MB over the Christmas Break

Merry Christmas MB readers and thank you for another interesting year.

Here’s our schedule over the Christmas break and January 2018:

  • Tuesday 25th Dec – 1st January links only.
  • Wed 2nd January to 4th January full posting by Chris Becker.
  • Mon 7th January to 11th January full posting by David Llewellyn-Smith and Chris Becker.
  • Mon 14th to 25 January full posting by Leith van Onselen and Chris Becker.
  • Tues 29 January to 1st February, full posting by David Llewellyn-Smith and Chris Becker.
  • Mon 4 February onwards, site back to normal and everyone back on deck.

Have a great and safe New Year.

Regards, the MB team

Unconventional Economist


  1. The Traveling Wilbur

    You too MB people. Have an awesome break, well-deserved. May all your investment properties sell above costs. : )

    (just don’t go anywhere near the whyte zombies)

  2. Merry Xmas bludgers, I’m flat out myself, I have a ham boiling in coke and a $12 blow up pool that’s nearly knee deep in the backyard and my wife thinks I look hideous laying in it with my shirt off, Bunnings hat on and glass of red in hand so I got it all to myself 🤪👍 happy days

  3. Thanks to everyone who were a part of MB this year. I really enjoy the articles, opinion pieces and analysis. Have a great rest.

  4. Peace on Earth and goodwill to all (but especially the Macrobusiness cognoscenti).

    Have a safe and happy festive season from Gunnamatta

  5. Merry Christmas all, both to the MB team and the regular commentary team. Hope you all get through it without scoring Type II diabetes!

    And keep fighting the good fight!

  6. Thanks to all here at MB, 2019 looks to be very promising on a number of fronts.
    Try to remain calm if family discuss property as you can change attitudes but you can’t change beliefs.

    • I would encourage people to liven up their events and not be afraid to see where clashes over property lead. Test the mood. For example: if there are long time “supply and demander” types at the events, just ask at what point in the past year or so the shortage was resolved or population growth went backwards to prompt the falls? Or if they are a “it’s not a bubble” type just ask them where baseline would be before it was a bubble?

  7. Sydney Olympic Park residents evacuated amid concerns building may collapse

    Residents of the Opal Tower apartment building at Sydney Olympic Park have been evacuated amid “cracking noises”.

    An emergency operation is now under way, with an exclusion zone set up that includes the train station.

    About 2.45pm on Monday concerns were raised over the structural integrity of the 33-storey residential building on Brushbox Street.

    A number of residents left the building of their accord, police said in a statement.

    Fire and Rescue NSW and police are now assessing the structual integrity of the evacuated building, and exclusion zones are in place along number of nearby streets.

    Trains are not running between Lidcombe and Sydney Olympic Park as a precaution.

    Aerial footage shows fire crews setting up tents while police redirect traffic and pedestrians.

    Opal Tower is a brand new “family friendly” high-rise development containing 392 apartments, designed by Australian architecture firm Bates Smart.

    It is one of five new residential towers at Sydney Olympic Park by developer Ecove, which is also behind the One30 Hyde Park tower in the CBD.

    The Sydney Morning Herald has approached Ecove and Bates Smart for comment.

    More to come.


  8. Just arrived at Olympic Park for the Big Bash, talk about cracks opening up in the Sydney housing market!

      • Normally we would come in via Australia Ave but we saw the signs saying closed due to ‘incident’. I guess the train line passes right by the building so trains are completely shut down. Lots of choppers flying around but the cricket seems to be going ahead.

      • I’m looking at the building right now, not sure what I’m expecting to see though I’m too far away to know if it’s making noises still.

  9. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I hope everyone has a great time with their friends and relations over Christmas and New Year!

  10. All the best to MBers, providers and commenters. When we look back from this point next year, I wonder what we’ll see in housing and stock markets, governments State and Federal – huge potential for chaos. Or is it still 18 months away? 😉

    • There are estimated to be more Medicare cards in circulation than there are Australians legally entitled to own a Medicare card.

      Plus of course, people from overseas visiting family and friends in Australia routinely borrow someones Medicare card to access the system for free. We had one lady recently whose attended hospital and whose blood group was found to be different to a previous time she attended – which is simply not possible. When questioned, she freely admitted she was from China visiting family in Australia, didn’t have any travel insurance, and so borrowed a relatives Medicare card.

      So if you are wondering why the health system is always over-budget or wondering why the hospital system is always overloaded, now you know. Lots of international students and tourists and black economy workers all have a shiny new Medicare card and use services but don’t contribute via tax.

      The only way to reign this in is to move to a new ID system with improved security features.

      And really throw the book at those caught rorting the system. We won’t though. This person will probably skip the country using one of her fake passports.

      • There are estimated to be more Medicare cards in circulation than there are Australians legally entitled to own a Medicare card.

        That is shocking! And the fake Greens will not put photo ID on the Medicare card, so the rorts shall continue. Not to mention, the fake Greens will keep importing 200,000 “skilled” Medicare card users per year.

      • Exactly. Caught trying to flee the country. Known ability to manufacture false ID documents and she gets bail!! Well at least that is one foreigner guaranteed to exit the country permanently.

      • Jacob what good will photo ID be? To don my Reusa hat for a minute. All chinks look the same anyway.. lol.. but on a more serious note, photo iD will help, but maybe also a pin or like the bank a verified SMS code or similar when used.

        It’s a shame it is happening.. I wonder if it happens in other countries with socialised health care? Such as Norway, Sweden etc.? Surely the NHS gets ripped off also?

        I recall 1 chap arguing why he voted for Brexit. 1 was full schools and the other was NHS cracking under the weight of immigration.

      • Here’s to hoping you have a wonderful white Christmas Mr Roboto! 😘

        Ha! I thought so much… no white Christmas allowed!

      • @Ino we must first acknowledge the original custodians of this land. Then we can have any colour Christmas we like, so long as it’s not Wh1te.

        Besides why wasn’t Mary gender fluid? I mean if God could make a woman pregnant like that, why not really wow people and make Jospeh pregnant instead? That would help jusity the existence of some form of miracle. Personally I think Mary made the whole thing up.

        Then she realised the lie had gone a bit far after, but thought it best to let everyone keep believing it. Wallah 2000 years later and here we are.

    • does anyone in fact send spam management queries to that address?

      Are you for real? I get a lot of fan mail each weekend I am on. All sending their spam management queries to [email protected]

  11. I don’t know if the picture at the head of this story will last in the link but I found it somehow extraordinary that the pic of these unattractive little joints should feature at all, given that one of them (No 99 Hill St, West Hobart) was where lunatic scientist Dr Rory Jack Thompson murdered his wife, cut/sawed her into little bits and flushed her down the toilet. This was in the early 80s. Google him and read the story – it’s almost beyond belief.


    • House prices are expected to rise 2 per cent annually over the next two years, according to Domain’s Property Price Forecasts. While the median unit price, which is more volatile due to the smaller apartment market, is expected to remain stable in 2019 then grow

      My bet is Hobart prices will have fallen 5% by Christmas next year. Anyone else wanna take a punt?

    • One wonders how much newsworthy stuff was missed in the days before basically everyone was walking around with a video camera in their pocket.

  12. Comment on smh.com from someone who seems to know what he is talking about

    “This is a very worrying development. Reports of cracking noises and inability to close doors and windows and jamming of doors mean permanent deformation. Being a structural engineer, I know that it takes only about 1-2 mm permanent deformation before the 1st sign of window / door deformation happens.
    The issue now is on a 35 story building damage on 10th floor means, the building is not suitable to live. I really don’t think any reasonable building authority will be brave enough to provide a revised occupancy permit without really understanding what the problem is and then implementing remediation.
    My hunch is that this building will be rendered unsuitable to live.”

    • Heres the thing – nothing REALLY happened after Grenfel and the whole cladding thing with Lacrose in Melbourne. I know people who went out and BOUGHT apartments afterwards with absolutely no checks on anything – one owes $100k not even for cladding issues. The other just found out about cladding.

      You can’t really say anything – just what is wrong with you ?

      This however I feel could be a wake up call. This will be ALL OVER the news and everyone will go wow – apartments have issues. If enough people start asking “what else can go wrong” – and I am seeing some of it – then this could really sink the ship.


      Then again I thought have kero drenched hay bails strapped to your home might give people pause for thought – neigh.

      • Australian’s are a bunch of big compliant sheep, who seriously think our Big Dumb Goverments job is keeping them safe from harm. That’s why they put so much trust in Big Brother and institutions etc..

        This is why nobody thinks there is issues with all the new buildings. But we all know building booms produce cowboy developers, like night follows day. Just look at any other housing market.

        I always look at Ireland’s because I saw it all unfold in front of me and none of this is a surprise. Actually, I’m surprised the problems have taken this long to show up. I know of several small apartment blocks in Ireland that were condemned as uninhabitable and forced to be pulled down.

        Owners lost out because… Developer pheonixed the company etc.. what’s that saying? Don’t buy shit developments now.

      • Biggest story on 7 this morning …. “The Royal Xmas” and how important the tiara the women wear is …. there will be no awakening till the place burns or falls down around them, then it will be whocouldaknowed and the government must do something to fix this so I am not out of pocket !

  13. Ho! Ho! Ho!…. merry everyone!

    In all seriousness, merry Christmas guys and girls – and to a better new year, may all your lowballs be the lowest and accepted begrudgingly, with tears in their eyes and butthurt in their hearts!