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Leith van Onselen talks mass immigration on the Bolt Report

By Leith van Onselen Last night, I appeared on the Bolt Report where I was interviewed about Australia’s mass immigration program and its effects on living standards. Below are some key charts showing the data discussed in the report. First, below are the Victorian Government’s official projections showing that Melbourne’s population will increase by 3.4

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Sydney home prices fall for 11th consecutive week

By Leith van Onselen Evidence continues to mount that Sydney’s housing boom is done. CoreLogic’s dwelling values index has registered its eleventh consecutive weekly decline in Sydney dwelling values, with values down a cumulative 1.2% over that 10-week period, and dwelling values also down 1.2% over the past 16-weeks: Sydney’s quarterly growth rate continues to

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Sydney’s stamp duty boom nears end

By Leith van Onselen The NSW Office of State Revenue has updated its stamp duty data for October 2017, which showed that stamp duty receipts may have peaked after a monumental five-year boom that has lined the State Government’s pockets. As shown above, annual NSW stamp duty receipts ($7.54 billion) retraced slightly from last month’s

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John Howard calls banking Royal Commission “socialism”. Ignores taxpayer subsidies

By Leith van Onselen You’ve gotta love the myopic view of former Prime Minister, John Howard, who yesterday called a proposed Royal Commission into the banks “rank socialism”. From The Australian: Former prime minister John Howard has slammed a royal commission into the banks as “rank socialism”, warning the Coalition that embracing such a policy

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Links 24 November 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Crypto Bull Tom Lee Doubles Bitcoin Price Target to $11,500 – Bloomberg Fed Signals December Hike Even as Debate on Prices Persists – Bloomberg The Fed is having 2nd thoughts about raising interest rates further – Business Insider What’s the Yield Curve Really Telling Us? – Pragmatic Capitalism Crypto

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Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker Hesistation across Asia today as US markets go quiet for Thanksgiving and retailers around the world ramp up for the Black Friday day/weekend/week. In mainland China the Shanghai Composite has reversed its recent breakout above 3400 points and then some, swiftly selling off into the close by slump more than 2% to

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How road charges can alleviate traffic congestion

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Road congestion in large Australian cities is estimated to cost more than A$16 billion a year. Economists have long argued the best way to improve traffic flow is to charge drivers for their contribution to road congestion. We have now analysed data collected from 1,400 drivers across Melbourne to see whether

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Aussie house price growth near top, but for how long?

By Martin North, cross-posted from the Digital Finance Analytics Blog: The latest BIS data series on home prices trends has been published to Q2 2017. Here is a selected range, which shows Australia is near the top in terms of trend growth, relative to other western countries, including UK, USA, Canada and New Zealand. Norway

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Renewables to eventually lower power prices

Via The Guardian: Modelling commissioned by the Turnbull government as part of its efforts to back in the national energy guarantee says renewables will drive the first wave of price reductions under the policy. It also floats substantial regulatory intervention to stop the electricity market becoming even more concentrated. The work by Frontier Economics, obtained

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You can’t love mass immigration and hate expensive infrastructure

By Leith van Onselen Mass immigration booster, Peter Martin, has penned a contradictory article decrying the costly infrastructure projects being built across Melbourne and Sydney: Victoria is spending $5.5 billion building the West Gate Tunnel, another $1 billion widening CityLink, probably $10 billion on the North East Link, $11 billion on Melbourne Metro, $8 billion

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Aussie bonds still a “buy”

Via the AFR: The weakness in bond markets that we’ve been warned of for half a decade will finally arrive in 2018 as inflation rises in the US while the global supply of bonds expands. …Mr Taylor is expecting the range of the ten-year bond rate to increase from 2 to 2.5 per cent to

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Australia’s ‘superstar’ cities are just economic parasites

By Leith van Onselen Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Philip Lowe says there are certain cities whose house prices increase a lot more than other cities in their countries. Lowe says this trend has been observed by his colleagues at other central banks, and the general consensus is that people are willing to pay

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Will Melbourne Airport’s privatisation sabotage rail link?

By Leith van Onselen Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to tell a meeting of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce today that construction of a rail link to Melbourne Airport will begin by 2026. The announcement of the rail link follows yesterday’s meeting between transport ministers from the Victorian and federal governments, whereby the two

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Ever wondered what colonisation felt like? Now you know

The Do-nothing Government has released a new Foreign Policy White Paper. Via the AFR: The Turnbull government is warning that China’s increasing belligerence over territorial disputes and potential clash over democratic values calls for stronger efforts to maintain American presence in Asia and to bolster ties with neighbouring democracies as a check against Beijing’s rise. Without US political, economic and security

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Who will replace Turnbull?

The spill is only a matter of time now, via Domainfax: Senior ministers believe a cabinet leak that revealed the Turnbull government considered reversing its opposition to a banking royal commission was designed to damage Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton and create chaos in the government. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull once again slammed

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Japan shows how to grow sustainability amid a shrinking population

By Leith van Onselen For more than a decade, the Productivity Commission has debunked the common myth that immigration can overcome population ageing. For example: PC (2005): “Despite popular thinking to the contrary, immigration policy is also not a feasible countermeasure [to an ageing population]. It affects population numbers more than the age structure”. PC

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Sydney fix: 19 freeways, 6 train lines, 1700 buses or an immigration cut

By Leith van Onselen Another report has emerged about Western Sydney’s “woefully inadequate” public transport, which is under siege from unrelenting immigration-fueled population growth. From The Daily Telegraph: …there has been a huge surge in the number of people in Blacktown local government area taking the train — 2434 more people in 2016 compared to

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The fuel propelling the Syd/Melb housing bubbles

By Leith van Onselen For years, the most important factor driving house price growth has been the flow of housing finance commitments, which has shown an incredibly strong correlation over the past several decades: On Friday, the ABS released its State Accounts for the year ended June 2017, which has allowed me to calculate the

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Westpac tightens again

Via AFR: Westpac Group will this weekend upgrade its key measures for assessing property borrowers’ capacity to service their debt, amid intense pressure from regulators to provide better insights into households’ financial commitments and vulnerability to financial stress. The bank, which includes Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and Bank of St George, is the first to

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Links 23 November 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: A New Conundrum in the Bond Market? – Federal Reserve Maybe Bitcoin Isn’t Untouchable at J.P. Morgan After All – WSJ Commodities Facing Another Tough Year in 2018, JPMorgan Says – Bloomberg Austerity and household debt: a macro link? – Critical Finance Risk Parity: How Much Data Should We

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Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker Risk has doubled down in Asia with new highs almost across the board as the USD retreats and the yield curve flattens as all and sundry join the stock market trainride. In mainland China the Shanghai Composite continues its breakout above 3400 points, lifting 0.3% to be at 3419 points.  The Hang Seng Index

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Infographic: What the Adani white elephant means for QLD

The Conversation has created the below infographic explaining the key impacts expected from Adani’s Carmichael mega coal mine, which is well worth a look: This Saturday, Queenslanders will go to the ballot box for an election. One of the biggest issues is the controversial Carmichael coal mine proposed by Indian mining giant Adani. Here’s what