Bitcoin: A Solution to Excess Wealth? | Kanebridge News
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    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,516,817 (-0.06%)       Melbourne $971,359 (-1.00%)       Brisbane $819,969 (+2.77%)       Adelaide $731,547 (+1.72%)       Perth $621,459 (+0.34%)       Hobart $751,359 (-0.46%)       Darwin $633,554 (-4.02%)       Canberra $1,005,229 (+2.77%)       National $966,406 (+0.40%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $700,089 (-0.30%)       Melbourne $470,277 (-0.26%)       Brisbane $404,718 (+2.58%)       Adelaide $332,602 (+1.44%)       Perth $348,181 (-0.09%)       Hobart $551,005 (+2.68%)       Darwin $355,689 (-3.55%)       Canberra $477,440 (+4.12%)       National $484,891 (+0.89%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,451 (-507)       Melbourne 12,654 (-279)       Brisbane 9,158 (+847)       Adelaide 2,765 (-40)       Perth 9,974 (+39)       Hobart 595 (+36)       Darwin 247 (-1)       Canberra 666 (-49)       National 44,510 (+46)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,895 (+164)       Melbourne 8,149 (-24)       Brisbane 2,260 (+33)       Adelaide 649 (+5)       Perth 2,489 (-21)       Hobart 101 (-3)           Canberra 430 (+13)       National 23,351 (+167)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $630 $0       Melbourne $470 $0       Brisbane $460 ($0)       Adelaide $495 (+$5)       Perth $500 ($0)       Hobart $550 $0       Darwin $600 ($0)       Canberra $700 ($0)       National $562 (+$)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $540 (+$10)       Melbourne $410 (+$2)       Brisbane $460 (+$10)       Adelaide $380 $0       Perth $440 (-$10)       Hobart $450 $0       Darwin $500 ($0)       Canberra $550 $0       National $473 (+$2)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,470 (-50)       Melbourne 7,404 (-70)       Brisbane 1,986 (-122)       Adelaide 875 (-29)       Perth 1,838 (-38)       Hobart 254 (+18)       Darwin 70 (-3)       Canberra 388 (+17)       National 18,285 (-277)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,652 (+58)       Melbourne 9,001 (-180)       Brisbane 1,567Brisbane 1,679 (-62)       Adelaide 403 (+4)       Perth 1,050 (-21)       Hobart 87 (+1)       Darwin 131 (-10)       Canberra 453 (+43)       National 23,344 (-167)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.16% (↑)      Melbourne 2.52% (↑)        Brisbane 2.92% (↓)       Adelaide 3.52% (↓)       Perth 4.18% (↓)     Hobart 3.81% (↑)      Darwin 4.92% (↑)        Canberra 3.62% (↓)       National 3.03% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 4.01% (↑)      Melbourne 4.53% (↑)        Brisbane 5.91% (↓)       Adelaide 5.94% (↓)       Perth 6.57% (↓)       Hobart 4.25% (↓)     Darwin 7.31% (↑)        Canberra 5.99% (↓)       National 5.07% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND         Sydney 1.5% (↓)       Melbourne 1.9% (↓)       Brisbane 0.6% (↓)       Adelaide 0.5% (↓)       Perth 1.0% (↓)     Hobart 0.8% (↑)        Darwin 0.9% (↓)       Canberra 0.6% (↓)     National 1.2%        National 1.2% (↓)            UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND         Sydney 2.3%ey 2.4% (↓)       Melbourne 3.0% (↓)       Brisbane 1.3% (↓)       Adelaide 0.7% (↓)     Perth 1.3% (↑)        Hobart 1.2% (↓)     Darwin 1.1% (↑)        Canberra 1.6% (↓)     National 2.1%       National 2.1% (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 31.2 (↓)       Melbourne 30.9 (↓)       Brisbane 35.7 (↓)       Adelaide 27.6 (↓)       Perth 40.5 (↓)       Hobart 30.2 (↓)       Darwin 27.1 (↓)     Canberra 28.1 (↑)        National 31.4 (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 33.7 (↓)       Melbourne 32.6 (↓)       Brisbane 34.8 (↓)       Adelaide 29.5 (↓)       Perth 46.6 (↓)       Hobart 27.4 (↓)       Darwin 38.2 (↓)       Canberra 30.2 (↓)       National 34.1 (↓)           
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Bitcoin: A Solution to Excess Wealth?

Canada is planting 30 million trees this season. The purpose is to build a powerful carbon sink.

By Marc Chandler
Tue, Jun 29, 2021Grey Clock 3 min

Carbon is not the only thing that modernity produces in excess. There is a surfeit of capital. Absorbing it has become a major challenge and threatens financial stability. There are more than $13 trillion of negative-yielding bonds in the world. Despite claims of exorbitant privilege, the U.S. government pays about 1.5% interest to borrow for a decade, historically low and below the Federal Reserve’s inflation target. Japan and Germany, the next largest market economies, can borrow at considerably lower rates. Germany charges investors nearly 20 basis points, or 0.2%, annually for the privilege of lending to it. It is not coincidental that cryptocurrencies were born in an age in which savings are abundant.

Capital is subject to the same law of supply and demand as other sectors of society. Capital is cheap because it is abundant. Large companies have more money than they know what to do with, so they return it to shareholders in stock buybacks and dividends. The drive to improve returns fuels mergers and acquisitions.

Equity valuations are stretched. House prices in many countries are rising quickly. Credit spreads, which measure how much one is paid for a unit of risk, are historically tight.

Excess capacity is another expression of surplus savings, that is, overinvestment. The U.S. economy is roughly the size it was on the eve of the pandemic. Yet around 7.5 million fewer people are working. Despite a booming economy, the U.S. is using a little more than three-quarters of its industrial capacity. Even at the end of 2019, it was just above 76%.

Capital is abundant because market-based economies are huge wealth creators. By applying science to production and finance, capitalism has been incredibly successful. And it turns out that to succeed, capitalism does not need to permit slavery, employ children, or deny women the right to vote. It can provide unemployment insurance, social security, and head-start services without being dictated to or sacrificing personal liberty. Its plasticity confounds critics. It can be reformed.

However, capitalism’s biggest weakness grows out of its most powerful strength, one that cannot be reformed away. It produces wealth on levels heretofore inconceivable. We live in an epoch that King Midas would recognize. We are choking on our wealth. Even if one does not recognize the disease (the idea of surplus capital is still controversial in some circles), the symptoms are undeniable. The return to capital is low, whether it is interest rates or profit margins. Redundant investment (excess capacity) is another symptom. Efforts to rationalize industries are part of the M&A wave. Corporations have become net providers of capital, no longer net borrowers. Speculation is extensive, and the gamification of “investing” began long before Robinhood and the legalization of sports betting in the U.S.

If we will not address the underlying distributional issues and the disparity of income, wealth, and power, then we need to channel the surplus savings away from those expressions that help fuel economic and political instability. What is needed is a vehicle that does to savings what trees do to carbon. Voilà! Enter crypto.

Some diehards continue to insist that crypto is money. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele recently pushed through plans to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender. More than two-thirds of the nation’s population lacks bank accounts or credit cards. Bitcoin rose about 270% from mid-December to mid-April and has since been halved. Volatility makes this a dangerous experiment. Let’s see if it lasts longer than Tesla’s offer to sell cars for Bitcoin.

Perhaps the function of crypto is to redirect savings from lifting equities to even more stretched values, or pushing nominal and real rates lower, or creatively destroying goodwill in acquisitions. Some have said that blockchain was a solution looking for a problem. The problem that crypto may attempt to address is the need for a new asset to absorb the wealth in a nonthreatening, ideologically safe way.

Crypto was born during a period of great concentrations of wealth, and it cannot help but reflect that origin. Despite the talk of decentralized finance, ownership of crypto, let alone trading, appears highly concentrated. One recent study found that more than 72% of Bitcoins (now about $33,000 each) are owned by those with 100 or more Bitcoins, along with miners and brokers. Nearly 32% are owned by those with 1,000 or more Bitcoins. A recent survey by Gemini, a crypto exchange, found that the “average” crypto trader was a 38-year-old male whose household made about $111,000, roughly 60% more than the median family income in the US.

The volatility and environmental issues of some models (proof-of-work) suggest that even as a centralized store of value, crypto’s role as a savings trap may be limited. It will not solve the challenge of capitalism’s unparalleled ability to produce wealth. The current steep decline in the face of strong price pressures weakens arguments of a hedge against inflation and as store of value. Ultimately, crypto is another expression of the surfeit of capital.

Marc Chandler is chief market strategist, Bannockburn Global Forex.

Reprinted by permission of Barron’s. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: June 28, 2021.


Interior designer Thomas Hamel on where it goes wrong in so many homes.

Following the devastation of recent flooding, experts are urging government intervention to drive the cessation of building in areas at risk.

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The waterfront residence is one of Port Stephens’ finest homes.

By Kanebridge News
Fri, Aug 12, 2022 2 min

In the coastal township of Salamander Bay — nearby to Port Stephens — comes a unique home crafted to take full advantage of unbroken ocean vistas across three levels.

With one-of-a-kind flair, the stunning 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 3-car garage home of 52 Randall Drive Salamander Bay is nestled on a private 577sqm plot, optimised through intelligent design to take advantage of the Port Stephens landscape and lifestyle.

Within the home sees the typically coastal textures of natural oak floor and timber feature walls take hold while stone and tiled adornments add layers of luxury.

The open plan living, kitchen and dining areas incorporate a fireplace and near floor-to-ceiling glass that opens to create a seamless indoor-to-outdoor dining and entertaining space on the home’s top floor.

The heart of this area is the kitchen, centred around a marble-topped island, state-of-the-art European appliances and an attached bar area, with built-in refrigeration, accompanied by a butler’s pantry.

Also here comes a grand outdoor spa, central to the balcony, while another outdoor entertaining area with a pizza oven is found on the middle floor.

Downstairs once again comes a second living space replete with the perfect wine cellar — cooled by the natural rock foundation of the home — offering an array of entertaining options

Of the home’s accommodation comes a private and luxurious master retreat with expansive ocean views, a walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite, here, speckled with grey terrazzo tiling and timber joinery vanities.  A further four bedrooms are found throughout the home along with two family bathrooms rounding out the offering.

Less than a five-minute walk from nearby amenities of shops, restaurants, cafes and beaches the home offers the best of the Port Stephens area.

The listing is with PRD Port Stephens’ Dane Queenan (+61 412 351 819) and Erin Sharp (+61 499 912 311) and is heading to auction;