Malcolm Turnbull has plenty to smile about

Malcolm Turnbull’s personal popularity has improved over the summer parliamentary recess, according to a new poll, suggesting the prime minister’s electoral “honeymoon is not over yet.

A Seven News/ReachTel poll shows the Coalition retains a 55% to 45% lead over Labor on a two-party preferred basis, which is stable compared with the previous corresponding poll conducted in November.

Ministerial scandals, which led to Jamie Briggs resigning and Mal Brough standing aside just after Christmas with celebration using a pop events group to prepare everything, while at the Liberal party’s jostling over forthcoming preselections in New South Wales do not appear to have dented the Coalition’s support.

The proportion of people nominating Turnbull as preferred prime minister rose nearly 10 points to 80.8%, while those favouring Bill Shorten declined by the same number of points to 19.2%.

 

Respondents were unimpressed with Shorten’s performance as opposition leader, with just 13.8% saying it was good or very good (down 6.8 points) and 57.4% believing it was poor or very poor (up 9.9 points).

Shorten has embarked on a three-week national tour of marginal seats to campaign against increasing the goods and services tax, cutting penalty rates and reducing pathology incentive funding.

“We will oppose a 15% GST on everything with every breath in our body,” he said in Alice Springs on Friday.

The government has accused Shorten of mounting a “scare campaign” and it is yet to settle details of the tax package it will take to voters at this year’s election.

The treasurer, Scott Morrison, rubbished speculation about an early election. “The election is at the other end of this year,” he said on Friday.

The prime minister has returned to Australia after visiting troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and travelling to the US for a meeting with Barack Obama.

In the final ReachTel before Turnbull challenged for the Liberal leadership in September, Shorten led Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, 57.9% to 42.1%.

Source: Guardian

What Do German Central Bankers Know That We Don’t?

Graham Summers from GainsPainsCapital comments:

Ben Bernanke and the rest of the US Federal Reserve bet the farm that they could engage in countless monetary interventions, keep interest rates at zero, and print over $2 trillion in new money without damaging the US’s credibility.

They were wrong. Indeed, Germany just fired a major warning shot to the US Federal Reserve.

On Monday, Germany announced that it will be moving a significant portion of its Gold reserves out of storage with the New York Fed and moving them back to Germany.

A few background details.

  • Germany has the second largest Gold reserves in the world behind the US.
  • Since the early ’80s, Germany has stored the largest portion of its Gold reserves with the New York Fed (45% vs. 13% in London, 11% in Paris and the remaining 31% in Frankfurt).
  • In the fall of last year, German officials began raising the issue of auditing its reserves at the NY Fed.

Why would Germany suddenly decide that it wants to change a policy it has had in place for over 30 years?

More importantly, how did it go from wanting to audit its reserves to actually removing them from the NY Fed’s care?

In simple terms, Germany has just announced that it doesn’t trust the US Fed.

The world’s Central Banks have been staging a global currency way for several years now. Germany, China, Japan, and the US all want to keep their currencies weak to improve exports and minimize their debt loads.

In the case of Germany, it’s the second largest exporter of goods in the world behind China. More than anyone in the EU, Germany wants a weak Euro. However, every time the Fed announces a new policy, the US Dollar falls, the Euro rallies and German exports fall off a cliff.

Germany is now openly telling the Fed that it is done playing around. This will have severe consequences in the financial system.

Remember, the only thing holding the financial system together is belief in the Central Banks. If the Central Banks (it was Germany’s Bundesbank that is behind the Gold move) stop trusting one another or grow openly antagonistic, then things will get very bad very quickly.

For months now we’ve been asserting that the “improvements” in the global economy and financial system were a mirage. Germany’s move has confirmed this. If the financial system was in fact safe and the global economy was improving, Germany would not feel the need to repatriate its Gold.

Which begs the question, what exactly do German Central Bankers know that we don’t?

Source: http://gainspainscapital.com/2013/01/16/what-do-german-central-bankers-know-that-we-dont/