finance

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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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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When is a bet a derivative?

29 September 2010

Six months ago, the ASIC was rattling its sabre, threatening to “shut down” online betting agency Centrebet if they continued to allow punters to bet on stock market and interest rate moves. In this post, the Mule wonders why hasn’t Sportsbet come in for the same treatment?

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Purchasing Power Parity postponed

21 September 2010

The Australian dollar has been going for a bit of a run over the last few weeks and many commentators are concerned that it has become over-valued. A widely quoted Bloomberg article published yesterday argued that the Aussie is 27% over fair value compared to the US dollar. Australian Dollar vs US Dollar (Jun 2009 […]

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Junk Charts #4 – Puns are dangerous

31 August 2010

Design guru Edward Tufte famously lambasted pie charts in The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and went on to say the only worse design than a pie chart is several of them While pie charts do have their defenders, the basis for the contempt in which pie charts are held by Tufte and others is […]

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Infrastructure Bonds

17 August 2010

With Australia’s Federal election looming, the opposition has today proudly announced a new policy to fund infrastructure without actually increasing Government debt! What are we to make of this? It’s hard to determine the details from a media announcement, but based on the text posted by Peter Martin on his blog, it would seem that […]

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