Australia will be a casualty of the currency wars
The world’s most powerful nations are sitting on zero interest rates and printing money to get their currencies down, and there’s very little Australia can do about it, writes Alan Kohler.
The currency war will be on in earnest in 2013 as the United States, Europe, Japan and China all step up efforts to get their exchange rates down. This will have dramatic consequences for Australia and for the Reserve Bank.
Specifically, ANZ’s chief economist Warren Hogan is right: official interest rates are heading lower, probably to 2 per cent by this time next year. The main beneficiary of this will be the housing market, which has already bottomed thanks to this year’s cuts, and will continue to recover in 2013.
Will lower rates get the dollar down? Probably not, which means that either the RBA will have to take more direct action on the exchange rate or watch Australia’s non-mining industries (apart from housing construction) continue to shrink, painfully.
So next year Australian businesses and investors should see a unique combination: a persistently high exchange rate and historically low interest rates.
‘Peak farmland’ reached
The report projected that almost 150 million hectares could be restored to natural conditions such as forest by 2060. That is also equivalent to 1.5 times the area of Egypt.
It said the global arable land and permanent crop areas rose from 1.37 billion hectares in 1961 to 1.53 billion in 2009. It projected a fall to 1.38 billion hectares in 2060.
Gary Blumenthal, head of Washington-based agricultural consultancy World Perspectives, said the report’s conclusions were not surprising as technology already exists to dramatically boost crop production. But achieving “peak farmland” would depend on the technology being made available globally, he added.
“If we could just get yields in the rest of the world at levels that they are in the US or Europe, we would have substantially more food,” Blumenthal said. “Just using existing farmland more efficiently, would substantially increase supplies. Yields are rising.”
Video content has been “blocked in your country on copyright grounds”
@Ptah – yes, I know, it’s blocked in UK for some reason; just change your IP address to US, works okay
Banzai, good stuff.
Bill Stewart, great links.
Look into the “Modify Headers” extension for Firefox (free) along with some relatively simple configuration of it to fake your IP. Simplest way to ‘pretend’ you’re from somewhere else so that videos play, in my opinion.
Hopefully this Google search will get you started:
modify headers ip video – Google Search
ps. if content from your country doesn’t play with Modify Headers enabled, it’s easy enough to turn it on or off as desired.
good morning fiatnam.
@Ptah – you can also use hidemyass browser add on https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hide-my-ass-web-proxy/cmgnmcnlncejehjlnhaglpnoolgbflbd?hl=en
any way Max. the dollar just might crash through the 44th floor of the comex in the new year.
@Stacy @Bruce Many thanks for the power-user tips
The UK copyright Nazis have dug their teeth into Jimis Christmas medley. Try viewing it on Zero Hedge as well.
@williambanzai7. plays in canada.
oh, and thanks for all the 2012 fun.
Sad but fun. Back at ya.
Peace, good will towards…. life
Call me sappy. I don’t care. it’s a great song.
Dedicated to Washington, DC. and Wall street – especially Goldman Sachs.
It may not be cool, but it’s honest.
Ok, the solution to all our debt problems is to reduce social security benefits. Right!
As much as I love the Music in Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol, here is the Classic.
Peace, and Happy Holidays!