the most arrogant of the bunch (surprise, surprise) has turned out to be social networking giant Facebook, which has filed a form arguing it doesn’t need to disclose its Australian earnings at all.

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Delimiter Monday, June 16, 2014 - 12:20 Source

It's no secret that a large percentage of the technology sector thinks that the current proposal by Federal Attorney-General George Brandis (pictured) to crack down on Internet piracy will have little impact, given that most such attempts in the fast have broadly failed, and the commonly held belief that commercial avenues represent the best way to handle the situation. However, some commentators feel things will go still further.

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Popular Science Monday, June 16, 2014 - 12:14 Source

Of all the scientists who brought rocketry to maturity during the Second World War, Eugen Sänger is not a figure who stands out. But he is an interesting and important historical figure. Like his more familiar contemporary Wernher von Braun, Sänger worked on developing liquid propulsion for vehicles that could eventually send men into space, and though he never immigrated to the United States or became a key player in the early space age, his spacecraft did.

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MacroBusiness Monday, June 16, 2014 - 12:12 Source

A point I’ve made many times on the blog  about the practiced whining of the coal sector is nicely illustrated by a little post at the SMH blog today: Analysts from global consultancy Wood Mackenzie had some surprisingly upbeat news for Australia’s struggling coal sector, countering perceptions that quite a few mines are under water at current prices and [...]

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