Australia

Aussie Housing Bubble Bursts - Building Approvals Crash Most In 4 Years

Having admitted to entirely 'cooking the books' with its jobs data, it appears Australian authorities are going full kitchen-sink and 'allowing' all the dismally honest data out to the market (we assume in some desperate PR need to justify their next monetary policy experiment). Building Approvals fell 7.5% MoM in January, crashing 15.5% YoY (5 standard deviations below expectations)  - the biggest drop since April 2012 (and the 3rd month in a row of declines).

Electric Car War Sends Lithium Prices Sky High

With lithium prices skyrocketing beyond wildest expectations, talk heating up about acquisitions and mergers in this space and a fast-brewing war among electric car rivals, it’s no wonder everyone’s bullish on this golden commodity that promises to become the ‘’new gasoline”.

"Another Crisis Is Certain", Warns Former BOE Chief

"Whatever can be said about the world recovery since the crisis, it has been neither strong, nor sustainable, nor balanced. There seems little political willingness to be bold, and so perhaps we should fear that the size of the ultimate adjustment will just go on getting bigger."

The Hidden Persuaders - How The Internet Flips Election & Alters Our Thoughts

We are living in a world in which a handful of high-tech companies, sometimes working hand-in-hand with governments, are not only monitoring much of our activity, but are also invisibly controlling more and more of what we think, feel, do and say. The technology that now surrounds us is not just a harmless toy; it has also made possible undetectable and untraceable manipulations of entire populations – manipulations that have no precedent in human history and that are currently well beyond the scope of existing regulations and laws.

Global Stocks, Oil Continue Streamrolling Shorts On Last Minute Hopes For G-20 Stimulus Announcement

With the conclusion of this weekend's G-20 unknown, and many still expecting a major stimulus, the squeeze will likely continue into the close of trading ahead of the  weekend when nobody will want to be caught short into what may end up being another global coordinated intervention to prop up markets. “With a lot of policy events coming there is a fair chance of more stimulus plans so the markets can squeeze higher,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG. "The big reversal shows that there is some expectation building up into those events."

NatGas Tumbles To 16-Year Lows

More "unequivocally good" news. On the heels of a smaller than expected drawdown in natural gas inventories (-117 vs -135bcf), Nattie futures have tumbled to their lowest intraday level since 1999...

The New "Big Short"? - Australia's Housing Bubble Is "In the Grip Of Insanity"

"The property bubble is everything to this economy and the country’s citizens, whether they know it or not, are 'all in'." Those who so to speak 'live inside the bubble' are no longer aware of its dangers. The mentality of Australians is generally well aligned with the country’s great weather – their outlook usually tends to be 'happy-go-lucky' and optimistic; but Australia’s citizens have far greater exposure to the bubble than is immediately obvious.

The Selling Is Back: S&P Futures Tumble Below 1,900; Sterling Crashes, Gold Soars

On Monday, everyone was giddy that the rally is back on. Less than two days later, the dour fatalism of some HFT algo stop hunting price action and a few comments by the Saudi oil minister, and the markets have remember than nothing has changed and that nothing has been fixed. But at least the biggest shorts squeeze in 5 years is finally over.

Guest Post: Great Power Realignment - To Russia?

The end result may be "peace," but of the Machiavellian sort. "Peace," Machiavelli wrote, is the set of conditions imposed by the winner on the loser of the last war. The Turks and the Russians understand him. The Americans? Perhaps not so much.

An Alarm Goes Off Threatening The "Strong U.S. Jobs" Myth: Withheld Income Taxes Are Stalling

Official Treasury tax-receipt data are at major odds with the much more upbeat numbers reported by the Labor Department. January’s year-over-year payroll increase of 2.665 million, or 1.9%, along with a 2.5% gain in average hourly earnings should yield something in the neighborhood of 4.5% year-over-year growth in tax withholdings — or more than double the actual growth rate in recent weeks. And yet over the past 10 full weeks, starting Dec. 7, tax withholdings have grown just 3.1% from a year ago.