finance

Wall of Liquidity

22 March 2013

Once again a misconception is gaining currency. There is increased talk of a build up of cash just waiting to be converted into equities or other assets. I wrote about this years ago in cash on the sidelines, but apparently the financial commentariat did not read the post, so it is time to revisit the […]

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Trust

12 August 2012

During the week I attended a farewell function for a retiring colleague. The turnout was impressive, a sign of deep respect earned over a career at the bank spanning more than forty years. In the speeches, a recurring theme was trust. The primary business of a bank is lending money, which exposes the bank to […]

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Shadow Banking

12 June 2012

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is the banking and financial services regulator in the UK. For now at least. Back in 2010, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the equivalent of the Treasury in Australian terms) announced plans to scrap the FSA in response to a failure during the financial crisis of the 10 year old “tri-partite […]

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Currencies punching above their weight

24 July 2011

I recently enjoyed lunch with a group of former colleagues. At one point, the conversation turned to the Australian dollar, a natural enough topic for a bunch of finance types. Someone observed that the Aussie is the 5th most actively traded currency in the world, which is impressive since Australia is certainly not the 5th […]

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S&P being silly again

20 April 2011

The debt rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has placed their rating of the US on negative outlook. What this means is that they are giving advance warning that they may downgrade their rating of the US from its current AAA level (the highest possible rating). Their actions were motivated by concern about “very large […]

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A way with words

4 January 2011

Sometimes the things that are unsaid are far more telling than the things said. I had cause to reflect on this when I stumbled across a book on my shelves that I have not opened for many years. The book, entitled “Deutsche Bank: Dates, facts and figures 1870-1993”, is an English translation of the year-by-year […]

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Where does the money go?

31 December 2010

A regular Mule reader drew my attention to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald (also published in The Age) which attempts to defend Australian banks from some of the criticisms levelled at them in recent months. It is something of a laundry list of points, some accurate, some dubious and has little in the […]

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Do your block in!

25 November 2010

Sydney’s property market is a subject that has found its way onto the Stubborn Mule more than once. In this post, regular guest contributor Zebra (James Glover) manages to combine property and television with some now-traditional beer coaster calculations. Channel 9′s high rating renovation show The Block just finished its successful second series on Wednesday […]

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Bank funding costs

16 November 2010
Thumbnail image for Bank funding costs

Digging into the data suggests that banks are not lying about their funding costs going up, but are they charging too much on mortgages anyway?

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Standard variable rate mortgages

9 November 2010

The last post looked at the increasing margins on Australian mortgages and small business loans. On the way is another post that tries to estimate how much the banks’ own margins have been increasing. Interesting though that may be, the real problem with Australian mortgages has nothing to do with whether bank margins are or are […]

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