economics

Bank funding costs

16 November 2010

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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Sister can I lend you a dime?

15 November 2010

Today’s post is written by Zebra (James Glover), an occasional contributor to the Stubborn Mule, who turns his mind this time to microcredit, and the internet lending site Kiva. Dolly lives in a mobile home and works in the fast food industry. I met her on the internet 5 weeks ago and almost immediately I […]

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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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Banks, banks, banks

5 November 2010

There has been a frenzy of bank bashing in Australia over the last few weeks. The attacks intensified on Tuesday when the Commonwealth Bank decided to raise their standard mortgage rate by 0.45%. As the national broadcaster did not want us to miss, this was almost double the Reserve Bank’s interest rate increase of 0.25%. […]

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When will Australia’s coal run out?

26 October 2010

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) estimates that Australia has 90 years of coal left. But they don’t seem to understand exponential growth. If production continues to grow, it won’t last nearly this long.

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Getting caught in the traffic

18 October 2010

Guest author @pfh007 returns today to the Stubborn Mule. Staying on the theme of Sydney transport, but moving from train lines to motorways, he once again pulls out his beer coaster calculator (perhaps one day I’ll get him onto R). QUICK SUMMARY: The proposal to widen the M2 motorway in Sydney recently received government in […]

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Forget the wisdom of crowds!

5 October 2010

Congratulations to all you insightful Stubborn Mule readers! Despite the fact that pricing in the financial markets was indicating around a 60% probability of the Reserve Bank hiking the official interest rates, participants in a poll here on the blog put the chances of no move at 60%. Even the fact that Sportsbet punters* were […]

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Playing with trains – a North-West rail link

4 October 2010

Sydney-siders are losing patience with broken government promises to improve rail infrastructure, but if we had a blank sheet of paper, what would a North-West rail link look like? In this guest post, @pfh007 returns to his beer coaster calculations to examine the prospects for improving Sydney’s rail infrastructure.

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Will the Reserve Bank hike rates next week?

1 October 2010

Over the last few months, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board meetings have not provided any real surprises, but coming up next week is the most interesting meeting in a while. The cash rate is currently 4.5%, but there have been enough noises from the bank’s governor and other RBA board members about the […]

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Is this the stupidest provision of the U.S. Tax Code?

1 October 2010

Two guest posts in one week! On this occasion, the Mule is yielding the soapbox to an anonymous and unqualified cynic who wants to talk about tax (his own words). In particular, he looks at tax and property markets in Australia and the US.

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