Freelancer CEO destroys “delusional, stuffed, basket case, bubble economy like no other”

From yesterday’s AFR Innovation Summit comes Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.com: Where is the growth come from? Mr Barrie asks. Governments have achieved growth from a property bubble “like no other”, says Mr Barrie. To paint this picture he says there are cranes in Sydney right now than in most American states combined and that

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More evidence record dwelling construction hasn’t outrun population ponzi

By Leith van Onselen In this week’s SQM Research rental vacancies report, managing director Louis Christopher noted how rental supply would remain under pressure despite the recent record high dwelling construction levels: “Overall the current rental market is a moderate landlord’s market. There is nothing in our numbers to suggest the market is about to


Australia retains silver medal in global household debt

By Leith van Onselen Australia has again taken the silver medal for having the world’s second most indebted households according to the latest data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The next table shows the ratios of household debt to GDP as at the March quarter of 2017. As you can see, Switzerland (129%)


Richard Denniss: Immigration policy must reflect per capita impacts

By Leith van Onselen The Australia Institute’s chief economist, Richard Denniss, has posted his second The Lucky Country podcast, which contained an interesting discussion on mass immigration and its impact on living standards: Listener question: “I’ve heard arguments that letting refugees into Australia will actually help our economy as more people would mean there’s more


Links 20 September 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: What The World Thinks Of Trump – Five Thirty Eight An empirical analysis of peer-to-peer lending – VOX Fed’s balance-sheet unwind will be moment of truth for financial markets – MarketWatch BIS Hunts for ‘Missing’ Global Debt, Inflation – WSJ What Jamie Dimon Got Wrong About Bitcoin and Tulips


Wage suppression a time bomb for superannuation system

By Leith van Onselen The Australia Institute (TAI) has produced an interesting report warning that record low wages growth could significantly curtail Australian’s superannuation retirement savings, placing immense pressure on the Federal Budget. Below is the summary of the report along with some key charts: The record-slow pace of wage growth in Australia’s economy is


RBA minutes hit Goldilocks tone

RBA minutes: Domestic Economic Conditions Members commenced their discussion of the domestic economy by noting that labour market conditions had continued to improve, although spare capacity remains. Employment had risen further in July, the participation rate had edged higher and the unemployment rate had remained steady at 5.6 per cent. Full-time employment had risen strongly


ABS: Sydney, Melbourne drove property prices up 1.9% in Q2

By Leith van Onselen The ABS has today released its property price index – incorporating both detached houses and units – which registered a 1.9% rise in home values nationally over the June quarter and a 10.2% gain over the year, exactly the same as the 10.2% annual growth initially reported in the year to


How’s Donald Trump 2.0 treatin’ ya?

Via the FT today: Donald Trump’s debut address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday morning is expected to set out a nationalistic foreign policy based on “sovereignty” and which pulls back from any vision of America as an overseas nation-builder and singles out North Korea and Iran as “rogue regimes”. A senior White House


Health experts’ flawed call for mandatory health-star ratings

By Leith van Onselen Thirty-five health organisations have united to put an eight-pronged action plan to the Federal Government, which includes a 20% tax on sugary beverages. From The ABC: Obesity Policy Coalition [OPC] executive manager Jane Martin said obesity was having a dire effect on the nation’s physical and economic wellbeing. “We have a


What will cutting immigration do to the NZ economy?

Via UBS today: Our economic forecasts (see NZEP 8 September) reflect our base-case scenario election outcome i.e. that the National Party will form a government with the support of NZ First (see NZEP 1 September). While there could also be potential ramifications for the economic outlook from such a coalition arrangement, the implications of a


Energy chaos paying Do-nothing dividend?

Has Do-nothing Malcolm found his one issue in coal? Via The Guardian: The latest poll shows federal Labor maintaining an election-winning lead over Malcolm Turnbull’s government on the two-party preferred measure – but the gap has narrowed over the past week in the government’s favour. Last week, Labor was ahead of the Coalition on 54% to


Our universities have become money grubbing ‘degree factories’

By Leith van Onselen Fairfax’s Ross Gittins delivered the goods again yesterday with a stinging take down of Australia’s “aimless, money-grubbing exploiting” universities: Of the many stuff-ups during the now-finished era of economic reform, one of the worst is the unending backdoor privatisation of Australia’s universities, which began under the Hawke-Keating government and continues in


SQM: Record dwelling construction can’t outrun population ponzi

SQM Research has released its rental vacancy series for July, which revealed a 0.1% fall in the national vacancy rate over the month as well as a 0.1% decline over the year: As shown above, rental vacancies fell or were flat rose across all capitals in August. Over the year, decreases in vacancies were recorded


NZ Labour schools Australian Labor on immigration

By Leith van Onselen In the lead-up to this Saturday’s New Zealand General Election, the Labour opposition has continually taken aim at New Zealand’s excessive immigration program, which Labour claims is choking housing, infrastructure and public services in Auckland, as well as undercutting working conditions. The Economist has published an interesting profile on Labour’s leader,


Daily iron ore price update (waiting on steel)

Iron ore price charts for September 18, 2017:   Tianjin spot fell 10 cents to $70.80. Spot formed overnight. We’re still waiting for a break lower in steel, the one missing ingredient for a big correction. It will surely come, via Reuters: Beijing will suspend construction of major public projects in the city this winter


China intensifies Bitcoin smash

Via WSJ: The crackdown on the bitcoin ecosystem represents Beijing’s possibly biggest effort so far to limit expansion of a system to rival the yuan. In a previous crackdown, in 2009, the central bank banned the use of tokens valued at billions of dollars created in China’s massive online-gaming networks for real-world purchases. A quasiregulatory