Behold Melbourne CBD: smoking crater of immigration ponzinomics

Via the AFR:

Melbourne’s CBD faces a $110 billion wipe-out over the next five years from its strict lockdown with 79,000 jobs set to be lost across the city in the worst economic, social and mental health disaster for the city since World War 1, PwC modelling from the mayor’s office reveal

An estimated 22,900 jobs will go from accommodation and food services, 6800 will go from education, 8000 from financial services and insurance, and 2300 from retail, among the major job losses in the city alone.

“With thousands of people working from home, our shopping malls, hotels and restaurants have been almost deserted,” Ms Capp said.

“Office workers are a big part of the community in neighbourhoods like Docklands, which is normally home to 72,000 jobs,” she said, noting that the office vacancy rate is up to 5.8 per cent, up from a historically low 3.2 per cent in February.

Sally Capp is a classic real estate buffoon. It’s not the lockdown’s fault. It’s not even the virus’s fault.

It’s her fault. It’s Melbourne’s fault. The CBD has been cruising for this bruising since the GFC. Nowhere else on earth went so all-in on the unsustainable business model of importing foreign students and cheap foreign labour to support a hollowed-out ponzi-economy. MB has marveled for ten years at the staggering build-out of Melbourne highrises, warned constantly of the bulging anus economy, repeatedly described the macro mechanisms at work as the CBD sucked in workers and put suburbs to the sword. Idiot policy leaned into instead of against it at every turn.

In short, Melbourne shallowed its capital base by inundating itself with third world bodies and plumping debt-driven bullshit jobs in any and all directions.

It was the quintessential house of cards. That it happens to have been a pandemic that toppled a tower built on sand is irrelevant. It was always going to come down spectacularly.

Now we will see a decade of oversupply in everything from offices, to malls, to shops, to apartments as the entire idiot idea implodes in the mother of all deflation singularities and there is nothing that can be done to stop it.

Houses and Holes


  1. Don’t kid yourself. When this virus abates and can be better managed, the whole party is going to be re-started in epic proportions.

    The work from home paradigm will be crushed by the business sector, dissent about hyper-immigration will be swept under the rug, and with the Labor party neutered, the Libs are going to go to town on deregulation and union activity. Don’t worry about the slowing Chinese intake, there are plenty of Indians, Thais, Koreans, Filipinos, Africans and Arabs willing to take their place and change adult diapers for $20 an hour..

    This is just the lull presaging the mother of all immigration booms.

    • Nah, this is a proper bust. You can’t bring in hordes of poor foreigners (who need work from day one) when unemployment is this high. The social fabric is already under strain and the budget has blown out. Bringing in more cheap labor will just put more pressure on the system. The LNP should use this opportunity to reset the economy (and blame the virus) rather than trying to restart the old ponzi.

      • We all know what they should do, but it’s not hard to work out what they’re actually going to do.

        The modern Liberal Party are not nation builders and reformers. They are a mouthpiece for neoliberal, globalist interests. And they’re not particularly liberal.

        They will save the interests of capital first, knowing they can hose down any dissent through vested media interests.

        They would propagate the threat of people’s dual cabs being taken off them by Labor to sell the entire country down the river.

        • There is another way. Politicians of all sides love nothing more than power. Whenever the LNP or ALP work out that lower immigration is a vote winner they will pick up that ball and run with it. There must be some non-ponzi’ers in both parties.

          Was it Lindsay Tanner (ex ALP) who now leans Sustainable Australia? Folks like them need to win the civil war in their parties.

          • I would respond to you, but the thin-skinned General Secretary of MB will no doubt delete future attempts.

      • Dominic, apart from the Keneally glitch, Government and Opposition have consistently said, the ponzi must restart, at any cost. They have 100% support, from the Big Australia lobby. They don’t care what the electorate thinks about it.

        Very quietly, Home Affairs has already published that the permanent migration “ceiling” for 2020-21 is a massive 160,000. I bet that the October Budget will contain similar figures for net migration in the out-years.

        • I have no doubt they’ll give it a go, but these migrants had better be bringing a lot of money with them, because the jobs they may have secured 2yrs ago won’t be there and they’ll struggle.

          Prepare yourself for hours upon hours of migrant hard-luck docos on SBS and the ABC. Claims of discrimination, gubbermint failing to live up to promises, “we need assistance” (from the taxpayer) etc etc.

          In other words, we paid for the expensive visa to get here and a [email protected] education course, give us the PR we were promised you b*strds.

        • Bring back Keneally !! is there any way we can gift her a subscription to this site and wind her up proper? Love it when the truth slips

          • It didn’t slip. I remember at the time saying it was to increase permanent migration. Confirmed Monday night on QandA.

      • Don’t bet on it. Even in NZ, the ponzi cannot be stopped. Our Lefty Leader Jacinda just announced new border exemptions to bring in 5,600 “new residents” (aka immigrants) who have never lived in NZ before, so didnt qualify for current border entry. Who cares that that means 5600 less jobs for unemployed Kiwis – the ponzi must go on!

        • Jacinda’s almost impossible to call out for this given that she has recently been sainted by the global media.

      • Sure you can…neither side give a rats a$$ about local jobs… besides imports will do all those jobs aussies are renowned for turning down//sarc

      • Hey, I’m just telling it like it is, brother.

        You know how the game works, and you know the types of a*holes that control capital don’t like losing. They’re not going to be taking write-downs that can fixed with just one change of a cell on a Treasury spreadsheet and two months of Murdoch rag headlines.

        There ain’t a thing that’s going to stop the reboot in hyper-immigration once the virus is under control. Not a dang thing. Not the unions, not Labor, not soured China-Oz relations, not a University corruption scandal, not Judith Sloan, not Andrew Lammie, not 10% unemployment. Nothing will stop it, because there is nothing else to replace it.

        You know it’s true.

        I’ll subscribe once you admit you’re wrong.

    • I agree with you FL, the work from home culture is a massive blow to our CBD centric barista economy.Despite massive gains in in productivity from WFH we need to go back to the old inefficient charade economic model to keep it from busting.

    • The large scale immigration ponzi cannot happen without the Chinese buying apartments, and they are no longer buying.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        And funding apartments. The [edit] vast majority of towers are not being funded by Australian interests.

    • Shades of MessinaMEMBER

      It’s ok because the contractors are from the commercial sector and much better than the bludging PS workers

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        It’s more than that. It’s largely an accounting trick to juice the books – plus less liabilities on leave and super payments. It’s not just Govenments – many companies have been doing this for years too. It nearly always leads to worse outcomes for everyone except the turd who gets a massive bonus for exceeding their ‘cost cutting’ KPI at the time.

  2. Jumping jack flash

    “It was the quintessential house of cards. That it happens to have been a pandemic that toppled a tower built on sand is irrelevant. It was always going to come down spectacularly.”

    sounds like the entire global economy

  3. IMO, it’s way too early to make any predictions. I just wish we had a different way of electing governments; one which produced quality personnel, no political donations and tight mechanisms of accountability. That’s where the focus should be. The current voting systems’ use-by-dates expired in the 1970’s.

    • Perhaps we should ban political donations? Give each party enough in funds for upkeep and election advertising, and that’s it.

      • The public funding of election campaigns is the easy part. The hard part, is getting the two majors to forfeit their cosy relationships with their long-established donors – and vice versa, times one ‘zillion’.

      • Perhaps we should ban political donations? Give each party enough in funds for upkeep and election advertising, and that’s it.

        How would someone not aligned to an established party fund a campaign to get elected (ie: how do you oppose the status quo) ?
        Would such funding be proportional to the party’s size and/or existing vote, or fixed and identical for all ?

        The problem is less political donations per se, and more a) donations from non-persons and b) very large individual donations.

        There is a world of difference between 50,000x $10 donations and 1x $500,000 donation.

        Some good beginning steps I think would be to limit political donations to registered voters only, and put an annual cap at something like a few grand per person.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      If the Senate was a random selection of Citizens… Or the lower house was 50% proportional representation, like NZ.

      • Random selection of citizens is definitely a giant step forward. Google ‘Iceland’s Pots and Pans Revolution’. It’s been carefully kept under wraps, but it happened in 2009. Fascinating reading involving just what you suggested, but on ‘steroids’. A new draft Constitution was written by Icelandic citizens.