Unconventional Economist


Australia’s not so private health insurers bleed taxpayers

With the percentage of Australians between the ages of 20 to 39 with private health insurance falling from 40% to 34% over the past five years, and older Australians claiming more than ever, private health insurance providers have demanded government subsidies to keep the industry viable. However, the health program director at the Grattan Institute,


Victoria’s new budget crisis: “massive” traffic fine collapse

Anyone living in Melbourne would know that we live in a nanny state. Speed limits have been lowered across the board with fixed ‘road safety’ cameras planted strategically to fine unwary motorists for travelling a few kilometres per hour above the lowered limit. Along with stamp duty, the Victorian Budget has also become reliant upon


Melbourne’s mega sprawl non-solution for hyper immigration

It’s amazing watching the idiotic non-solutions emerge for Australia’s hyper immigration-fuelled population growth. With Melbourne’s population already having increased by around 1.6 million people this century, and projected to balloon by another 5.2 million people over the next 48 years: University academics have proposed the hilariously stupid plan of building a series or regional cities


Fair Work reveals mass exploitation of migrant workers

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s latest annual report shows a “significant increase” in wage theft, especially among migrant workers: In 2018–19, we conducted 1256 investigations into more complex or significant matters (involving vulnerable workers, serious non-compliance and/or uncooperative employers)… The overall compliance rate for our audits for the year was 45%, with the most common contraventions


Get ready for another structural housing shortage

Australians are going to have to get used to living in more cramped and crowded accommodation as housing supply once again falls below rampant immigration-fuelled population growth. That’s the view of Australia’s largest listed developer, Stockland, who has warned that housing shortages are developing from coast-to-coast: The country’s largest listed residential developer Stockland has warned


Malaysian scammers abuse Australia’s electronic visa system

Another report has emerged highlighting how Malaysians are manipulating Australia’s electronic travel authority (ETA) visa system to stay long-term in Australia: Australia’s population of 64,600 lapsed visa holders is more than triple the size of last year’s refugee intake, newly released Immigration data has revealed. Malaysian visa overstayers were the most highly represented, with around


Australia taps new ‘boom’ market for international students

Over recent months, it has become apparent that Australia’s six year boom in international students is under threat: Australia’s three main sources of international students – China, India and Nepal – are all facing stiff headwinds that will crimp enrolments in the years ahead. As noted previously, Chinese student visa applications have already begun to


Links 23 October 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: World economy is sleepwalking into a new financial crisis, warns former Bank of England governor – The Guardian Goldman warns corporate buybacks are plummeting, ending a big source of buying power for the market – CNBC Blain: “I Am Convinced The Debt Markets Are About To Blow Up” –


Federal Government’s unfunded super liability blows-out by $50b

The Department of Finance has released data showing that the federal government’s unfunded superannuation liability topped $233.1 billion at the end of 2018-19, up $50 billion from $183.1 billion at the start of the financial year, due primarily to the cratering of interest rates. Meanwhile, the Future Fund’s assets rose to $165.7 billion in the


Economist: Drought to drive population from regions to cities

Who would have thought: the drought is driving people from the regions to the cities, the opposite of the federal government’s ‘migrants to the bush’ policy. From The SMH: Leading regional economist, Terry Rawnsley, has warned fears about water could discourage Sydney residents from moving to regional towns at the same time as the economic


Limp Labor waves through wage crushing FTAs

ACTU president Michele O’Neil has criticised Labor’s decision to support legislation to establish free trade agreements (FTAs) with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru. She says the trade deals breach Labor’s national policy platform. Unions’ concerns about the trade deals include the clauses regarding investor-state dispute settlement and labour market testing. The legislation was passed by


Aussies want feds to butt out of ACT’s marijuana legalisation

Last month, the ACT Legislative Assembly passed laws legalising the recreational use of marijuana, which will allow residents aged over 18 to possess up to 50 grams and grow two plants from next year. This has garnered a strong backlash from the federal government, which labelled the legislation “dangerous” and has threatened to block the


‘Tiny homes’ are proof housing policy has failed

Amid the widespread media gushing over ‘tiny homes’, it is nice to finally read an honest appraisal on why they are a retrograde solution for chronic housing policy failures: Finally, an ingenious solution to a housing crisis that is sapping the quality of life of an entire generation: the humble van. More than 21,000 Britons


Stimulus demanded as WA property market crashes to 30-year low

Perth’s housing crash has been well documented on MB. According to CoreLogic, Perth’s house price bust has dragged on for more than five years, with values down more than 21% – easily exceeding prior busts: Perth rents have also collapsed by 22% since December 2014, according to the ABS: Now, newly released data from Landgate


Traitor McGowan demands more low-wage migrants for WA

Two years ago, we praised WA Premier, Mark McGowan, for standing up for workers and demanding the federal government remove Perth from the Regional Sponsorship Migration Scheme, thus effectively preventing a pathway for overseas workers to gain a visa: At the time, the McGowan Government also trimmed the state’s skilled migration list, slashing it to


Australia tumbles down global wealth rankings

Credit Suisse has released its 2019 Global Wealth Report, which reveals that the recent housing bust has pushed Australia down the wealth rankings, falling from second place to fourth: According to Credit Suisse: Household wealth in Australia grew quickly between 2000 and 2012 in USD terms, except during 2008. The average annual growth rate of


Stamp duty crash wipes $2.6b from NSW Budget

The NSW Office of State Revenue has released stamp duty data to September, which reveals a massive $1.59 billion (25%) decline over the past year and a $2.58 billion (35%) decline since stamp duty receipts peaked in September 2017: The slump in stamp duty receipts follows a sharp 22% decline in property transfers in the


‘Dodgy’ international student agents under fire from Aussie Government

The Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into efficacy of current regulation of Australian migration and education agents was released in February, which claimed “unscrupulous, unlawful and unethical” education agents were exploiting both international students and Australia’s visa system. Specifically, these agents were accused of deceiving students on migration pathways and work rights, in addition to pushing students


Links 22 October 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: US Federal Reserve starts “quantitative easing forever” – WSWS Saudi Arabia’s Best Bet Is to Crash the Price of Oil – Bloomberg Brexit Deal Failure Will Rattle Markets … – Stock Market News Global economy: ‘we must do everything possible’ to avoid global ‘fracture’ caused by US-China tensions, urges


Inflation expectations collapse

From Roy Morgan Research: Surveyed in September, Australians as a whole said they expected inflation to increase by 4% annually over the next two years. This is up very slightly (0.1%) on how they were feeling the previous month, but it is down a little (0.3%) on their expectations a year earlier. However there was


RBA propaganda: Australian wages to magically lift in 2020

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor, Philip Lowe, has told an International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington that the Australian economy appears to be on track to return to its trend growth rate in 2020, which should put downward pressure on the unemployment rate and gradually boost wages. From The Australian: “I don’t think it’s


CBA: Mass immigration will keep Australian housing unaffordable

CBA interest rate strategists, Jarrod Kerr and Adam Donaldson, claim that mass immigration is Australia’s “fountain of youth” and will prevent housing prices from falling. From The Australian: Back in January 2017, the interest rate strategists at the Commonwealth Bank published a Global Markets Research paper called Demography is Destiny for Interest Rates, But Immigration


Unions declare war on Labor over FTA treachery

Last week, Labor attracted scorn from union leaders after the party’s caucus voted to support the federal government’s proposed free-trade agreements (FTAs) with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru. The key area of contention is that the Indian and Peru FTAs include working rights, which would expand the number of temporary migrant workers in Australia by


Off-the-plan apartment buyers drown in negative equity

The tidal wave of high-rise apartments built across the East Coast has left recent buyers of off-the-plan apartments drowning in negative equity, according to new research from CoreLogic. This research shows that more than half of newly constructed off-the-plan apartments in Sydney and Melbourne were worth less than the owners bought them for, whereas nearly


Flammable cladding the new asbestos

The head of Victoria’s cladding safety agency, Dan O’Brien, claims that 35% of buildings audited have flammable cladding, and has likened the problem to asbestos: Mr O’Brien said the Statewide Cladding Audit by the Victorian Building Authority had inspected 2300 buildings since it began in 2017, with 805 found to have aluminium composite panels or


Australia’s skilled visa hoax exposed again

For years, MB has highlighted the deep flaws in Australia’s purported ‘skilled’ visa system, which accounts for around two-thirds of Australia’s planned migrant intake: Our concerns has been based upon three main flaws, specifically: The overwhelming majority of migrants under the skilled stream are not actually skilled; Those that have arrived in Australia have overwhelmingly


International students enslaved by own countrymen

Wage theft from international students has been an enduring theme across the Australian economy over times. Earlier this year, Alan Fels – the chair of the Migrant Workers Taskforce – described wage theft as “widespread and systematic”, and estimated that one-third of international students are being underpaid, typically by migrant employers of the same nationality: