Houses and Holes


States jam ‘mediscare’ into Scummo’s budget black hole

Yesterday we heard from Grattan: …there have been a notable absence of savings measures in the past two budgets, other than the now almost obligatory measures to extract more efficiencies from the welfare budget. Budget consolidation has mainly been a revenue story. Revenues have increased by a full 2 per cent of GDP since 2013-14.


ATO targets landlord army’s 90% dodgy returns

It never rains but it pours, via Herald Sun: Dodgy landlords’ social media accounts will be put under the blowtorch by the ATO as they crack down on incorrect rental deductions. Accommodation booking websites will also be examined to make sure landlords are not making false claims simply to get money back. In the 2017-18


Dan Andrews IS the Manchurian Candidate

Via the Herald Sun: Premier Daniel Andrews is set to jet to China to spruik Victoria’s biggest road project at a conference for the controversial Belt and Road Initiative. Mr Andrews confirmed he would present at Chinese president Xi Jinping’s forum next week. In October, Victoria signed a confidential deal linking the state to the


Bernie Sanders runs amok on Fox

Via The Guardian: At every turn they clapped and cheered, enamored with the candidate’s prescriptions for universal healthcare, a humane attitude toward immigrants and the rejection of climate change denialism. Bernie Sanders was the candidate, and the people clapping and cheering were audience members who turned out in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a televised town hall on


Leading index rises on phantom apartment spike

Via Westpac: • The six month annualised growth rate in the Westpac– Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity relative to trend three to nine months into the future, rose from –0.54% in February to –0.09% in March. Despite this recent lift the Index has still registered four consecutive months


Manufacturers go after gas cartel

Via the AFR comes Australian manufacturing: The federal government should create a public gas company to drive investment in new supply, say major energy users who warn urgent intervention is needed to avert plant shutdowns and mass job losses. …A “Commonwealth Gas Co” could support the development of new gas pipelines and a gas import


CCP mouthpiece: Australia “under command” of US

Via the Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times: According to Reuters on Saturday, China told Australia at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday that Australia’s restrictions on Chinese 5G technology was “obviously discriminative” and appeared to break global trade rules. However, Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said on Sunday that the Australian government “stands by


The pros and cons of MMT

Authored by Michael Every via Rabobank. Mmm…MT For those who haven’t noticed, there has been a lot of discussion about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) in the press of late. Clearly MMT, which has actually been around for decades, is currently a hot topic at the highest levels. However, even a cursory glance above shows that it is


APRA releases new lettuce leaf

Via Martin North: The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released details on the future role and use of enforcement activities in achieving its prudential objectives. Guiding principals include “risk-based”, “forward-looking”, “outcomes-based” and deterrence impact. Of course the question is, will it really make any difference? Here is the release. APRA’s new Enforcement Approach, published today, sets


Dovish RBA realises its ‘pushing on a string’

Dovish RBA minutes out just now: International Economic Conditions Members commenced their discussion by noting that the slower pace of global economic activity had continued in recent months. This had been particularly evident in the manufacturing sector. Survey measures of conditions in the manufacturing sector had declined across a range of economies, although they had


RIO iron ore damage less than expected

Via RIO this morning: Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said “Our iron ore business faced several challenges at the start of this year, particularly from tropical cyclones. As a result, and following the continuing assessment of damage at the port resulting from the cyclones and other minor disruptions, 2019 guidance for Pilbara shipments is


CLSA: Banks won’t cut mortgage rates

CLSA’s excellent Brian Johnston is on the money here: Veteran CLSA bank analyst Brian Johnson said while funding costs had fallen, margins were still under pressure due to increased costs as investors coming to the end of their interest-only periods are forced to switch mortgage products to pay off both the principal and interest. Switching


Daniel Andrews in hock to China?

Via the AFR comes Australia’s secessionist China state: Victorian premier Daniel Andrews will attend Chinese president Xi Jinping’s forum to promote its controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure program next week, as Australia’s relationship with Beijing comes under fresh scrutiny ahead of the federal election. The visit by Mr Andrews and Australian business groups


Scummo’s enormous budget black hole

Via the AFR comes Scummo’s monstrous budget black hole: The Morrison government would need to cut spending by about $40 billion a year by 2030 to afford its big personal income tax cuts and deliver on its budget surplus forecasts, new analysis by the Grattan Institute shows. The Coalition has positioned its $387 billion in


Betting markets swing further to Labor

Via Mark the Ballot: Turning individual seat odds into probabilities is vexed. For the decimal odds used by online bookmakers, the maths is simple: The problem starts with the bookmaker’s over-round. If we sum the odds for every possible outcome, the probability exceeds 1. For the individual seat prediction markets, the over-round can exceed 1 by


China weighs into election with deeper coal ban

Via The Australian: Chinese state-owned power stations are specifically requesting coal from Indonesia, rather than Australia, as they put out tenders for new coal supplies, according to S&P Global Platts’ Asian thermal coal expert, Michael Cooper. “The state-owned power stations are not buying Australian thermal coal and the traders say there is a political dimension