The US city of Detroit is not a very fun place. Once a glittering jewel at the intersection of Capitalism and the Working Class, it’s now probably best characterised as a sub-optimal chunk of coal at the intersection of America’s legs.

The city fell on hard times through a combination of institutional short-sightedness, the catastrophic mismanagement of the US automobile industry and a local government that didn’t just drop the ball as much as it sent it burrowing through the earth and on its way to China (figuratively and literally).

From a high water mark of more than 1.8 million thriving people in 1950, by the late 1960s the city was sinking faster than Teddy Kennedy’s Oldsmobile at Chappaquiddick and on its way to massive unemployment and social unrest.

Marvin sang about it:

Evidence of the city’s decline peaked around the time there were houses for sale for US$1 (one dollar) in certain areas of the city. However, the property market has since recovered, with a block of four 2-bedroom apartments currently on the market for US$3,750.

For that money, you’ll get a Renovator’s Delight (it’s falling down) in the heart of a Vibrant Community (each bedroom is stacked floor to ceiling with drug addicts), perfect for anyone looking to flip the property (presumably to shake the current occupants out, like funnel-webs out of a gumboot).

So it’s fair to say that it’s a city that’s taken a fairly solid beating over the years, and can’t seem to win a trick – and there’s no more apt metaphor than the current hot news item: Detroit’s Giant Slide.

It’s meant to be a 50-foot thrill ride, recently re-opened after COVID-19 forced its closure for two years. But it seems that in its haste to try to get at least one thing right, the city over-egged preparations for the re-opening of the local attraction.

The result is basically weaponised fun, after the extra wax added a lot more of the slip to the slide was heaped onto the structure like glaze on a cop-fattening donut.

Instead of providing a mild thrill that is almost worth the effort of climbing the stairs to the top, the slide was propelling riders to near-terminal velocity, with hilariously awful results.


If there’s anything more emblematic of Detroit, where even the fun kinds of slides are high-speed cruel and unusual punishment, we’re yet to see it.



Australian markets got off to a rousing start to the week this morning, lifting +0.36% at the sound of the opening bell. The happy spurt was shortlived, however, with the benchmark wobbling about like a wayward drunk, working hard to stay above Friday’s close and heading for a 0.2% gain by lunch.

Looking across the sector-by-sector performance results, it resembles a state-run lottery – a couple of big winners but mostly little losers.

It’s a safe bet that the Energy and Materials sector got a very stern talking to on Father’s Day yesterday about how we love them very much but can’t hide how much of a disappointment they’ve been recently, which prompted some big rebounds of +3.56% and +1.36% respectively.

As for poor performances, you can pretty much take your pick as there’s not a huge margin between them – but on pure numbers, it’s Real Estate (-0.81%) and InfoTech (-0.49%) dropping clogs into the market machinery today.

Big Gainers in the Billionaire’s Club include coalminers Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), up +6.90% and New Hope (ASX:NHC), up +6.10% as demand continues to drive up coal prices today.

Not enjoying the morning quite as much is Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), which has continued a slide that started at $19.87 on 26 August, falling another -6.05% this morning to hit a comparatively weepy and very unsweet $16.16.



Looking overseas, and Our Man Eddy is reporting that the US economy added 315k jobs in August, versus 298k consensus, which adds up to about 3.5 million jobs have been created in 2022 despite the fact that America has its head firmly wedged inside of a bucket of sand with the words “totally not a recession” stencilled on the side.

US markets will be closed tomorrow for Labor Day, which means the “mum and dad aren’t home” party at the ASX has another 24-hours to run, unless someone calls the cops.

In Europe, the energy crisis is looming faster than a Persian 10-year-old in the back room of his uncle’s fancy rug shop, as Russia shows that it’s in no hurry at all to reopen the the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

Meanwhile, Europe’s largest nuclear reactor continues to cause all manner of butt-puckering because someone (we don’t want to say their name, but it rhymes with “Prussia”) kicked the doors in a while back and now won’t leave, or let anyone in to have a quick poke around to make sure there aren’t any dials with needles deep into the red.

In Asia, it looks like life’s a little tough, with Japan’s Nikkei (-0.14%), Shanghai (-0.14%) and Hong Kong (-1.89%) all gazing at their navels and wondering where it all went wrong.

On the commodities desk, gold is under pressure from the almost iron-clad promise of further rate rises in the US, and the shenanigans in Europe (the bad energy kind, not the fun and sexy kind) push the markets around.

Gold has fallen -0.08%, copper’s down -0.18% but silver has inched up +0.02%, while oil (+1.47%) and Natural Gas (+1.80%) have surged. Thanks, Obama.

And in Crypto Canyon, where the price of entry is low but the risk of falling rocks is high, Bitcoin continues to be about as decisive as a 1,000-strong committee meeting, flirting with the US$20,000 value mark but refusing to commit one way or the other.

As always, our very own Wile E. Coyote of Crypto, Rob Badman, has the rest of the day’s crypto gossip over at Mooners & Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for September 5 [intraday]:

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In Small Caps news, Flinders Mines (ASX:FMS) has gone on a bender, piling on 32% this morning on news that BBIG Group has pulled the plug on its farm-in agreement with FMS, which Flinders says is an opportunity for it to pursue “a more flexible and staged development of its Pilbara Iron Ore Project (PIOP) as sole owner”.

Meanwhile,  it looks like someone finally got around to reading AJ Lucas Group’s (ASX:AJL) results announcement from last week, as its price fired up 38% this morning, and Cronos Australia (ASX:CAU) looks to be taking full advantage of market interest in cannabis products, up 20.65% so far today for a 60.8% gain for the week.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for September 5  [intraday]:

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It’s a chorus of Sad Trombone for Invictus Energy (ASX:IVZ) today, which has seen an acceleration of its recent price decline thanks to a -17.6% fall this morning.

That comes despite IVZ releasing an investor presentation this morning which looked very colourful and even had a picture of an elephant on the front.