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Oz Blog News Commentary
MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 10:50 Source

For what it’s worth, Westpac’s Leading Index is still sick: • The six month annualised deviation from trend growth rate of the Westpac Melbourne Institute Leading Index which indicates the likely pace of economic growth three to nine months into the future rose to –0.75% in May from –1.12% in April. Despite an improvement over [...]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 10:38 Source

A stiff back-hander from an old hand to a young one today via  TerryMcCrann: OH dear. There is never any shortage of twits prepared to share their vast, ahem, “perspicacity” with us. On Monday, Callam Pickering, the economist at our online affiliate Business Spectator thundered: “How the RBA got it wrong on rates.” It made for persuasive [...]

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Popular Science Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 10:31 Source

With a State Department-sponsored ocean summit (#OurOcean2014) underway this week, the science-related policy announcements are coming thick and fast:

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Popular Science Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 10:31 Source

Dr. Oz is having a bad day. The celebrity doctor went to Washington, D.C., today to testify before a Senate subcommittee. The committee chastised him about the unscientific claims he makes about weight loss treatments on his popular show. Members of the committee, which is about consumer protection and product safety, worried that Oz's statements fuel a predatory industry of supplement-sellers.

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Popular Science Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 10:31 Source

In honor of celebrity physician Dr. Oz's visit to the U.S. Senate yesterday, we thought we would collect some Dr. Oz Googlisms. Mehmet Oz is a polarizing figure. He's well beloved by fans, but draws sharp criticism from many doctors, scientists and journalists. We thought Googlisms would be an interesting way to see the spread of opinion.

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 10:21 Source

by Chris Weston A quick look at the technicals on AUD/USD ahead of tonights FOMC meeting. Firstly, the pair failed to re-take the former uptrend on June 12 and is now reverting to the mean (20-day MA) after closing two standard devations from this average (or the top of the Bollinger band). This puts the [...]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 10:00 Source

As we approach the next FOMC meeting tonight, here’s a useful chart from Nomura on the current balance of hawks and doves on the board: Taper on, dude! Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit + -

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xkcd.com Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 10:00 Source

'And then whisper 'anapest' in my ear as you hold me?'

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 09:53 Source

by Chris Becker Looks like a torrent will be unleashed this morning on the ASX open as Woodside emerges from yesterdays trading halt. From IGs Chris Weston: Woodside (WPL) comes back online today after yesterday’s big news that Shell was selling out of the majority of its stake. The removal of the overhang will be [...]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 09:48 Source

Fresh from Dun and Bradstreet: Australian businesses have identified cashflow as the issue most likely to impact their operations in the next three months, while new analysis of invoice payments reveals that payment times have slowed to their lowest rate in three years. According to Dun & Bradstreet’s Trade Payments Analysis, business-to-business payments were made in [...]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 09:38 Source

By Chris Becker It seems you can’t go wrong speculating on property, as capital gains in London – 19% for the year or £71,000 - are almost double the average post-tax income for Londoners! A shocking chart from FT Alphaville tells the tale: It’s even better in Sydney where house prices are up nearly 15% this year [...]

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:54 Source

Will the Minister say how many Iraqis he sent back? Will he now, urgently, offer them all plane fares to Australia, with apologies for having so endangered them? Will he offer plane fares also to their families? Will he say …

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:40 Source

Variation has long been used as an indicator in the analysis and measurement of processes across a variety of industries. Large variation in outcomes, inputs or outputs is often considered as a sign that a process is not working as planned and...

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Popular Science Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:33 Source

In response to stress, some people cope easily while others succumb to depression or other mood disorders. While depression can develop from a wide variety of biological and genetic factors, stressful events are often a major trigger. But why does stress make some people develop mood disorders while others remain resilient?

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:27 Source

How many Iraqi children died violently after Saddam’s statue came down? I would put it at a hundred thousand. How many died violently during Saddam’s rule? I would put it at two hundred and fifty. How many Iraqi children were driven into exile, poverty and despair by Al-Maliki and the ‘coalition of the willing’? I would put it at two and a half million. How many died during childbirth, in ambulances stopped on broken bridges and electricity-deprived humidicribs in wrecked hospitals? I would say five thousand.

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Popular Science Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:25 Source

I remember my first “American-style” fast food. Burger King opened a location in Liverpool and I went out with some friends to check it out. I remember little details like queuing at right angles to the counter rather than snaking along the wall as was typical at the local fish and chip shop. I remember being excited to try the thin and crispy French fries - so unlike the soft British chips. Sadly they had none left by the time I got the front of the queue. I remember the first time I tried a kiwi fruit. My uncle found them at a local greengrocer and we all sat around wondering what to do with them.

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Popular Science Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:22 Source

The World Cup has drawn more than rabid soccer fans to Brazil. A team of filmmakers are on the ground in Rio de Janeiro documenting the science behind the games, including an exoskeletal kick-off, the genetics of competition, and even the biochemistry of diehard spectators.

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Popular Science Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:22 Source

There are no genetically engineered animals sold for human consumption right now. The only candidate that's anywhere close, AquaBounty's fast-growing GM salmon, seems to have stalled in its approval process, in spite of positive scientific reviews finding AquaBounty fish safe to eat and safe for the environment. As you might guess, the lack of genetically modified meat on the market isn't because of a lack of technology. It's because of politics—GM foods are deeply unpopular, and GM food animals especially so.

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Popular Science Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:22 Source

Within policy circles, people often bandy about the term “water-energy nexus.” Like most wonk-speak, it’s a rather complex way to express a simple relationship. Energy production requires a tremendous amount of water, almost on par with irrigated agriculture. And water production needs a lot of energy, for pumping, treating, and transportation. They’re interdependent. And therein lies the problem. We asked the U.S. Department of Energy’s Michael Knotek, the deputy under secretary for science and energy and a scientist himself, how to plan for a future in which we’ll demand a lot of both.

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Popular Science Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:22 Source

"We put cameras on everything that moves," says John Downer, the producer and director of Wings3D, a unique wildlife movie that's in theaters today, distributed by BBC Worldwide.

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Popular Science Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:22 Source

June may be wedding season among American humans, but for other members of the animal kingdom, it's a different—perhaps related—time of life. In the springtime is when many animals give birth. For the Smithsonian's National Zoo, that means seeing the fruits of its breeding programs. The zoo has added 31 baby animals to its ranks in the past few weeks.

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:17 Source

Here are the iron ore charts for June 17, 2014: Better market action yesterday but still no cigar. Paper markets rallied late and the 12 month swap has opened a decent contango with spot. Rebar futures also bounced a touch. Physical is less encouraging. Spot went nowhere and rebar average continues to fade away indicating [...]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:10 Source

Stephen Bartholomeusz has a nice snippet on Fortescue today: The group’s chief executive, Nev Power, has said Fortescue’s cash break-even point is an iron ore price in the low $US70 a tonne/62 per cent CFR range. Fortescue, with lesser quality ores than its Pilbara competitors Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, receives lower prices than they [...]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:00 Source

by Chris Becker NZ just printed its current account deficit (CAD) for the March quarter, which fell by almost half from the last quarter, all on the back of agricultural exports. It is still elevated as measured by a percentage of GDP – some 2.8% although this is down from 3.9% in the previous 12 [...]

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WixxyLeaks Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 06:59 Source

 

The mood in the elevator was shock and surprise, then someone said “The Fix Is In” and the rest of the packed lift agreed, muttered and nodded.

This was in the elevator I shared with members of the media as we headed back up to the media room after the testimony of Craig McGregor the current Secretary of the Number 3 branch of the HSU, Kathy Jacksons former branch at the Royal Commission today.

More on that later.

The day started off with questions over whether Kathy Jackson was going to appear, or whether it would be later in the week, most did not expect her.

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 06:16 Source

The Australian dollar caught a break last night and fell to 93.3 cents as US inflation turned out one for the books  (charts from Calculated Risk): According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.3% (3.2% annualized rate) in May. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index also increased 0.3% (3.2% annualized [...]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 06:14 Source

Yesterday Shane Oliver produced the following chart to assuage fears that a spiking oil price could impact global growth: The assumption in this chart is that it is the year on year change in oil prices that hurts growth. There are two possible channels for that. If the year-on-year change is high then it flows [...]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 05:05 Source

Markets seem quite happy to ignore Iraq. For an insight into why let’s turn to Kenneth M. Pollack of the Brookings Institution who argues that as awful as the situation is, it is unlikely to degenerate into a broader civil war. Caveat. It is exceptionally difficult to understand the dynamics of ongoing military operations. Oftentimes, the participants themselves [...]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 04:37 Source

I’m skeptical of such surveys but on a slow news day… …the American Express-CFO Research Global Business and Spending Monitor — found two thirds of Australian chief financial officers expect their company’s spending and investment to be either moderate or tightly controlled in the next 12 months. The survey is of 507 CFO’s worldwide, 30 [...]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 00:39 Source

by Chris Becker An extremely event driven night on world markets which started after the Asian session closed with a series of European based releases – British CPI and German/EZ sentiment surveys – first played havoc on European stocks, pound sterling and the Euro, the latter reinforced by USD strength coming into the NY open [...]

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