Unconventional Economist


Albo again demands high speed ponzi rail

By Leith van Onselen Labor’s infrastructure spokesman, Anthony Albanese, has repeated his call for a High Speed Rail (HSR) linking Melbourne and Sydney: Australia must start planning for a high-speed rail network along the east coast, says Labor’s infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese. Mr Albanese on Monday introduced a private bill to establish a high speed


Hobart’s traffic congestion soars as population ponzi bites

By Leith van Onselen After planning expert, Irene Duckett, last week labelled Hobart’s population boom a “runaway train” with health services and roads struggling to cope with the increasing demand, a new report into Australia’s road congestion from the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has found Hobart is the fourth-most congested capital in Australia: RACT general manager


Incoherent Greens label Gladys Berejiklian racist

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Greens have responded to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s call for halving immigration with the following drivel: We truly are living in Bizarro World when the self-proclaimed defenders of the environment and social justice champion the very policy – mass immigration-driven population growth – that is most destructive to Australia’s natural


Flammable cladding replacement loan scheme slammed

By Leith van Onselen A state government-backed loan scheme to help Victorian apartment owners fund the replacement of combustible cladding is due to take effect next month. Under these Cladding Rectification Agreements (CRA), commercial lenders will be required to assess the finances of owner in an apartment complex prior to advancing a loan that owners


Lookout Coles/Woolies, Kaufland planning aggressive expansion

By Leith van Onselen Another German discount supermarket giant, Kaufland, is readying for an aggressive expansion into Australia with 32 stores to open in Australia by 2023. From The AFR: The world’s fourth largest retailer, the Schwartz Group, has injected another $60 million capital into Kaufland Australia… Kaufland, the sister chain of German discounter Lidl,


MB Presentation: The vain hope for more infrastructure

Last weekend I gave a short presentation at a Sustainable Australia community meeting in Melbourne. In this presentation, I explain why Australia has developed a massive infrastructure deficit and why it will only get worse as long as the ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration program is maintained. I also explain why living standards will unambiguously worsen


Crashing sales a bad omen for housing and economy

By Leith van Onselen A few week’s back, we noted that the collapsing property sales volumes across Australia is a bad omen for prices: Over the weekend, Domainfax economist, Trent Wiltshire, posted interesting research on the collapsing sales volumes and what it means: In fact, the national housing turnover rate — the number of residential


‘Big Australia’ propagandists double down on debunked lies

By Leith van Onselen It’s been another weekend of spin and obfuscation from Australia’s ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration spruikers. Hot on the heels of the RBA’s propaganda late last week, we witnessed Australia’s go-to ‘demographer’, Dr Liz Allen, desperately attempt to gaslight the population in The SMH: “There’s a thing called the ‘ovarian lottery’,” she


Shorten: Negative gearing policy to stay, house prices to fall

By Leith van Onselen Amid all the scaremongering from our Property Council Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, along with property industry vested interests, Bill Shorten is standing firm on Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains tax (CGT) policy, vowing to make homes more affordable. From The AFR: Bill Shorten says Labor will forge ahead with curbing


Aussie property auction clearances keep on crashing

CoreLogic released its auction report yesterday, which reported another anaemic weekend of auctions. The preliminary national auction clearance rate was just 50.7% versus 53.7% last weekend (later revised down to 49.5%). The preliminary clearance rate was also way below the 67.1% recorded in the same weekend of last year: Auction volumes nationally were 1850 –


Links 15 October 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Tesla needs over $1 billion in cash over the next 6 months, and Wall Street is going nuts figuring out where it’s going to come from – Business Insider Why Our Beliefs Don’t Predict Much About the Economy – NY Times A Billionaire’s Sears Fiasco Is Finally Nearing Its


Weekend Reading: 13-14 October 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: A $1 Trillion Powder Keg Threatens the Corporate Bond Market – Bloomberg A Hedge Fund Guy Lefties Can Love – Bloomberg ‘The Mother of All Scams’: Roubini Slams Crypto in Senate Hearing – Bloomberg Stocks could fall 40% to 50% to reach fair value, with recession in first half


Planning Expert: Tassie’s population growth a “runaway train”

By Leith van Onselen While the Tasmanian Government rejoices at the recent acceleration in the state’s population growth, planning expert Irene Duckett has labelled the population boom a “runaway train” with health services and roads struggling to cope with the increasing demand. From The ABC: The warning came after the Federal Government announced plans to force


RBA immigration propaganda goes nuclear

By Leith van Onselen RBA boffin Professor Ian Harper once again spruiked the riches that supposedly come from Australia’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy at yesterday’s Melbourne Institute/The Australian Economic and Social Outlook Conference: Speaking at the Melbourne Institute/The Australian Economic and Social Outlook Conference, Mr Harper said raising productivity, with a key focus on


Owner occupiers sucked into Australian housing finance crash

By Leith van Onselen Today’s housing finance data for August, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), posted a heavy fall in overall finance commitments, with both investor and owner-occupied demand collapsing. According to the ABS, the total number of owner-occupier finance commitments (excluding refinancings) fell by 2.9% in August in seasonally adjusted terms


ACTU: living costs worse than reported

By Leith van Onselen The ACTU has released research arguing that the cost of living for essential items is rising far higher than the consumer price index (CPI). From SBS News: Energy, child care and housing prices have soared higher than average cost of living measures, new research has revealed. An Australian Council of Trade Unions


The “stupendous” consultancy spend milking taxpayers

By Leith van Onselen Over the past two years, various reports have emerged documenting the billions in taxpayer funds that have flowed to consultants, especially the Big Four accounting firms. In September 2016, Michael West reported how the Big Four accounting firms had taken corporate welfare to an extraordinary level, earning up at least $2.6


Labor at war over TPP trade agreement

By Leith van Onselen In the wake of the union movement threatening to pull support from Labor at the next election after it agreed to support legislation to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Labor is also facing growing opposition within its own ranks. The administrative committee of Labor’s Queensland branch has passed a motion that


ABC’s immigration bias mushrooms

By Leith van Onselen As the immigration debate has erupted this week, the ABC has once again revealed its shocking bias towards mass immigration and a ‘Big Australia’. On Wednesday, the ABC gave a key lobbyist for the ‘growth lobby’ – Chris Johnson from the Urban Taskforce – a free platform to spread mass immigration propaganda without investigating his


Triguboff: High immigration, stimulus, to prevent house price falls

By Leith van Onselen “Highrise” Harry Triguboff is a key player in Australia’s ‘growth lobby’ – the cabal of rent-seekers that benefits from ‘growth’, most visibly via mass immigration. For decades, Triguboff has actively lobbied Australia’s politicians to implement policies that are beneficial to his interests, including running a mass immigration program. The below interview


CoreLogic Weekly Australian house price update: Pass the popcorn

By Leith van Onselen In the week ended 11 October 2018, the CoreLogic 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, declined another 0.18%: Values fell across all major markets: So far in 2018, home values have declined by 3.54%, with only Brisbane and Adelaide recording a value increase: Over


Links 12 October 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Trump Takes Swipe at Fed as Stocks Tumble – WSJ Trump says the Federal Reserve has ’gone crazy’ by continuing to raise interest rates – CNBC The Fed is undergoing a major change, and the market is having a fit – CNBC U.S. Stocks Plunge as Yield, Trade Worries


CoreLogic: Mining property bust has finally ended

CoreLogic’s head of research, Tim Lawless, has released analysis suggesting the epic mining property bust has finally ended: Since conditions peaked in line with commodity prices and a wind down in infrastructure spending, dwelling values in these regions have moved through a long and deep downturn. Some suburbs have seen the median value of a


Auckland’s housing market continues to flatline

By Leith van Onselen The REINZ has released its house price data for September, which revealed a 0.4% seasonally adjusted increase in the national median house price, with prices up 5.4% year-on-year: Outside of Auckland, seasonally adjusted house prices rose by 1.1% in September, with prices up 8.5% year-on-year. Looking at the major cities, Auckland’s