Aussie Dollar Continues Fall on Recovery Hopes
The Aussie dollar shed another US 0.7c in overnight trade, falling as low as US$104.29 on more signs of a US recovery.
Westpac senior market strategist Imre Speizer cited stronger retail and employment figures out of the US suggesting the economy was entering a recovery phase.
"We have seen a very strong run of data and the market is now starting to price in a sustainable US recovery." Speizer said, "It (the Australian dollar) was sold because the US dollar was bought."
Our First Gear Powers Up
The resources sector powered up over the last three months of 2011 with record spending on exploration for new reserves.
Despite claims carbon pricing and the mining tax would inhibit investment in the sector, mining exploration spending hit a record $1 billion in the December quarter.
Iron ore miners shelled out $312 million on exploration, more than double that of a year earlier, while coal pumped $218 million into tracking down more carbon.
However Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive Simon Bennison watered down the numbers, suggesting it’s more reflective of increased costs than exploration activity.
Increased exploration expenditure can be seen as a result of the rising costs of fuel and rising costs for employees undertaking the work, Mr Bennison said.
Either way, it’s more money in Australian pockets.
Investment Bank Cops a Serve
Goldman Sachs outgoing executive director Greg Smith has fired a scathing parting shot at the investment banking behemoth, labeling it a “toxic”, “immoral” and “destructive” firm milking its clients for all it can.
In a New York Times article Smith tears into the company, writing "I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money," he said.
During the financial crisis Goldman Sachs was busted for double-dealing with investors in mortgage securities and was stung with huge penalties. According to Smith the poisonous culture that prompted such underhand dealings has remained at the firm.
Village Under the Hammer
An entire French village is up for sale. The 22 acre lot featuring 19 buildings including 18th century stone houses and a 13th century chapel has been abandoned since 2008 and is now set for the auction block.
The village of Courbefy in south west France is expected to go for around the same price as a studio apartment in Paris, or roughly €300,000.
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