Hedge Funds Are Betting Record Amounts on Meltdown of Australian Banks and Housing Bubble

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Best way to short Australian real estate, or “widow maker trade?”

It has been called the “widow maker trade,” based on how short sellers have been dealt with over the past few years.

The fundamentals have been inviting: Australia has been in a fully blooming housing bubble. Households are the most indebted in the world, based on debt to disposable income. To maintain the housing bubble, the central bank slashed interest rates to record lows (1.75%). The government wants to keep the bubble going for as long as possible. So regulators close their eyes, according to media reports, to questionable or even illegal lending practices. Home prices, after soaring for years, are clearly unsustainable.

But just because it’s a bubble doesn’t mean it has to implode on schedule. It will implode, as all bubbles do, but on its own time. If short sellers get the timing wrong, they’ll get run over by market euphoria. Hence, “widow maker trade” for betting against the housing bubble by shorting the banks.

The biggest four banks in Australia are special creatures. Total assets of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Westpac Banking Corp (WBC), and National Australia Bank (NAB) amount to 220% of Australia’s GDP!

The assets (mostly outstanding loans) of the big four Australian banks have skyrocketed. For example, in 1999, CBA’s assets amounted to 14% of GDP. That was already high, for just one bank! By the end of 2014, they reached 51% of GDP. How’s that possible? A housing bubble with sharp price gains funded by ever larger mortgages extended by ever blinder loan officers. If these four banks topple, as we noted almost a year ago, they can sink the entire Australian economy.

These banks are powder kegs. The housing bubble is already toast in a number of smaller cities, particularly those tied to the mining bust. It’s starting to wobble in other areas. So hedge funds have redoubled their bets.

Short positions on the big four Australian banks have soared 50% this year to over 9 billion Australian dollars (US$6.49 billion), and are up 350% since 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal – “the highest level since regulators began compiling data six years ago.”

Earlier this year, Sydney-based asset manager John Hempton teamed up with Jonathan Tepper, who runs U.S.-based hedge-fund consultancy firm Variant Perception, for an undercover investigation of Australia’s property market. Posing as a gay couple, they drove around Sydney, from glitzy beachside suburbs to the shabby city fringes, to probe potentially risky lending practices. What they found was considerably worse than what they had expected.

“We witnessed a mania in all its crazy excess,” Mr. Tepper told clients. “Australia now has one of the biggest housing bubbles in history.” Among the trades he recommended in anticipation of a major property-market downturn: shorting Australian banks.

We reported on their escapade at the time and included the Australian 60-Minutes video on the topic that caused a huge stir in Australia [see… Signs of Mortgage Meltdown in Australia].

On May 11, Moody’s added fuel to the fire when it warned about the big four banks:

More difficult operating conditions have become prevalent over recent months, resulting in a sharp rise – from an exceptionally low base – in large, single-name loan impairments in the banks’ corporate portfolios.

The expected pressure on asset quality – which currently appears moderate – will derive from multiple headwinds, including … a worsening outlook for residential property developments….”

Moody’s notes “that further deterioration” of their loan portfolios is likely. But ratings agencies aren’t ahead of the curve, as the world found out during the mortgage meltdown in the US. Hedge funds know: if you want to short banks to profit from a housing and mortgage meltdown, you can’t wait until ratings agencies wave a red flag.

Bank stocks have started to sag, after a phenomenal run between 2012 and their peak in April 2015. It was the era when shorting the housing bubble via the banks earned the moniker “widow maker trade”: NAB shares soared 105%, ANZ 127%, WBC 139%, and CBA 140%.

But since April 2015, ANZ is down 25%. Earlier in May, it had become the first of the four to slash its dividend. It confessed that bad-debt charges had more than doubled in the six months through March and net profits had plunged by about 25%.

That didn’t go over very well. Analysts at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and UBS then came out and said that further dividend cuts, according to the Wall Street Journal, “appear to be inevitable.”

CBA is down 14% from its peak in April 2015, WBC is 16%, and NAB 20%. Shares were down more but have recently begun to rise again, with the leitmotif of “widow maker trade” once again playing in the background.

No one (outside of the short sellers) wants home prices to go down or these banks to topple. Not the housing industry, the realtors, the home builders. Not the media that depends on advertising dollars from the banks and the housing industry. Not the taxing authorities. In short, all those that feed off this housing bubble. And certainly not the homeowners, who are voters! And therefore, certainly not the government.

Since the resource bust, the health of the Australian economy has become even more dependent on housing, and no economic player wants that bubble to implode or the banks to collapse. It would be a fiasco. They’ll do what they can to keep it going.

And the Reserve Bank of Australia doesn’t want to even think about how to bail out four banks whose assets are over four times the size of the economy. It would rather cut interest rates and come up with all kinds of shenanigans to keep the bubble inflated for as long as possible, and keep the banks upright another day.

That’s what short sellers are up against.

And regulators close their eyes, hoping that this housing bubble doesn’t collapse on top of them, at least not on their watch. Read…  US-Style Mortgage Fraud a ‘Nuclear Bomb’ to Australian Banks

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  50 comments for “Hedge Funds Are Betting Record Amounts on Meltdown of Australian Banks and Housing Bubble

  1. Rupert
    May 23, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Aussie interest rates will probably go to 1% soon. However, the bigger issue is that current tax write down benefits for investors and salaried home buyers taking on debt may be seriously curtailed after the next general election, 2nd July, and talk of which has caused an new round of house purchase by investors, causing further escalation of prices. If there is a change to tax laws, previous acquisitions may be grandfathered, or may not. Australians are now betting on two flys (Labor and Coalition) crawling up a wall.

    • hidflect
      May 24, 2016 at 6:52 am

      Agreed. With their 1950’s thinking, the Oz govt. believes simply dropping rates fixes everything. But all the people who COULD borrow have already done so. A drop of 0.25% isn’t going to have mobs of baristas and fast food workers piling into the banks doors like a shopping Black Friday.

      But what it WILL do is bring Oz ever closer to the dreaded coffin corner. The Zero Lower Bound. The same one that Japan hit 20-something years ago. And with ammo spent and wolves baying, the walls will start falling in. Lazy politicians. They refuse to address the real issues.

      Oz wages are extremely high but no one has any spare money! How can this be? Property rents are too high. Everyone, businesses and employees alike are paying 40% and more of their costs to fat landlords who did nothing more than get there first and grab the good realty. Now they sit there and like the mobsters in Goodfellas simply say, “Pay Me!”.

    • As
      May 28, 2016 at 12:01 am

      The Govt has gone from zero debt in 2008 to 30% of gdp today to support this ponzi scheme. It has also allowed record levels of immigration. It can’t stop. The place is so leveraged to housing there is no way out. The regulators are trying to slow lending down, while Govts parrots ” the great Australian dream”. If lending is forced to slow down either by regulators or because the banks get nervous, then it’s all over as without continuous price rises, negative cash flow property becomes boring. Hence, the true ponzi.
      As for a rise in unemployment, ha, that’s obviously impossible. Australia doesn’t have recessions.
      So much debt, no possibility of growth, massive current account deficit , no industry excluding coffee shops, growing Budget deficits, increasingly foreign owned, arrogant self-serving political class while lacking ability., high taxes,
      The only growing sector is Sydney’s fund management , as they get to keep $50billion a year in fees paid for by the rest of the country’s compulsory saving scheme.

      • d
        May 28, 2016 at 12:10 am

        Australian banks structure things differently to America.

        There will no serious underwater loan issue in Australia, unless the rest of the planet financially implodes, then it wont matter anyway.

        Australias problem does not come from housing, it comes from the previous labour (Leftist Juliar Gillard) Government.

        That forward spent Years of Mining Revenue it hand not Received. Based on three times + the current export prices and volume.

        Which Juliar was repeatedly told not to do, but did anyway, as she wanted to, like all leftist social engineer’s.

      • hidflect
        May 28, 2016 at 12:47 am

        I wish you’d post your thoughts on australianpropertyforum.com There’s a never ending battle between bulls and bears there.

  2. Vookz
    May 23, 2016 at 1:59 am

    Just how much time can the government ‘shenanigans’ buy

    • hidflect
      May 24, 2016 at 6:54 am

      8 months tops.

  3. Les Francis
    May 23, 2016 at 3:43 am

    A speculative land boom during the 1880’s early 1890’s caused the collapse of 11 banks in Australia.
    Lucky there were state government owned banks to keep the economy going.

    There are no government banks anymore – dissolved into corporations or failed due to financial mismanagement after deregulation in the early 1990’s

    History is deemed to repeat itself – however no government owned commercial banks to take up the slack this time.

  4. Les Francis
    May 23, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Mr Tepper was roundly hounded by the authorities and the MSM for warning of the severity of Australia’s housing bubble.

    As this report outlines, the consequences of the inevitability of the bubble burst is the worst case scenario is the Australian government’s and the banks nightmare

  5. Lee
    May 23, 2016 at 4:42 am

    A few comments:

    “It confessed that bad-debt charges had more than doubled in the six months through March and net profits had plunged by about 25%.”

    1. Yes, and the reasons were loans to energy, mining, and retail companies, NOT residential real estate. ANZ is also the only bank NOT to pass on the full 25 basis point cut in rates for the above reason. Make the VRM (ARM in Yank speak) customers pay for the bank’s mistakes.

    2. All the big banks are now restricting loans to foreign buyers of Australian real estate

    3. The Victorian state government is slapping additional taxes on foreign buyers of real estate.

    Number 2 & 3 will have some impact on the areas where foreign buyers (mainly Chinese) are concentrated.

    4. For those that want to short Australian bank shares just be aware that not only are you liable for dividends, but under our unique system, also the franking credits (tax credits) passed along with the dividends which can amount to another 35%. That $1.00 dividend will cost you A$1.35!!!

    5. The CBD in Melbourne is greatly over supplied with condos/units/apartments. Outer area are greatly under supplied. There is still huge demand for single family homes.

    So how goes it in my little are of the Melbourne suburbs? Pretty good demand and guess what? The Chinese have started to buy in the area.

    A house on the market for A$820,000 was snapped up by a Chinese family in three days for CASH for A$860,000. It looks like that the areas where Chinese have dominated real estate purchases are becoming too expensive regardless of how good the schools are there.

    You can purchase a better property in other areas and still have millions left over for other purchases.

    One townhouse recently came on the market which I’ll be watching. It was sold last year in the A$830,000 to A$870,000 area and has now been listed for over A$1,000,000. It is about 1/2 mile from the above house.

    Will it sell? And for how much?

    Another sale which took place last month was a big surprise and I wish that I had the money laying around to buy it.

    A huge block on a corner went for around A$700,000. It has a house on it, but dated. I wonder if it will be knocked down (most likely) and what will go in there: houses or townhouses………………

    Don’t know what the zoning allows…………

    Anyway winter is just around the corner and with it the season slowdown in the market.

    • Joe
      May 23, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      Don’t be a fool. Sell your house now and get a great price, then buy back in after the crash.

      • Lee
        May 24, 2016 at 3:44 am

        Hey Joe,

        You wanna buy it?

        The price is only a cool A$1,000,000.

        So I should sell, pay some smuck rent at $2000 a month or more and pay his/her mortgage for him?

        Sell and pay a RE agent commission? Pay the lawyer’s fees to sell?

        Then when it come time to buy again HOPE that prices have come down?

        By the way, when you buy a house here you have to pay stamp duty on a house.

        Please add A$55,000 for that purchase…..

        No thanks.

    • Bubbley
      May 23, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Everything looks fabulous until the bubble bursts – then people are stuck with gum in their eye brows.

      I agree with the other poster, sell your house now and buy a better one in a years time for 20% less.

  6. jerry
    May 23, 2016 at 5:04 am

    “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit
    expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the
    result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final
    and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.”

    ~Ludwig Von Mises~

    We must not forget that all New Zealand Banks are Australian owned and they are in housing bubble of their own. New Zealand homes tend to be no more than glorified garden sheds made from very thin wood. Gone are the days of the 4×2.
    When a house in Auckland costs more than a house in Putney, you know that something is not right.

    Tulips come to mind.

  7. NotSoSure
    May 23, 2016 at 8:26 am

    It all hinges on the job market, methinks. Once unemployment skyrockets, the whole edifice comes tumbling down.

    • NotSoSure
      May 23, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Just checked, and it appears the unemployment rate has actually dropped down to 5.7% from 5.9%. Not sure how manipulated that is, but if that’s reality, some of these hedgies may indeed be carried out in stretchers.

      • Joe
        May 23, 2016 at 7:11 pm

        Australia will see automation just like every other developed and emerging country on Earth. With rapid automation comes huge unemployment, much faster than people can be retrained. Collapse is inevitable, and taking false comfort from short-term, months-delayed, government statistics is foolish.

        • d
          May 23, 2016 at 7:58 pm

          The majority of low level manufacturing, suitable for Automation in Australia, has already been Stolen. By china.

          So Robotization, will be a positive not a negative to Australia. As some supply chain activity will have to return to support the new robot factory’s.

          Cheap labor always has to be balanced against transport cost.

          Multi tasking robot factories shared between several manufacturers will make transporting product’s from the other side of the planet financially untenable

          Manufactures will share or contract out to Robot factories as 1 factory. can produce a large number of varied goods in a very short period of time.

          JIT extended to PJIT which you can do with a 247 robot factory.

          Australia, Europe, and possibly America. Have noting to fear and much to gain from robot factory’s.

          Which is why china is trying to beat them in building Robot factory’s. As china knows the biggest looser from robot factory’s are going to be the big Asian manufacturing hub’s of the present.


          An evil entity one of the original American Job exporters.

          Is again making shoes in America.

          No assembly or machine operator workers in the assembly plant though.

          Nike is the leader in third world exploitation for profit.

          By its action’s indicates that offshore labour exploitation profit model, is now dead.

          APPLE even beat them back to America with its first Robot factory.


          There is not going to be a big crash, in Australian, stand alone, Middle band, Residential Property.

          Get used to it.

        • May 23, 2016 at 8:28 pm

          Agree. Automation is the Great Equalizer. Robots cost the same everywhere. Under automation, there are no more “cheap countries.”

          And all these jobs are disappearing… even newspaper articles are increasingly written by algorithms. Legal work is done by them. They’re taking over jobs where people needed a lot of education….

        • d
          May 24, 2016 at 3:35 pm

          Another of the early adopters goes home.


          They were in the lead on the rush out. Will we see a rush back in, probably not.

          Supply-chain work, and tax take, must increase a little from this repatriation activity.

          This does not bode well for chinas attempt to become an advanced economy.

        • PRice
          May 24, 2016 at 8:48 am
        • d
          May 24, 2016 at 3:46 pm

          Have you ever done any production industrial welding.

          Even in Australia with its good OHAS regulations.

          Industrial welding is a SEREIOUS HEALTH HAZARD, that slowly kills workers, just as Asbestos, glysophate, and lead do.

          It is one part of industry Robots are welcome to, another is Coating’s.

          Those men need to be retrained into healthy no hazard work.

          Then they may live long enough to enjoy time with their grandchildren as young adults.

          Not all of them will loose out, as welding machines always need to be supervised, by people who have piratical production welding experience.

        • Nicodemos Marat/Paine
          May 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm

          Automation was supposed to reduce the amount of work everybody was supposed to have to do. People would only work say 4 hours a day, have ample vacation time and early retirement and productivity would not suffer. The current situation is perverse in the extreme. The leaders of industry seem to be trying extremely hard to destroy labor and reduce the people to poverty and destitution. They are in effect firing their own customers. There is no point in having robots make things if nobody can purchase them. The problem here is political, not technological. Technology is doing what it is supposed to be doing. Whether you like it or not, some measure of socialist redistribution is going to be necessary to keep the economic system alive. This is best done indirectly by subsidies I think than direct give aways. Free enterprise is a good thing and needs to be encouraged but our current system seems to be trying hard to destroy it, especially locally.

          There is very much an implied social contract in our society. You play by the rules, study hard, work hard and you will prosper and be able to give your kids a good start in life. When that contract breaks down, when you are told there is no work for you, no opportunity for you, and the social support network has been abolished, just go home and starve, then people do NOT just go home and starve. they fight back. It is a better way to die than starvation. At first the military and police can be used to keep the masses in line. But sooner or later, these realize that their are being asked to attack their own people and they balk. The military/police forces split along class lines with the great majority going to the side of the masses. Revolution rages and those on the wrong side are going to be crushed. As Trotsky put it, “A revolution seems impossible until the day finally comes that it seems inevitable.”

          All of you have clearly acknowledged that the current system doesn’t work. The necessity of change is not at question here. the question is how to go about doing it. Technologically development has irreversibly altered the basic social paradigm and nobody knows how to deal with the situation.

          We have some of the most perceptive. honest intelligent and informed people in the whole country on this board. We ought to be able to hammer out a few good ideas and workable solutions on here and perhaps offer them up to those who can use them. To some a situation like this is a matter of doom and gloom. To others it is an opportunity. I sincerely believe history is on the side of the latter. I hope you guys are too!

          By the way, I have largely given up identifying myself as a “socialist”> None of the self styled socialists that I have tried carrying on a rational discussion with have not been remotely capable of thinking straight. They are far too blinded by their political correctness (an expression that goes back to the old American Communist Party) to be able to perceive the truth even if they step in a squishy steaming pile of it. It is far more profitable to carry on a rational discussion with responsible conservatives who respect reason and evidence. ^,..,^

  8. Paulo
    May 23, 2016 at 9:25 am

    I understand the above comments and reactions, and certainly city based/living speculators entrenched in the financial realm will one day be hurt as these debt fueled bubbles burst. The same can be said for US wonks, Canadians, whoever is riding the current wave of balance sheet prosperity that doesn’t really produce anything useful or meaningful that people need; who simply exchange information and numbers by keyboard and through social systems. It may be an information-based or knowledge economy for many, but sooner or later people have to sell or trade something meaningful and vital that other humans need, and are willing to buy, or trade for. Australia might take a hit, but they have a foundation/history of toughness and resilience. The people will endure and life will go on for them.

    What articles like this are really saying is that the gravy days are coming to an end for many who don’t really deserve to be so well fed, and have been riding for a long time on the backs of others. When this system, or series of complicated inter-connected systems begin to fail, I would imagine many bankers, real estate agents, ‘managers’, Govt. functionaries, etc., might wish they had taken some training/studies in something tangible like medical skills, (EMT, GP, nursing, X-Ray tech), engineering, practical skills (carpentry, electrical, plumbing, agricultural…) whatever.

    When the House of Cards finally tumbles, the cards usually spill out on a table or the floor. Somebody was needed to build the table and floor; card stackers?….not so much.

    Excerpt From Wiki:
    “Recently, David Wann has introduced the idea of “simple prosperity” as it applies to a sustainable lifestyle. From his point of view, and as a point of departure for what he calls real sustainability, “it is important to ask ourselves three fundamental questions: what is the point of all our commuting and consuming? What is the economy for? And, finally, why do we seem to be unhappier now than when we began our initial pursuit for rich abundance?”[45] In this context, simple living is the opposite of our modern quest for affluence and, as a result, it becomes less preoccupied with quantity and more concerned about the preservation of cities, traditions and nature.”

    For me, I think it is fairly obvious the angst of Hedge Fund managers of where to invest is of no real importance. I think it is also obvious that we are on the cusp of great and rapid change as this debt-fueled orgy falters. For illustration I mention the city of Vancouver BC, a 3-4 hour drive and two hour ferry ride away from where I live. When a shoebox piece of crap house sells for over a million dollars, when a province covered with millable timber and millions of acres of empty land can no longer offer young people ‘The Opportunity’ to one day own a modest dwelling, something is drastically wrong and the system is headed for reset. Whether is is Sidney Australia, Vancouver, NY, or SF, it makes little difference.

    I think one day we will look back on some of these excesses, disparities, and decline of opportunities as obvious clues and triggers of a new reality. None of us will be immune from this change and I would highly recommend people have a chair under them (skills and situation) when the music stops.


    • Petunia
      May 23, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Over the years I worked with many women who were working to pay for childcare, taxes, and expenses. It would have been better for them financially to stay home and care for their own children. But they had become so brainwashed that they could never sit down, look at the numbers, and accept the truth. I did the math for a friend and even then she couldn’t believe she would be financially better off staying home.

      • Tim
        May 23, 2016 at 1:27 pm

        I’m hearing same story from people here, from women that don’t get it, working themselves into a hole of debt, when they would be better off to follow your advice.

      • Dan Romig
        May 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm

        A friend of mine, who is a man, has four children ages 3 to 7 (one pair of twins). He and his wife both had good jobs, but hers is slightly more stable and with better benefits as she works at the U of MN. My friend is a stay at home dad. His salary would cover day-care, but it is much better for the kids that he’s the person with them.

        As they get older, he’ll go back to work, but right now he’s where he belongs; at home raising his kids!

      • NoOneOfConsequence
        May 24, 2016 at 1:04 am

        Hmm…financially is one thing, but how about mentally and life satisfaction?

        Staying at home to save a few bucks means nothing when faced with a life of servitude, boredom and repetition.

        Do yourself a favor – keep a job ladies. You will be much happier to escape from the kids regularly, and have a life where you aren’t wholly dependent on your partner.

      • d
        May 24, 2016 at 3:52 pm

        The biggest gain from working Wives/Mothers is made by the IRS/IRD and other Tax gaterers.

        The second biggest gain, is made by Divorce Lawyer’s.

        Factor potential Divorce costs and ramifications into your next assessment.

      • Lee
        May 26, 2016 at 6:33 pm

        Well here in Oz the same thing can happen, but there are some things here that make Oz ‘better’. (Well for some, not others….)

        Here the government will GIVE you a whole lot of of money if you have kids.

        Payments galore. That is why a part time employee where I work makes twice as much as I do: she makes almost as I do from the government handouts for her kids.

        Then they pay for a whole bunch of your childcare costs even if you make over A$150,000 a year.

        No kids? Well I guess you just get to pay taxes so the richer sob’s can leach off the low income earners.

    • d'Cynic
      May 23, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      I can agree that we are on a cusp of a great change, and life after that flex point will be a lot less bucolic than what you keep suggesting. I have a hard time to imagine it.

  9. Ptb
    May 23, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I think I remember Steven keen calling for an Aussie housing collapse about 5 or so years ago. Had that go?

  10. Brett
    May 23, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Everything will be done to keep the boom going, if it means negative interest rates, then that will be done as well, pay people to have a mortgage, why not if it keeps the boom rumbling along a little bit longer.

    • JerryBear
      May 24, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      It is like that terrible old joke about the little moron jumping off the Empire State Building and saying “So far so good!” as he passed the 30th floor. Sooner ot later, everything is going to reach ground level……

  11. Copernicus
    May 23, 2016 at 10:58 am

    The shorts have to be mindful, Aussies don’t know of any other way to invest.
    Cornered they will retreat into more buying more property.
    The people will not stop buying property, there’s no alternative that’s all they know, the bankers will continue to lend. That’s all they know.
    The bubble will not burst from the pressure within.
    It will pop when the bankers that lend to Australian bank hold back.

    • frederick
      May 23, 2016 at 11:56 am

      whats wrong with them havent they ever heard of precious metals?

      • Petunia
        May 23, 2016 at 4:00 pm

        Weren’t you complaining a few days ago about being scammed by some silver mint?

        • frederick
          May 24, 2016 at 9:55 am

          Complaining i guess you could say that Wonder how you would feel if you paid money to have your metal stored and they declared chapter 11 bankruptcy However that said İ still believe owning precious metals “İn your posession” is a VERY good idea Petunia

    • Andrew
      May 23, 2016 at 11:03 pm

      I think the answer to that is closer than it may seem and overlooked in the article. Since there is a massive reliance on off shore funding and govt guaranteed bonds, when AU loses its AAA rating (within months since the budget is wildly optimistic and price of key revenue is falling like a stone) the free market will start repricing these cheap mortgages.

  12. shaba
    May 23, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    If you could see the amount of property focused TV shows over here it would make you sick.

    It absolutely is a bubble. Wage growth at record low levels, housing in Sydney and Melbourne going at a rapid YoY clip.

    But it isn’t finished yet; we still have comparitively high interest rates and steady employment. In saying that we are very susceptible to an overseas shock – banks lend heavily from overseas markets and the whisper currently is about ‘control fraud’. Banks have been caught doctoring applications in order to give loans a better risk rating and hence cheaper wholesale credit

    May 23, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    As long as the Federal Reserve Company can “issue credit”, we have nothing to fear.

  14. d
    May 23, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    The hedgies are effectively betting against the nationalism and Psykie of the average Australian.

    Something the dont understand just as they dont understand the Australian housing racket.

    Australian housing prices could go sideways for 20 year’s.

    Apart from the Apartment Ponzi’s and the very top end, very few propertis will see valuation decreases large enough to seriously stress let alone brake any bank’s.

    Au bank’s stopped funding long term loans with foreign capital post 1997.

    Some people, they learn.

    • waihi
      May 23, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      you are in la la land. We’ve imported vast amounts of foreign capital to bid up house prices beyond absurdity and we will pay the price. Our interest on debt compared to exports is the worst in the OECD, excepting USA (understandable as they have the world’s reserve currency and the biggest economy) and Greece. There’s the clue…

      • d
        May 24, 2016 at 12:29 am

        “you are in la la land. We’ve imported vast amounts of foreign capital to bid up house prices beyond absurdity and we will pay the price.”

        Australia has had vast amounts of foreign capital invested in its housing market.

        Just as when the Japanese brought up half the gold coast.

        That ended in tears for them, not Australia.

        Australian banks, and the Australian state, have not borrowed vast amounts of foreign capital, in foreign currency, so Australia will not have a greek issue.

        Further as a commodity exporter, even in a bad market, Australia always has a hard foreign currency surplus.

        The interest on Debt is Australian dollar Debt. it can if necessary be printed away.

        It it become really ugly some Australian banks will be in the Apartment leasing Business for a while. And a lot of chinese will be very out of pocket, beyond that no real issues.

        This is the fourth time I have watched this play out its bigger this time, as is the economy, and the population. All the moves are predictable and eerily familiar.

        Australia and its main stream banking system did not get excessively hammered in 08, 00, 97, 87, or in the post Vietnam period 76-78 and it wont this time either. Due to the way its banks are structured.

  15. davikk
    May 23, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Off topic: If you know Deutsche Bank is going to declare bankruptcy next week, how you are going to profit from it? I watch the ‘big short’ but have no idea how can he make 260 times+ of his investment.

    • Copernicus
      May 24, 2016 at 2:57 am

      The short answer is that if you don’t know how to make 260x after watching the big short, read the book.

      • davikk
        May 24, 2016 at 3:49 am

        Which book would you recommend me to read?

  16. d'Cynic
    May 23, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Short the Australian housing bubble, and hedge it with the Canadian housing market. Oh wait…

  17. nilesh modi
    May 24, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Can I replace Australia with “Canada” and still everything holds true ?

    Thoughts on canada economy/housing/ etc please? Any article if someone can direct me to for canada please.

    • d
      May 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm


      AFAIK canda does not restrict the availability of land for housing around its city’s the way Australia and others do.

      The land barony (who have interests in the development company’s)own the land for development around the city’s in Australia, and with their crony’s in the Municipal authority’s.

      Hold the land back from development, to keep the housing price, and their profits, high.

      This is the biggest driver of housing prices in the ANZAC States. Deliberate restriction of Residential land availability, to goose and maintain prices.

      Chinese, hiding their corrupt money, simply push the prices, into the Stratosphere, and the land barony. Laugh and rub their hand’s together.

      There is no shortage of land for housing in the ANZAC State’s.

      There is a huge shortage of land, you can get, Municipal PERMISSION, to build on.

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