Houses overvalued by up to 30 per cent, says ex-RBA official

From Christopher Joye:

One of Australia’s top economic experts, Jeremy Lawson, says the ­housing market is 20 per cent to 30 per cent overvalued and has left Australia vulnerable to a big international ­economic shock.

Mr Lawson is the global chief ­economist of Standard Life, a massive British fund manager with $460 billion in assets under management. He was previously a senior economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia and the OECD, and in 2007 advised then ­opposition leader Kevin Rudd…

Read more at Houses overvalued by up to 30 per cent, says ex-RBA official.

The Joseph Cycle: 7 Fat years and 7 lean years

George Dorgan writes:

Since both the positive and the negative phases of a financial cycles take around seven years, financial cycles are sometimes called “Joseph cycle“, from the biblical prophet Joseph that speaks of seven good and seven bad years. The financial cycle connected to expectations about real estate prices, is also called credit cycle…..After the bust of dot com bubble in 2001, the Fed lowered interest rates. Credit was easily available and private debt strongly increased. Government debt remained relatively stable.

Only in few countries like Germany, Japan or Switzerland people were far more cautious, because they had seen a real estate bubble bust in the 1990s. The leveraging phase finally ended in 2011, in China and in some other emerging markets…..

We think that the reduction of debt will continue to be the main driver of global economies during the next Joseph cycle, in the next seven years. After the US lowered debt levels until 2011/2012 it is now time for Europe except Germany and Switzerland and Emerging Markets….

Read more at Debt, the Joseph Cycle Determinant between 2011 and 2017 -SNBCHF.COM.

China Isn’t Just Slowing Down — It’s Contracting | Business Insider

Kyle Bass, founder and principal of Hayman Capital Management, on China’s debt bubble:

China’s banking assets have grown to over 100% of its GDP in the last three years, according to Bass. If the U.S. had engaged in similar policies – which he said would translate to $17 trillion in lending over that time period – it, too, would have achieved more than 7% GDP growth.

China’s banking assets now total approximately $25 trillion, or almost three times the size of its $9 trillion economy. Its low default rate on bank loans – about 1% – is about to rise, according to Bass. Much of that lending is construction-related. Bass said that 55% of China’s GDP growth has been in the construction sector. The marginal return on those loans must be very small, he argued.

“A rolling loan gathers no loss,” Bass said, “and that’s what’s been going on in China for the last few years.” He said it is impossible to believe China could “manipulate” the inputs of its financial system without losing control of the outcomes.

Deflation is also threatening China. Bass said that its GDP deflator is now below zero. He expects the PBoC to engineer a devaluation of the renminbi as a way to stimulate exports and avert further deflation…

China may well attempt to engineer a devaluation of the RMB, but neither the Fed nor the ECB are likely to tolerate China exporting their deflation to the US/Europe.

Read more at Kyle Bass On China And Japan – Business Insider.

IMF stress tests China/Australia bust –

I don’t wish to be too alarming. These are stress tests and scenarios not yet reality. But, there is logic in the thought that we currently face the possibility of the final two scenarios happening simultaneously. That is, a Western recession triggered by European and US austerity (not to mention financial tumult) and a Chinese real estate pop.

via IMF stress tests China/Australia bust – |