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  • Kirstie Spicer | Business Spectator
    in favour by Kirstie Spicer 11 19am December 17 3 comments The week in charts As the prospect of Fed tapering looms closer investors have missed out on a Santa rally for equities this year by Kirstie Spicer 4 17pm December 13 1 comment Tricky time for oil The supply and demand balance for oil could change drastically in the medium term and investors should be prepared for a shift by Kirstie Spicer 3 52pm December 13 1 comment Market Insights Stocks waver The broader market is hovering close to unchanged as investors mull prospects for a cut in the Fed s economic stimulus while there has been a muted response to Westpac s forecast of mild lending growth by Kirstie Spicer 12 53pm December 13 Buying into the promise of tech riches The prospect of huge rewards has attracted investors to some top technology investments by Kirstie Spicer 10 51am December 13 3 comments Hot offerings get the cold shoulder As the year draws to a close investors are opting for stable cash flows and solid valuations over hopes and dreams fund raising campaigns by Kirstie Spicer 3 32pm December 12 Market Insights Decline deepens Our market has turned down to extend recent losses with McMillan Shakespeare a notable casualty of the General Motors decision to exit Australia by Kirstie Spicer 12 09pm December 12 Rio Tinto takes a walk on the safe side The miner s focus on reducing operational costs as well as continued reining in of capex shows it s putting shareholder returns ahead of its growth profile for now by Kirstie Spicer 11 06am December 12 Emerging from the gloom Investment firm T Rowe Price says the best strategy to gain exposure to emerging markets is through locally listed companies by Kirstie Spicer 3 13pm December 11 2 comments Market Insights Sentiment sags Consumer sentiment has slumped to a five month low weighing on the market while investors have punished OZ Minerals for failing to upgrade production forecasts for copper by Kirstie Spicer 1 10pm December 11 Is success more than a mirage for Billabong A decisive strategy for the future offers a snippet of hope for the surfwear retailer and may breathe life into a share price that has flat lined for two years by Kirstie Spicer 3 48pm December 10 Page 1 The year in stocks We take a look at some of the biggest announcements to hit the market over the year and how they were received by Kirstie Spicer 2 40pm December 20 Market Insights Holding firm The broader market is holding its ground after a dramatic rally on Thursday while gold miners are getting smashed as the price of gold slides in response to the Fed s tapering decision by Kirstie Spicer 1 55pm December 20 The year in charts After underperforming this year top miners are more efficient and should see fortunes turnaround in 2014 while JB Hi Fi promises to go from strength to strength by Kirstie Spicer

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/contributor/kirstie-spicer?destination=taxonomy/term/143951 (2014-01-12)
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  • Bursting Bitcoin’s bubble | Business Spectator
    as either a medium of exchange or as a stable store of value or often as both The best known recent example was in Zimbabwe where inflation ballooned to 11 2 million per cent in June 2008 prompting the abandonment of the currency Businesses would no longer accept the Zimbabwe dollar and nobody knew what it was worth so it stopped being a legitimate currency The rise of Bitcoin comes as a response to the fear an irrational fear in my opinion of inflation combined with a fear that government backed currencies are doomed to be debased by opportunistic governments and their reliance on debt But even if those concerns are legitimate and that is a big if Bitcoin remains less reliable than any widely traded currency Bitcoin has a limited use as a medium of exchange It is occasionally used by online stores but it remains incredibly rare As for real world usage well that remains mostly unheard of Though there are a few exceptions a person can rarely go to a coffee shop and order using Bitcoins nor buy their groceries As a medium of exchange Bitcoins are about as useful as trying to buy goods in Australia using walnuts As for a store of value Since their creation Bitcoins have proved to be highly volatile and far more volatile than the most heavily traded currencies or even gold People complain about annual inflation of 2 per cent but what about inflation or deflation of 10 to 20 per cent in a single day Some firms let customers pay with Bitcoins but their goods are not expressed in terms of Bitcoins Firms have made the decision to acknowledge the existence of Bitcoins while showing unwillingness to expose themselves to the vulgarities of its volatility In addition Bitcoins are essentially conjured out of thin air although there is a ridiculous and unnecessarily resource intensive obstacle course than supercomputers must jump through to create one At present its value is derived because investors believe it has value as opposed to the fact that it has a defined purpose or use Any event which compromises that belief such as the view that there is a Bitcoin bubble regulation of the market or attempts to realise capital gains may result is a massive or complete loss of value That s not ideal for a currency Even if Bitcoins work perfectly and exactly as the designers envisioned there will still be issues The currency will be capped at 21 million units It is therefore designed to be a deflationary currency While deflation does not render a currency useless as a medium of exchange the Yen still works why would anyone spend Bitcoins if they are deflationary If given the choice consumers and businesses would naturally prefer to spend money that is losing value rather than a deflationary currency By being both a niche currency and deflationary the circulation of Bitcoins is certain to drop to a level that will ensure it eventually fails

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/31/currency/bursting-bitcoins-bubble (2014-01-12)
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  • The RBA's steely infrastructure warning | Business Spectator
    have lived up to the lucky country moniker for a long time now lucky enough to live through a period of extensive competition reform financial deregulation favourable demographics and then the industrialisation of China which resulted in two commodity price booms But these favourable developments are beginning to wind down and the challenges for our economy over the next decade are vast It will no longer be as easy to succeed Third and perhaps most pertinent not to mention integral to addressing the last point RBA Deputy Governor Philip Lowe pressed home the pivotal role of infrastructure and productivity to our very livelihood There are many projects we could do that would have a social return greater than the cost of financing he said Lowe briefly touched on comments made in his excellent speech on infrastructure last month which I discussed in detail at the time Not just a bump but a permanent economic thump and Get smart or face infrastructure chaos November 26 Governments have underinvested in the supply side of the economy Australia s productive capacity for too long despite this being vastly more important to our long run quality of life than short run fluctuations in demand Too many roads are in disrepair our public transport systems are overworked and our broadband policy remains in doubt Governments must be more forward looking and think beyond the next election cycle If they fail to address our infrastructure needs then an ageing population will eventually lead to a lengthy period of sub trend growth and a stagnation in our standard of living Finally don t discount completely the introduction of macroprudential policy to cool the housing market We ve never ruled out the possibility of using regulatory tools as an adjunct to our normal tools Stevens said today But I am not entirely convinced that they are going to be the silver bullet as some think While I came out in favour of macroprudential policies recently How to fix the housing market s ills November 20 I can understand that the governor is cautious about policies that remain largely unproven New Zealand has taken the initiative on this and given the similarities between Australia and our neighbour it will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next year or so If successful we could witness a new era of housing regulation from the Reserve Bank and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority While these parliamentary testimonies inevitably become more about politics than facts there were clearly still some interesting takeaways if we push through the nonsense surrounding the reserve fund Of all the issues covered I hope that Dr Lowe s comments regarding infrastructure investment gain some traction It might not be the government s immediate concern but it is of the greatest concern to the nation even if we don t realise it yet Print this page More from Callam Pickering 10 Jan Dwelling on housing growth is misguided 10 Jan The ECB is failing to

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/18/reserve-bank-australia/rbas-steely-infrastructure-warning (2014-01-12)
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  • The Fed taper hits an inflation hurdle | Business Spectator
    items such as food and energy rose by 1 1 per cent over the year PCE inflation is running significantly below other measures of inflation In addition to core inflation the Federal Reserve of Cleveland produces a trimmed mean and median measure of inflation similar to those used by the Reserve Bank of Australia and these measures suggest inflation is between 1 6 per cent and 2 0 per cent higher over the year It is clear that the interpretation of inflation will differ significantly depending on the measure focused on but I also think that the Fed needs to be more forward looking when they determine whether to taper Inflation expectations remain well anchored at between 1 5 and 2 per cent annually and this will remain the case even if the Fed decides to taper tomorrow or early in 2014 Improving labour markets and capacity utilisation should begin to put a little bit of pressure on prices soon Another important factor that may affect the timing of the taper is the changing leadership at the Fed Next year the Fed will get a new chairwoman a new vice chair a new governor and a new president It may be preferable to allow this new cohort to determine the direction of monetary policy rather than binding them to decisions made now Presumably policymakers should consider whether the policy decisions they make today will be consistent with the policy decisions the new group will want in the near future I believe that the data justifies the taper beginning tomorrow albeit a tiny taper but it is clear that there are obstacles If the Fed believes that the labour market improvement is sustainable then they should be confident of acting with the knowledge that inflation should live up to expectations If the taper doesn t happen tomorrow it will still happen soon of that much I am sure of Print this page More from Callam Pickering 10 Jan Dwelling on housing growth is misguided 10 Jan The ECB is failing to do whatever it takes 09 Jan A fast to follow the spending binge 09 Jan Tinker taper the Fed s cautious path 31 Dec Bursting Bitcoin s bubble Related articles 12 Jan Obama picks Fed vice chair 11 Jan US jobs growth slows sharply 10 Jan Fed s Yellen expects 3 growth 10 Jan US jobless claims dip 09 Jan Tinker taper the Fed s cautious path More from Business Spectator Technology Adapt or die Commercial The Future of Energy Family Business Alan Kohler s Family Business China China Spectator Please log in or register to post comments Comments on this article Comments Policy Eddy Ward Wed 2013 12 18 10 58 This obsession with tapering seems an almighty distraction The real event will likely come from the sidelines How about a blow up of the USD or something like that David Doyle Wed 2013 12 18 12 04 Wife Dr I know my husband has a severe spinal injury

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/18/us-economy/fed-taper-hits-inflation-hurdle (2014-01-12)
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  • Credit growth hopes hang on a falling dollar | Business Spectator
    cautious path 31 Dec Bursting Bitcoin s bubble Related articles 12 Jan Obama picks Fed vice chair 11 Jan US jobs growth slows sharply 10 Jan Korea China jostle for Aust resources 10 Jan China trade balance contracts 10 Jan New home sales lift in November More from Business Spectator Technology Adapt or die Commercial The Future of Energy Family Business Alan Kohler s Family Business China China Spectator Log in to post comments Comments That just proves that a low Submitted by Ken not available on Fri 2013 12 13 16 23 That just proves that a low cash rate goes no where except into property so whats the current rate for businesses Log in to post comments Callam Submitted by bob mckay on Fri 2013 12 13 16 37 Callam did you read this on the Business Spectator site today Westpac Banking Corporation expects a modest pick up in lending growth throughout this year Addressing shareholders at the company s annual general meeting chairman Lindsay Maxsted said the bank is seeing signs of improved consumer and business sentiment across its businesses after the federal election and the easing of the Australian dollar More interest is beginning to emerge from businesses as they think about investing again Mr Maxsted said Log in to post comments Are the loonies in charge of Submitted by daniel boon on Fri 2013 12 13 17 34 Are the loonies in charge of the Reserve asylum most assuredly yes Australian retail and other spending is down despite lower interest rates but the thought process is that devaluing the Aussie making most of the stuff we buy from overseas more expensive and that s going to force business and others to borrow more money Wake up the Australian public knows the economic writing is on wall and is tightening the belt and with rising energy prices where is that fiscal responsibility and the 550 Abbot Hockey Financial experts singing off the same sheet Log in to post comments It s pathetic that a lower Submitted by Mark Welch on Fri 2013 12 13 18 40 It s pathetic that a lower dollar is seen as the solution to our future That s equivalent to everyone taking a pay cut worker and non worker This fine proud nation that goes on and on about how wonderful it is can only make a sale with a SALE sign up The Swiss do OK by being smart and disciplined and the CHF once at parity is now worth 1 25 and they re coping What we REALLY need is to be smart disciplined to take a chain saw to restrictive regulation and give the system a laxative i e get real about productivity In India i m told to take a train journey you need a ticket to get aticket to get a ticket Isn t that that hysterical Npot so hysterical We do the same E g take ONE YEAR to get planning permission to build a

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/13/economy/credit-growth-hopes-hang-falling-dollar (2014-01-12)
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  • The two Americas: Ringing sales, rattling tins | Business Spectator
    you are riding high not when deflation and recession are serious threats so I hope you don t mean to imply that governments should be austere no matter what The US needs to spend now for example but they needed to be more frugal under Bush and Australia needed to be more frugal from 2002 2008 and then from 2010 11 now from 2008 10 it was right to put money into the economy short term because of the risks we faced but we should then have cut back as these didn t eventuate to the extent expected Both the Howard government after 2001 or so and the Rudd Gillard government left us with damaging legacies of structural deficit especially middle class welfare under Howard and extravagant NBN model and Gonski under Labor that are very hard to unwind a poison chalice for Abbott and Hockey They now have to cut back on long term structural deficit created by those two incompetent periods of government at the same time being very careful not to depress the economy as we enter difficult times By the way I think the Howard government had been excellent prior to about 2001 and Rudd was the most incompetent PM in our history but he did the right thing in following Treasury and the RBAs advice to spend furiously for a while I can t think of much else he got right Log in to post comments callam Submitted by Iggy Noranzisblis on Fri 2013 12 13 11 45 callam i like the direction you are taking in the last few articles identifying the damn lies in the statistics you haven t gone far enough some funny quotable lines in this piece callam 26 billion amounts to a rounding error it is clear that the labour market has improved in 2013 the US emerged largely unscathed from the 16 day federal government shutdown indicating that there is a resilience in these markets that just wasn t there a short time ago it seems that you are an eternal optimist my boy prepared to overlook or ignore contradictory evidence that you yourself cite in your piece a challenge to you callam write a piece which inverts your default position s citing equally as relevant statistics to support your assertions claims conclusions you will be amazed how easy this is Log in to post comments The improved retail spending Submitted by Alex Fletcher on Fri 2013 12 13 18 30 The improved retail spending must be confined to a very select proportion of the population This article from today s Huffington Post re US employment http www huffingtonpost com 2013 07 28 poverty unemployment rates n 36 Four out of 5 U S adults struggle with joblessness near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U S economy the widening

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/13/us-economy/two-americas-ringing-sales-rattling-tins (2014-01-12)
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  • Labour pains add to the RBA's challenges | Business Spectator
    all Submitted by Ken not available on Thu 2013 12 12 14 08 It s all about the taper all other analysis pales into irrelevance Or as the US Fed says It s our dollar but it s your problem Using monetary policy will only destroy more capital there is clearly an issue of confidence and if the US does not project confidence then the Australian economy will continue cost cutting Log in to post comments Ken Submitted by Alexei Belkov on Fri 2013 12 13 00 56 Ken Talks about tapering just BS QE will accelerate 2 simple things will fix ausiand economy 1 changes in financial rules to devalue 30 50 property bubble 2 printing press to devalue ausie Interest rate better be moved up at least 1 But we don t have leaders with guts and leaders who make personal money outside property speculation So relax guys manufacturing IT high tech etc all those things will soon completely disappear Log in to post comments Spot on Ken You only have to Submitted by Paul on Thu 2013 12 12 14 19 Spot on Ken You only have to Google Tapering and the Indian Rupee to see what happened to capital previously earmarked for so called developing economies Log in to post comments Thanks Paul Submitted by Ken not available on Thu 2013 12 12 14 21 Thanks Paul Log in to post comments Time to think outside of the Submitted by Ken not available on Thu 2013 12 12 14 19 Time to think outside of the car sorry I mean box South Australia and Victoria should turn their attention to building engines Import the cars and put in locally produced engines that run on LNG See what I mean that was not painful was it It s about the economy stupid Log in to post comments Ken Submitted by richard mcnaught on Fri 2013 12 13 00 28 Ken Good to see you have seen the light Now maybe you will get onboard A Q E infrastructure build OUR only hope Log in to post comments You know what is great about Submitted by Ken not available on Thu 2013 12 12 14 32 You know what is great about LNG The expansion rate Build a small engine and the LNG gives it more torque because the liquid gas expand more rapidly Hey all you fat arsed ideas people start talking it s time to create the new ideas required to employ our kids and it s time to bin the monetarist crowd before they start plotting to destroy more capital Be there or be square Log in to post comments Well said Submitted by The Inspirator on Thu 2013 12 12 15 13 Well said We lead by our macromanagers and sidelining our myopic economists need to work out ways to do real economy stuff like build stuff other than houses or provide services other than financial paper shuffling Log in to post comments the myopic fixation on Submitted by Tim Bullen on Thu 2013 12 12 14 33 the myopic fixation on tapering obscures the fact that money printing will continue at a slightly lower rate and the FED s balance sheet will likely rise to 5 billion usd before all is said and done basically a 4 billion usd black hole they have to climb out of good luck with that expectations of low no interest rates for many years are now universal because any other scenario spells doom for government s banks corporations and individuals up to their eyeballs in debt there is weak demand and excess capacity politicians have promised too much and bankers have lent too much median income is either stagnant or falling in mature western economies so where is the growth coming from that can pull millions out of debt and or unemployment Log in to post comments Tim what the difference Submitted by Ken not available on Thu 2013 12 12 14 50 Tim what the difference between toilet paper and money Interest rate that s the difference take away the interest rate and you are left with toilet paper Hey how many people do you know that are prepared to work for toilet paper Central bankers are full of shit mate Log in to post comments Anyone heard of a turbo Submitted by Ken not available on Thu 2013 12 12 14 44 Anyone heard of a turbo charger well I know how to save most of that cost of turbo charging and give a small engine a big torque boost I wont bore you but British aerospace have a jet engine that uses the same themodynamic properties Its unbelievably simple Australia could become the center of engine building in the world Remember you cant patent knowledge and there is a lot of knowledge available to thinkers Log in to post comments There is no doubt the Submitted by Steven lastName on Thu 2013 12 12 14 46 There is no doubt the Australian economy is on the skids and in for a difficult period for some time to come anyone saying differently is in complete denial We are now seeing almost a daily announcement on job losses record low interest rates are failing to inspire as they only help to indicate that the economy is in trouble and who wants to borrow if you do not know whether you have a job or not Australian industries under fiercce competition and forced to go overseas to survive leading to more job losses Politicians and business leaders with no vision just short term greed in mind A country with a never ending thirst for welfare which thinks it can care for everyone the truth is simply that we cannot People better get used to the new normal adjust and survive or perish Log in to post comments Steven absolutely read my Submitted by Ken not available on Thu 2013 12 12 15 06 Steven absolutely read my

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/12/economy/labour-pains-add-rbas-challenges (2014-01-12)
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  • The post-election consumer honeymoon is over | Business Spectator
    this is appreciated Log in to post comments Average return of 4 2 gross Submitted by Steven lastName on Wed 2013 12 11 17 25 Average return of 4 2 gross yield does not sound that great to me Add in the intital costs such as stamp duty and it will even worse The only area where property has been good is with capital growth but considering the already prices one wonders if there is any left Log in to post comments Purchase price was 1 035mn Submitted by michael mcgregor on Wed 2013 12 11 17 49 Purchase price was 1 035mn for 3 bedroom flat in Bondi Rent advertised is 975 00 per week So that good Log in to post comments The rent equates to roughly 4 Submitted by Steven lastName on Wed 2013 12 11 18 12 The rent equates to roughly 4 9 but if you have to take away management fees etc I am not sure that it is that good a return Log in to post comments I got a couple of 4 br single Submitted by lyle essery on Wed 2013 12 11 23 21 I got a couple of 4 br single family homes in Florida And have a net return of 10 ALSO legals and duty for both properties were negiable from memory 50 each Log in to post comments Retail sales in my business Submitted by Judge Mental on Wed 2013 12 11 17 14 Retail sales in my business down 20 in November Month to date down 30 Similar declines are being reported throughout what is left of my sector Won t be long now folks the Intentional Total Economic Collapse is in full swing Time to stock up on canned food and bottled water Log in to post comments Judge mental in comparison to Submitted by Steven lastName on Wed 2013 12 11 17 22 Judge mental in comparison to both the US and many European countries Australia is far in front the problem with the business sector in this country is that they have it so good for so long that even if a slight dip occurs they whinge and whine There is no doubt that after 23 years of economic growth the good times might be coming to an end I personally say not before time it as many Australians desperately need a wake up call to what really is important Everyone will have to learn to adjust to the new normal and survive or just perish Log in to post comments I couldn t agree more Submitted by Judge Mental on Wed 2013 12 11 17 53 I couldn t agree more However the employees of the business sector in this country have also had it so good for so long let s hope they don t whinge and whine when they and their children end up on the scrap heap And yes everyone will have to adapt or die I became a prepper

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/11/economy/post-election-consumer-honeymoon-over (2014-01-12)
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