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IndyWatch Australian Economic News Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
An Australian foreign exchange has revised its own contract terms to prohibit borrowers from using loans like mortgages to buy cryptocurrency. According a report by Australia Finance Review on Thursday, Bank of Queensland, that will be publicly traded on Australias stock market and one of the nations oldest retail banks, has supported the shift of the loan arrangements, which now state any loan purpose which involves the acquisition of usage of cryptocurrency is unacceptable. The move is the consequence of concerns over latest price volatility of the cryptocurrency marketplace, in addition to Australian authorities increasing scrutiny within the nascent distance, the report stated.
As previously mentioned by CoinDesk, Austrac, the nations financial intelligence agency, announced a brand new rule mandating know your client steps across crypto exchanges in Apr of this year. The Australia Taxation Office has also been seeking public opinions on how exactly should best tax gains made from cryptocurrency trading. Bank of Queenslands decision comes as many other creditors in Australia are discouraging borrowers from using real estate mortgages to create high risk investments. Citing an anonymous broker in the market, the report stated lenders within the country are monitoring borrowers accounts for signals funds are being used to trade or buy cryptocurrencies.
Theyre concerned since the Australian Tax Office, the Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Austrac are running all over it, the agent was quoted as stating. More broadly, major banks internationally like JP Morgan Chase, Citi and Bank of America have lately moved to prohibit users from using credit lines to buy cryptocurrency over worries that a volatile marketplace could depart borrowers struggling to repay their debts. Contract signing picture via Shutterstock. The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that tries for the greatest journalistic standards and complies with a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
The Australian retail bank has revised its loan agreements to prohibit borrowers from using mortgages to purchase cryptocurrency.
In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel laureate in Medicine
By Brendan D Murphy
A self-healing revolution is upon us and it turns the standard Western healing model on its head, putting the patient back in the drivers seat, not only making them an active participant in their own healing, but moving beyond the band-aid solutions that pervade mainstream psychiatry and psychology.
The current paradigm shift presupposes that, with the right approach, just about anything can be healed or reversed, and that a pain- or drug-addled existence of managing symptoms and eking by is no longer the best option, nor a fait accompli.
This is the revolution that Big Pharma and institutional psychiatry hope you never hear about.
The emergence of energy psychology (EP), including methods such as EFT (emotional freedom techniques), TFT (thought field therapy), Psych-K, and Matrix Reimprinting (to name a few) means that, for millions of people suffering from phobias, self-limiting beliefs, or even major emotional and/or physical traumas, expensive and often ineffective traditional therapies can be eschewed (bypassed) in favour of more affordable (or free) and very often spectacularly successful new methodsthat can achieve better results in a fraction of the time.
Energy psychology describes a collection of novel psychological interventions that balance, restore, and enhance human functioning by stimulating the human subtle energy system, which includes the acupuncture meridian system, chakras, and nadis. These techniqueshave been observed to catalyze rapid, dramatic, and lasting changes in feelings, beliefs, mental states, and behaviors, as well as physiology and biochemistry. Thus, EP techniques involve stimulating energy, whether by tapping, touching, or intention.
EP therefore traces its roots not just to Chinese medicine and...
Former consulting giant exec has become the CEO of exchange bitcoin.com.au, plans to bring crypto investment products into areas like company pension plans
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released a new labour market
framework on Tuesday (July 10, 2018)
Labour Account Australia, Quarterly Experimental Estimates
which will improve statistical analysis and allow new conjectures
to be examined against the evidence. This blog post is really an
exploration on my behalf of this new dataset and I know it is
rather dry. But that is part of my work and it has to be done to
build an evidential basis for the claims I make about this and
that. I am still exploring the framework and will obviously use it
to advantage (hopefully) in the future but for now here are some of
the compelling insights that emerge from it. The first obvious new
insight we can gain is to divide total filled jobs (employment)
into Main and Secondary jobs. This allows us to assess the quality
of the change in overall employment. Up until now we have
considered employment in terms of persons employed. But now we can
work out how many persons are employed in more than one job and
where those jobs are. It provides an excellent check on statements
made by politicians etc about the number of jobs being created and
Labour market statistics, particularly headline figures such as the unemployment rate, are among the most closely watched and widely reported of all economic information available.
They are input on a regular basis to the political process and drive policy debates.
The problem, however, is that the current methods of collecting labour market information (via household and establishment surveys) etc are not without significant limitations in the depiction they provide of the state of the labour market and what it means for the overall economy (and society).
It is obvious that a focus on the unemployment rate (a narrow measure of labour underutilisation) may lead to flawed assessments when, for example, underemployment is rising and casualisation of employment is rife.
Statisticians have long identified the limitations in this respect and have increasingly published broader measures of labour wastage to give a better diagnostic of what is happening.
But the development of the Labour Account framework seeks to go beyond those more easily solved issues.
The ILO publication Labour Accounts: A Step Forward to a Coherent and Timely Description of the Labour Market sets out the ILO thinking on how to proceed with the development of this integrated framework and what it hopes to achieve.
They say that the limitations of the current approach to collecting labour market data are:
1. Occurrence of contradictory results between data sources ...
[ Thursday, 19 Jul; 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. ] Remembering Dark Town: Experimental History, Decolonisation and Archival Activism at Armidale Aboriginal Community Garden Presented by Dr Kate Wright Date: Thu 19th Jul 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm Location: Oorala Lecture Theatre, UNE, Building E22 Contact: Dr Sophia Waters ?firstname.lastname@example.org?6773 3318 The Armidale Aboriginal Community Garden was established in 2015 as an experimental research site, and a decolonising activist platform, to experiment [...] full article
Though Bitcoins market price has been anything but inspiring of late, as it lingers at 70% below its all-time high, one wealthy Australian Bull still believes enough to put it up against Warren Buffets Berkshire Hathaway.
One of the land down unders leading Bookmakers, Tom Waterhouse, tweeted That a well-known crypto expert ( who is choosing to remain anonymous) has requested a bet that by 2023 one Bitcoin will exceed the price of one share in Berkshire Hathaway. This well-known expert is showing a very bullish disposition as the amount of the requested wager is $AU8.5 million, which if it pans out will pay off at $AU 1.2 billion.
Big Bet: Well known Crypto expert has just requested a bet of $8.5m AUD to win $1.2bn that a Bitcoin will exceed the price of a Berkshire Hathaway share (c.$280k) by 2023. Have put him in touch with large syndicate hope he can get set! pic.twitter.com/C20AHzH2k9
Tom Waterhouse (@tomwaterhouse) July 11, 2018
At the moment Bitcoin has a lot of catching up to do as Berkshire Hathaway currently trades at $288,481, over 45 times the amount of BTC. Waterhouse who recently moved on from his position as chief executive of CrownBet-owned William Hill Australia reportedly put the prospective gambler in touch with a large syndicate.
The outlandish wager may be emblematic of Australias enthusiasm for all things blockchain related, marked just last week by Huobi Global opening their Australian operation. Which took the occasion to launch ten fiat to crypto trading pairs in celebration.
The gambit could also be a potentially costly provocation of the famous Omaha based holding companys leaders. Both Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger have been openly vocal about their distrust and even disgust of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, even as they have confessed their combined ignorance about the technology that powers them.
Whatever reasons the secretive crypto expert has for...
Shanghai Stock Exchange, among the worlds biggest securities trading places by market capitalization, is eyeing the usage of dispersed ledger technology in the securities market. The SSE published a research paper on Tuesday, which examined the usage of DLT in a variety of phases of a security transaction, like the pre trading client registration, securities issuance and trading, and post trading settlement. It moved on to outline some key advantages of adopting DLT in Chinas fiscal infrastructure, like increasing the payoff efficiency by replacing the current T+1 model, under which a transaction can only be settled one business day after an order is executed.
As the worlds fourth biggest stock exchange with a market cap of $5.12 trillion as of December 2017, the SSE is a nonprofit organization directly administrated by the China Securities Regulatory Commission. With reference to existing work concentrated on the subject completed by its counterparts in other financial markets like Hong Kong and Australia, the SSE identified two possible areas in the report where DLT can be beneficial in China, saying: The overall worldwide consensus is that DLT will be a brand new revolution to the financial industry. The very first application use cases will be on the counter securities issuance and trading, as well as order book post trading settlement. .
That said, the research paper indicated that a possible deployment of DLT in the Chinese stock market may still face a string of regulatory hurdles, as its in conflict with the current centralized registration and settlement system. For example, the SSE currently uses a 3rd party middleman as a custodian and for settling post trading transactions, yet the usage of DLT could basically eliminate that system. To do this, the market needs a new legal framework issued by regulators and central government agencies. The author of the paper concludes: The regulation should adapt to evolving technology. We suggest regulators handle the subject of DLT as a vital study area moving ahead.
To be able to develop a strong regulatory framework for adopting the fiscal innovation. . Shanghai Stock Exchange picture via Shutterstock. The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
Reading the reactions to the incoherent report on electricity pricing from the ACCC, I was struck by this quote from Tony Wood of the Grattan Institute, writing in the Oz
Australians need energy policy that is driven by neither green evangelism for renewables nor a deep-seated fear to protect the role of coal for baseload power.
Green evangelism is rhetoric straight out of the denialist camp, associated with the bogus claim that climate change is not science but a religion The content of the piece bears this out. Wood opposes any form of subsidy for renewables and (by omission) any price on carbon emissions. He advocates a policy that is the policy is indifferent to the technology mix, whether new-build or the extension of the operating life of an existing, newer coal-fired plant.
This is centrism at its worst. Faced with a choice between an evidence-based response to climate change and culture-war proposals to actively subsidise the destruction of the global environment, Grattan has gone for the middle course of doing nothing whatsoever about climate change.
A year ago, I wouldve said house prices were too high. And Id lament that I couldnt find an affordable place to buy.
But my outlook has changed.
Lately, property prices have fallen just enough to make a modest unit affordable.
I check out new properties frequently.
But I rarely get past the garage.
Before I even set foot inside a property, I measure the height of the car parking space. Unless it cracks that 2.4-metre mark, I turn and walk away.
Ive left dozens of puzzled real estate agents in my wake.
Look, my giant 4WD probably doesnt need its own house at night. But street parking for big cars is hard to come by. If I buy a unit with a shared driveway, its going to create problems for me and the neighbours.
Finding a new place has been a 12-month mission of mine.
The good news is that things are different a year on.
Around this time last year, one or two properties a month fell into my price range.
Nowadays, I can go to one inspection a week.
Its not because there are more properties on the market. In fact, the number of new homes for sale in Australia is down 28% in the past year.
But the properties I inspected last year that were out of my price range are now well within it.
While that may be good news for me, its a rather ominous confirmation that cracks are beginning to show in the Aussie housing market.
Four signs of a rickety housing sector
In Tuesday Daily Reckoning Australia, I reasoned that theres a mortgage debt reset coming our way as $400 billion worth of home loans move from interest-only to principal-and-interest repayments.
Turns out, thats just the start of the debt reset story.
Real estate website Domain claims that one-third of the 1834-year-olds cant refinance their homes due to falling property valuations.
Domain puts the blame for this squarely at the feet of property valuers, suggesting that they dont know how to how value properties during a market downturn.
Domain calls it the experience gap a younger generation of valuers being too conservative because property prices have dropped a few percentage points.
I disagree. In my view, assessments lowering the value of properties remove the hype that was partly responsible for driving up prices in the first place.
But there are other reasons to explain why Australias property market is rickety.
Home prices in Sydney and Melbourne have fallen for nine months in a row. Thats not too surprising considering both cities saw a decade of double-digit price gains.
On top of this, theres the realisation of just how much damage even the smallest rate impact will have on many households.
Digital Finance Analytics (DFA), a research fir...
Earthworker is establishing a network of worker-owned cooperatives committed to sustainable enterprise throughout Australia. They believe social and environmental exploitation are intertwined, and that the problems of climate change, job insecurity and growing inequality must be tackled simultaneously, through greater grassroots economic ownership.
They have already established Redgum, a worker owned cleaners co-operative in Melbourne, and are in the final stages of establishing the Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative (formerly Eurekas Future).
We had a yarn with Katherine Cunningham from Earthworker. Find out more about Earthworker at earthworkercooperative.com.au/
Go to the GEO front page
Its Wednesday, so just a few short snippets that came to my
attention, some comedy and some great music that has kept me
company today while I have been working today. The first snippet
concerns my revelation that fiscal policy in Australia is
undermining the future of our grandchildren. Yes, an out-of-control
government is spending our way to a future oblivion. The second
snippet is my analysis of the latest INSA/YouGov German poll which
shows that the euphoria if you can call it that which followed the
formation of the GroKo has now dissipated and the AfD have
overtaken the SPD in popularity. Which tells you that the
progressive movements in Germany are failing. Why? Because they
decided not to be progressive and, instead, decided to ape the
conservatives. Not a good idea. The polls are showing why.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The fiscal policies employed by the Australian government are working against the future of our children and their children.
How do I know that?
The peak body representing Australian Universities Universities Australia (no less) released a statement yesterday (July 10, 2018) Government and business must rev up R&D or well risk national prosperity summarising its submission to the upcoming parliamentary enquiry into research funding.
We learn that:
1. But, over the past three decades, weve seen a worrying trend with Governments conducting less and less R&D and universities have had to step into the breach to maintain national capacity.
2. Australia now spends 1.88 per cent of GDP on research and development, well below the OECD average of 2.38 per cent.
3. for the first time since records have been kept, OECD figures show that Australias business R&D declined in 2015-16.
4. Even the austerity-trapped British government has set a target to spend 2.4 per cent of GDP on R&D.
5. Australias R&D spend as a percentage of GDP is less than Icelands. Thats a country with a population smaller than Canberra (our capital city).
The OECD data is available HERE.
They produced this interesting bubble chart showing total expenditure as a proportion of GDP on the horizontal axis and the Researchers, per thousand employment on the vertical axis.
That little green bubble is Australia. Look who are to the right and above Australia. Much smarter nations than us it seems.
The latest ACCC report on the National Electricity Market is an incoherent mess, reflecting the breakdown of the neoliberal/market liberal assumptions on which both the ACCC and the NEM are founded. But I can at least endorse this statement
There are many causes of the current problems in the electricity market. At all stages of the supply
chain decisions have been made over many years by many governments that set the NEM on the
As I said in a report to the Electrical Trades Union in 2014
The National Electricity Market was implemented in the context of National Competition Policy and at a time when faith in competitive markets was at its peak. The [resulting design flaws have led, over 20 years, to the failure of the NEM These failures are not accidental. Rather they can be explained by fundamental and incurable flaws in the NEM model of pricing, regulation and incentives for investment. Marginal adjustments such as those being proposed at present will inevitably prove inadequate.
Back then, as I recall, the idea of that the NEM was a failure was not so popular. Rather, the only obstacle to complete success was said to be the remnants of public ownership in NSW and Queensland.
Thats the headline for my latest piece in Crikey, reproduced over the fold. Not really news for those whove been paying attention, but I was pleased with this observation
the latest nuclear power plants have the unfortunate distinction of being simultaneously untried and obsolescent.
The diminishing band of nuclear power fans had some rare good news recently. Two of the leading designs for new nuclear power plants the AP1000, designed by US company Westinghouse, and the EPR, developed by Areva in France achieved criticality (that is, the state where nuclear fuel sustains a fission chain reaction) in June. Both the plants are in China, at Sanmen and Taishan respectively.
But good news for nuclear power is never unmixed, and thats certainly the case here. The construction process was as overtime and over-budget as usual, though not as badly as in the West, where construction of similar plants is running as much as a decade behind schedule. In the course of this protracted process, both Westinghouse and Areva have gone bankrupt.
These plants will require a fair bit of operating experience before it can be said whether they actually function as designed. Since the design took place in the 1980s and 1990s, the latest nuclear power plants have the unfortunate distinction of being simultaneously untried and obsolescent.
In the decades since the design process of Generation III and Generation III+ nuclear plants began, the technology of renewable energy generation has changed radically. The cost of solar photovoltaic cells has fallen from $30 per watt in the early 1980s to 30 cents a watt today, a factor of 100. The cost of wind power has declined by only a factor of 10 over the same period, but the outcome is costs far lower than that of new nuclear.
Outside China there are now only two AP1000 reactors under construction, both at Vogtle in the US state of Georgia. Another two-reactor plant in South Carolina was abandoned after the expenditure of billions of dollars. There are also two EPR reactors under construction, at Flamanville in France and Olkiluoto in Finland, both far behind schedule. Finally, theres a new plant proposed for Hinkley Point in the UK, which seems unlikely ever to happen, despite an absurdly favorable deal from the UK government.
India has held out the prospect of a rescue with statements of intent for a six-unit AP1000 plant to be built in Gujarat and a similar-sized EPR plant in Mahrashtra. These massive projects, similar to proposals for a dozen or more Ultra Mega coal fired power plants of 4000 GW, seem unlikely ever to proceed. The primary object seems to be the announcement of the project rather than its construction and completion.
The news last week was dominated by breathless headlines about the trade war between the US and China.
But this trade war has been brewing for years, and came as no surprise to readers. In fact, the new trade war is simply a continuation of the currency wars that began in 2010.
Ive warned for over a year that President Trumps threats of tariffs should be taken seriously, even as most of Wall Street discounted Trumps talk as mere bluster.
Now the trade wars are here as we expected, and they are likely going to get much worse before they are resolved.
The most powerful analytic frame today for understanding political and macroeconomic developments is the sequence from currency wars to trade wars and then ultimately shooting wars.
Currency wars arise in a condition of too much debt and too little growth.
Economic powers try to steal growth from their trading partners by devaluing their currencies to promote exports and import inflation.
This can work in the short run, but the benefits are strictly temporary because trading partners retaliate by devaluing their currencies.
The tit-for-tat devaluations leave everyone worse off because of the uncertainty and transaction costs imposed.
Once it becomes clear that currency wars are a failure, nations resort to trade wars.
Currency wars lead to trade wars
Trade wars begin with tariffs imposed by one nation on another to protect domestic industry and reduce trade deficits. As with currency wars, the problem is retaliation. Victims of tariffs impose their own tariffs, leaving the world worse off.
Weve seen this pattern before in the 1920s and 1930s. It began with currency wars (19211936), then trade wars (19301939), and finally a shooting war in the Second World War that began in Asia in 1936, spread to Europe in 1939, and subsumed the US in 1941.
The present currency war began in 2010.
The new trade war began in 2018. Lets hope a new shooting war or even a third world war does not follow in sequence.
Trump is like a five-star general in the currency and trade wars. Its important to understand his weapons and tactics. Trump likes to threaten to get results but often does not follow through on his threats.
Recently he threatened to withdraw the US from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the primary multilateral body for settling trade disputes, and successor to one of the original Bretton Woods institutions (along with the IMF and World Bank) established in 1944.
But Trumps threat to withdraw from the WTO will not be carried out. Its in the bluff category, strictly for show.
The fact is that Trump is turning trade policy upside down without withdrawing from WTO by using other tools at his disposal.
There has always been an exemption from the application of WTO rules where national security i...
July 11, 2018: As the next round of negotiations in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership gets underway in Bangkok, the main dynamic is resistance by India to tariff reduction demands by Australia and New Zealand, and to medicine monopoly demands by Japan and South Korea. The RCEP involves the 10 ASEAN countries, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
The Center for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society in India has published a Country Briefer that spells out the challenges for India, which, they argue, so far has come out second from free trade agreements with ASEAN, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia.
In the RCEP India made differential offers of tariff cutes to the ASEAN countries, and then to South Korea and Japan, and the smallest to China, Australia and New Zealand countries with which it has no existing FTA.
After 22 rounds of negotiations, India has doubled its tariff cut offer to China, Australia, New Zealand, but Australia and New Zealand are demanding more.
India has made greater access by its Information Technology professionals into the service sectors of RCEP countries a priority, but has made no apparent progress.
The author argues that the RCEP talks are shrouded in secrecy, no documents have been published, and leaks provide the only insights. India has made no public consultations with civil society, and the government faces widespread opposition and protests from trade unions, farmers, manufacturers and the generic medicine sector.
It concludes that India would be prudent to focus on domestic economic reforms, invest in trade infrastructure and to address the problems with its existing FTAs. In the RCEP negotiations, India should stand firm protect its domestic industries and sectors, and the rights and welfare of the Indian people.
In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Wolf Richter discuss:
The Fed has reduced its balance sheet so far this year to the tune of $100 billion, and is hoping to be reducing at the rate of $50 billion per month by October. The ECB has announced it will stop making purchases by the end of the year. And, surpringly, even the profligate Bank of Japan is showing signs of reducing its balance sheet.
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