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AFR: Greenies killed Alcoa

February 18, 2014 - 12:30 -- Admin

The AFR’s Ben Potter has an awful take on the departure of Alcoa today: Maybe now gas crunch deniers like the NSW Greens and the conservative governments of NSW and Victoria will get the message: Costly energy drives out industry, manufacturing, and high paying jobs. In the scheme of things Point Henry didn’t stand a [...]

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BHP beats the tax man

February 18, 2014 - 12:11 -- Admin

From CIMB this morning on the BHP result: Tax of US$3.7b versus US$4.7b implied by consensus and CIMB of US$4.5b. Hence, the large beat at the bottom line. Looks like they beat the tax man. Underlying earnings of US$7.8b, 10% higher than consensus of US$7.1b and 16% higher than our estimate of US$6.7b. Iron ore [...]

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How we blew the boom

February 18, 2014 - 11:06 -- Admin

By Ian Verrender, ABC Business Editor. What a spectacle: The self-righteous fury and finger pointing on both sides of the political spectrum that has greeted the long, slow and ultimately unavoidable death of the domestic auto industry. Who is to blame? Who cares? The simple fact is that the hollowing out of the Australian economy [...]

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So much for public service job cuts

February 18, 2014 - 10:52 -- Admin

By Leith van Onselen It seems the long awaited retrenchment of public sector jobs has failed to come to fruition, with Federal Government agencies replacing lost staff with temporary contracts. From the Canberra Times: Private recruitment firms are reaping tens of millions of dollars from the federal government’s public service cuts, supplying thousands of temporary [...]

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Soros piles into S&P short

February 18, 2014 - 10:51 -- Admin

From the SMH blog: Billionaire investor George Soros has doubled up on a bet that the US sharemarket is headed for a fall, taking a position now worth $US1.3 billion, reports The Wall Street Journal. New regulatory filings show that the Soros Funds Management increased a put position on the S&P 500 ETF SPY  by 154 per cent in [...]

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Memo to the BCA: FTA’s are not free trade

February 18, 2014 - 10:42 -- Admin

By Leith van Onselen The Business Council of Australia’s (BCA) Jennifer Westacott has published a rather Panglossian view of Australia’s free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations in locked-BS, which she argues are unambiguously in Australia’s national interest: The government’s conclusion of a free trade agreement with Korea is the first down-payment on an ambitious but achievable [...]

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The epic coking coal crash

February 18, 2014 - 10:33 -- Admin

I haven’t caught up coking coal for a while but it’s worth reminding ourselves of what a commodity market can do once the balance of supply shifts. Private and official forecasters have repeatedly failed to catch this falling knife since its peak at $320 per tonne in early 2011 as floods blocked up Queensland supply. [...]

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Alcoa falls as the rust belt reels

February 18, 2014 - 09:46 -- Admin

From the Herald Sun: ALCOA will today announce the closure of its Point Henry aluminium smelter near Geelong, endangering 1200 jobs, senior sources have revealed. The Herald Sun has learned this morning that the company is preparing to inform workers of the dramatic step. Alcoa said last night it wasn’t ready to reveal the face of its [...]

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How far can gold run?

February 18, 2014 - 09:42 -- Admin

Gold added the better part of another one percent last night and its breakout is charging along at $1329 this morning: At this stage the rally is a punt on Janet Yellen being forced to slow taper and the positive technicals of breaking through the 200DMA. In the event of a taper taper, gold will [...]

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Comparing US and Australian deleveraging

February 18, 2014 - 09:06 -- Admin

Steve Keen has a nice piece today at locked-BS comparing the last few years of US deleveraging with Australia’s more modest disleveraging: For starters, we had as big a private debt bubble as the US: not quite the same magnitude, but a faster run-up from a lower level – and on the surface, a similar [...]

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