Peter Strachan

Threat of inflation on hold ... for now

INFLATION is dead and buried and there is presently more concern among bankers about a continuation of falling prices than a return to the hyper-inflation conditions of the 1970s.

Barnett’s BHP-Rio bluster may backfire

EVER since Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton announced plans to merge their Western Australian iron ore mining operations, Premier Colin Barnett has been issuing statements which make him sound more like Hugo Chavez, the radical socialist president of Venezuela

China Inc upsets supply-demand balance

ENTITIES controlled by the Chinese government are now taking major stakes in primary industries on a global scale that makes Enron's involvement in the US power industry look like child's play.

Order book puts Neptune in good shape

DURING the past two years, Neptune Marine has been on a breakneck growth path, which has scared many investors who find it difficult to assess such a fast-moving target.

Avoid emotion and get rid of the dogs

A NUMBER of readers have asked me to explain how to go about finding share trading opportunities and what criteria I use to select stocks that might move rapidly in the share market.

China figures point to green shoots

LAST week, the Baltic Dry index, which is a benchmark measure for freight costs of bulk commodities including iron ore, coal and grains, rose 22.

Sprint’s on for nuke power generation

THERE is no doubt that nuclear power generation is resurgent around the world.

Rolling effects of downturn playing out

INVESTORS in listed equities are now asking how far the current rally on global equity markets can go and whether it is safe to entrust savings into those markets.

Timbercorp felled by mountain of debt

AGGRESSIVE and often controversial managed investment scheme (MIS) operator and latterly, corporate agriculture company, Timbercorp, has succumbed to the weight of its ever-increasing mountain of debt.

New WA lithium player shows promise

OVER the past decade, the expanding global push to introduce cleaner, less polluting and more sustainable energy sources has been underway.

Market rally offers a glimmer of hope

POLISHING his crystal ball Briefcase believes that, after such a strong bear market rally on the local and global stock markets, some pullback is likely.

US administration gaining confidence

THE jury is out on whether global stock markets have bottomed or whether there is a further downward leg to be endured.

Search on for sustainable energy solutions

MUCH of Australia's energy development initiative is directed towards exporting vast quantities of the increasingly scarce and valuable natural gas, on which our grandchildren's grandchildren will need to rely to sustain their quality of life.

Big players dominate CSM landscape

INITIAL understanding of coal seam methane (CSM) was as a dangerous by-product of underground coal mining.

Taking a long-term view on energy assets

BRIEFCASE notes that many oil and gas stocks, such as Pan Pacific, Carnarvon Petroleum, Cooper Energy and AED Oil, show little if any market value for their ongoing operating cash flow from production activities, while some trade at or below their cash as

Test looms for gold as investors cash out

DURING the past few months, gold has been about the only game in town where investors have been able to make money as stocks rise.

System’s fatal flaws need to be addressed

OVER the past 20 years or so, there has clearly been a growing, but until now unrecognised, systemic failure of the modern capitalist system, culminating in the US's sup-prime mortgage crash of 2007.

China the big winner as prices tumble

THERE must have been high-fives all through the halls of power in Beijing last week as government Mandarins celebrated victory over Western mining interests.

A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work

ast year, the world changed in a meaningful and substantial way, but most of us have not yet begun to grasp the nature of changes now in store.

Good long-term prospects in oil and gas

LAST week, Briefcase looked at the many opportunities presented by Australian gold miners and project developers.

Signs bright as gold passes $A1,380/oz

IF Premier Colin Barnett is looking for places to find new jobs and boost the state's royalty income, he needs to look no further than the gold industry.

Expect OPEC to cut production in 2009

BRIEFCASE sees the oil price recovering slowly during late 2009, following the first annual contraction of global oil consumption since 1982.

Corporate power needs to swing back

IN the current global cyclical economic downturn, plummeting commodity prices have already met with a swift response from producers.

Looking out across the valley of despair

FOLLOWING falls of unprecedented magnitude during 2008, the Australian share market looks set to recover some ground late in 2009.

OPEC may have Russia over a barrel

LAST year, in a deal which was value destroying for the shareholders of base metal miner Oxiana Limited, that company merged with Zinifex Ltd to become Oz Minerals.

Gold and uranium the only bright spots

YOU don't have to be a Rhodes scholar to understand that, over the past 12 months, global financial markets have experienced some of the most severe and destabilising events ever seen.

World waits on a market-turning event

THE ASX 200 Index is currently trading with a trailing price to earnings ratio of less than eight times historical earnings, while consensus estimates for the 2009 financial year earnings place the index on a forward multiple of 10.

Global economic crisis a ‘lifestyle’ event

AS the resource sector tumbled through late September and into early October, the Australian stock market appeared to be in a final capitulation mode.

Commentators’ analyses hit and myth

BRIEFCASE is amazed at the poor understanding of market dynamics shown by many commentators and self-appointed analysts.

It’s not easy growing green energy

AS global carbon emissions continue to rise, the investment world has begun to grapple with growing costs of consuming fossil fuels.

World approaching historic crossroad

WE do indeed live in a land of confusion. As the dust begins to settle, through the smoke and destruction of the great credit crunch of 2007/08, we can begin to observe the debris that unfettered and under-regulated consumer capitalism has wrought on th