Latest posts


The endless exploitation of international students

The systemic exploitation of international students is endemic across the Australian economy. For years we have read countless reports of wage theft from international students, particularly from migrants employers from the same nationality. For example, the 2016 Senate Committee report, entitled A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders, claimed international students “were


Links 6 December 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: The repo market is ‘broken’ and Fed injections are not a lasting solution – MarketWatch Crude Oil Could Fall to $40 if OPEC+ Fails to Deepen Cuts – Wolf Street The Fourth Industrial Revolution could spell more jobs – not fewer – WEF Forum Americas: Harvesting the Blood of


Macro Afternoon

Stocks are advancing across Asia in the wake of optimism that a trade deal between US and China can be struck before the December 15 tariffs kick in, with the ASX up over 1% while the USD treads water against most of the majors. The Shanghai Composite has lifted nearly 0.7% and looks set to


Europe debates designating LNG climate hostile

Welcome to the new frontier of LNG doom. Via FTAlphaville: This is a guest post by Rauli Partanen, an author, analyst and communicator on climate change, environment and energy systems. Partanen co-founded and leads Think Atom, a non-profit think tank advocating nuclear energy alternatives. In this post he argues Germany’s interests in natural gas are jeopardising the European Taxonomy for


RBNZ drops $20bn capital requirement on Aussie banks

Bravo RBNZ again: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand today released its final decisions following its comprehensive review of its capital framework for banks, known as the Capital Review. Governor Adrian Orr said the decisions to increase capital requirements are about making the banking system safer for all New Zealanders, and will ensure bank owners have


A parade of bad suggestions to lift growth

Let’s start the parade of bad ideas with Gottiboff: Our largest state, NSW is the country’s engine room, but it has a crazy property development approval system designed to create uncertainty and boost costs. Victoria has a deep energy crisis that makes both consumers and business nervous. Victoria creates an artificial gas shortage by banning


Unions: Migrant wage theft “part of the day-to-day business”

It’s been more than three years since the Senate Education and Employment References Committee released its scathing report entitled A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders, which documented the abuses of Australia’s temporary visa system for foreign workers. And still the exploitation continues with a large supermarket pizza manufacturer the latest to


Australia’s trade surplus retraces

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released trade data for the month of October, with Australia’s trade surplus retracing to $4.5 billion from $6.8 billion in September: The next chart shows that Australia’s trade surplus is still running at strong levels: In October, exports (credits) fell and imports (debits) rose: In seasonally adjusted terms,


MB Fund Podcast: Effective Ethical Investment with Peter Singer

In today’s webinar, hear from MB Fund’s Head of Investment Damien Klassen, Tim Fuller, and renowned ethicist Peter Singer as they cover “Effective Ethical Investment” Topics include ethics in the Australian financial services industry, the 3 types of ethical investing and Peter’s opinion on each, the ethics of investing in Chinese corporations, Jeff Bezos’ $100


Grill’d receives $7m from taxpayers to lower wages

A spokesman for the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has confirmed that it is undertaking an investigation into fast-food chain Grill’d, which has previously attracted scrutiny for allegedly underpaying its staff. Some former Grill’d employees also claim that it is using a compulsory retail and hospitality industry training program to legally pay wages that are below


Conflict-of-interests mire Coalition’s visa privatisation

The planned privatisation of Australia’s visa system has been delayed until next year after a web of conflict-of-interests were discovered across the Morrison Government: The tender bid, managed by the department, is now at arm’s length from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Immigration Minister David Coleman because of their long personal and professional relationships with


Australian retail pulls another donut

The September quarter retail sales data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed the first annual decline in retail sales volumes since the early-1990s recession: Now, the ABS has released retail sales figures for the month of October, which recorded zero growth in the value of retail sales over the month in seasonally-adjusted terms,


Lunatic RBA botches start to unconventional policy

In his recent speech describing unconventional policy options, Governor Phil Lowe noted that: The fourth policy response was forward guidance. This took two forms: calendar based and state based. Under calendar-based guidance, the central bank makes an explicit commitment not to increase interest rates until a certain point in time. Under state-based guidance, the central


Thousands more apartments wrapped in flammable cladding

Australia’s flammable cladding fiasco has just mushroomed with “biowood” also being declared unsafe, and apartment owners now facing millions of dollars in costs to have the cladding replaced: Thousands of apartment owners across Australia who thought they were safe from potentially deadly cladding fires now face millions of dollars in bills to remove and replace


MB Fund Podcast: Effective Ethical Investment with Peter Singer 12:30PM TODAY

In today’s webinar (12:30 pm AEST, Thursday 5th December), hear from MB Fund’s Head of Investment Damien Klassen, Tim Fuller, and renowned ethicist Peter Singer as they cover “Effective Ethical Investment” Topics include ethics in the Australian financial services industry, the 3 types of ethical investing and Peter’s opinion on each, the ethics of investing


GDP heat map

Every quarter I like to look at the changes in Australian GDP and which categories are responsible for the growth / decline. Each bubble represents a category of GDP proportionate to its size, colours represent the growth rate. Click the charts for a large version and commentary:  This quarter the key takeaways include: Federal Government


HEM date with destiny set

Via the AFR: The Federal Court has set a date for the appeal against the “Wagyu and shiraz” judgment, however the regulator will be meeting a different adversary than the one it faced off against in the first half of 2019. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission will front up to a full bench of Federal


ScoMo takes axe to public service

The Morrison Government is reportedly poised to slash Australia’s public service in a bid to reduce ‘red tape’ and save on costs: Scott Morrison is poised to put an axe through the public service today with plans to dramatically cut the number of government departments with another round of mandarins set for the chopping block.


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  A big reversal in sentiment overnight as stock markets reacted positively to the speculation that the December 15 US/China tariffs may be avoided with a secure trade deal. The USD sold off as a result, alongside bonds, as oil prices also spiked more than 3% as the latest US ISM Services print


Australian dollar jumps on trade scuttlebutt

DXY was down last night as CNY jumped: The Australian dollar roared back against DMs: But EMs did better: Gold sagged: Oil lifted: Metals too: And miners: Plus EM stocks: And junk: All bonds sold: As stocks rebounded: Another day, another trade rumour, at Bloomie: The U.S. and China are moving closer to agreeing on


Business profits boom as workers’ wages bust

Monday’s September quarter Business Indicators release from the ABS, which feeds into today’s national accounts, showed that wages & salaries remain wildly divergent from business profits. As shown in the next chart, real business gross operating profits continued to boom in the year to September: Whereas, there remained a huge gulf between wages & salaries: