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Desperate developers dangle insane commissions

An interesting article out yesterday revealed the largesse local developers are now showering on brokers and real estate “advisers” to help move unsold stock from upcoming off the plan apartment developments: Commission payments of up to15 per cent, free tickets to Adele concerts and luxury holidays to Greece are on offer to mortgage brokers and


Chris Pyne lies in defence of mass immigration

By Leith van Onselen Let’s recall Tony Abbott’s comments last night on why Australia should reduce immigration: Mr Abbott said it was time to end the “big is best” thinking of federal Treasury and scale back immigration “at least until housing starts and infrastructure have caught up”, in order to ease house prices. And let’s


Tony Trump launches Parallel PM re-election campaign

Almost exactly to the script forecast by MB, via The Australian: Tony Abbott says the Coalition risks a “drift to defeat” if it fails to lift its performance as he brazenly advocated ending subsidies for renewable energy, reducing immigration and abolishing the Human Rights Commission. In a bold speech launching a new book of essays,


Ken Henry’s eight point plan to save Australia

From the AFR: Our politicians have dug themselves into deep trenches from which they fire insults designed merely to cause political embarrassment. Populism supplies the munitions. And the whole spectacle is broadcast live via multimedia, 24/7. The country that Australians want cannot even be imagined from these trenches. …Based on current estimates, Australia needs to


Sunday penalty rate cut another hit to wages growth

By Leith van Onselen Over the past two days we’ve witnessed real wages barely increase: And more importantly, real average weekly earnings registering zero growth after falling 2.1% since May 2013: And now we are likely to get more downward pressure, with Fair Work Commission slashing penalty rates for Sunday workers, affecting literally hundreds of


Only in Australia could fighting a housing bubble make you a racist

By Leith van Onselen Doomsayer. Gloomster. Recessionista. Mischievous grumpy bum. These are all names used against housing bears in Australia. But now we’re all racists as well. RBA Governor Phil Lowe yesterday lamented the ‘insidious’ resentment of immigrants caused by the over-crowding of Australia’s major cities, and called on governments to dramatically lift infrastructure investment.


Coal and gas to blame for NSW blackout

Oh dear: More than 2000 megawatts of thermal generation failed during NSW’s power scare earlier this month, when AGL asked Australia’s largest smelter to curtail its production for more than three hours to avoid blackouts across the state. A report by the Australian Energy Market Operator confirmed plant outages on the afternoon of February 10 at


Wages growth plumbs another record low

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released its Wage Price Index for the December quarter of 2016, which revealed a continuation of weak wages growth across the economy, with annual wages growth falling to the lowest rate in the series’ 19 year history (see below charts). According to the


Domainfax smears Dick Smith with fake news

Here we have it laid bare. Domainfax on Dick Smith: Did Dick Smith blame “immigrants” for high house prices? No, he blamed high immigration. The difference is subtle but very important. One is objective and the other a clear “dog whistle” that Dick Smith is somehow racist. The use of the word “claim” is also


WA Coalition launches its own boomer housing bribe

By Leith van Onselen It’s raining housing bribes! Following in the footsteps of the Turnbull Government’s double trick, the Western Australian Government has promised to give hefty stamp duty concessions to retirees downsizing: Eligible seniors would pay no stamp duty on new and established homes worth up to $440,000 and receive a concession of up


Dick Smith: Slash immigration for affordable housing

By Leith van Onselen Let’s recall former Labor leader, Mark Latham’s, remarks last month calling for immigration levels to be cut in order to take the pressure off housing: “[Housing affordability] is all about supply and demand. It’s not rocket science… [But] you’ve got to do something about demand. And whether we like it or


Big Iron up as China boosts coking coal

Big Iron is firm today as China has announced the suspension of coking coal imports from North Korea. Not a trivial amount of 22mt. Dalian is 1.5% and coking futures a bit more. Of the majors only FMG is up, however, for no obvious reason: Big Gas likewise is looking a bit toppy: Big Gold


APRA warns on climate change risks

Guest post from Kate Mackenzie of the Climate Institute. APRA’s Geoff Summerhayes on Friday delivered a whole speech entirely about climate change risk at the Insurance Council of Australia conference on Friday. It’s the first time any of Australia’s financial authorities have so clearly addressed this topic (although many of their international peers have been doing so almost two years). So,


Bluescope warns on gas “catastrophe”

From the AFR: BlueScope Steel chief executive Paul O’Malley says the energy costs of his booming North Star steel operations in the United States are five to 10 times lower than the firm pays in Australia as he warned of a potential energy catastrophe right across Australian industry. US president Donald Trump was intent on making US