Unconventional Economist


Weekend Reading: 16-17 November 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Wework loses $1.3 billion against topline of $934M ahead of aborted IPO – Bloomberg Global Economy ‘Breakdown’ Seen Putting More Workers at Risk of Slavery – VOA News The ‘Doomsday’ Economists Were Wrong – BeInCrypto Oil rises after OPEC’s Barkindo says U.S. shale growth may slow in 2020 –


NZ house prices hit record high

The REINZ has released its house price data for October, which revealed a 1.1% increase in values over the month, with values nationally also increasing by 7.6% year-on-year to a new record high: The breakdown by region is shown below: Outside of Auckland, seasonally adjusted house prices rose by 1.3% in October, with prices up


NSW Treasurer: Infrastructure cannot outrun population ponzi

Despite undergoing a record $93 billion re build, and selling-off nearly every public asset possible, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet admits the state faces a massive infrastructure shortfall of $30 billion, as unrelenting immigration overruns Sydney: NSW faces a massive infrastructure funding shortfall of about $30 billion needed to drive projects critical to building the state’s


Youth labour market turns nasty

Yesterday’s ABS labour force release for October revealed a sharp deterioration in Australia’s youth labour market – i.e. those aged 15 to 24 years old – with falling jobs growth and rising unemployment and underemployment. The trend headline unemployment rate rose to 12.05% in October: Total employment growth for those aged 15-24 years fell to


CoreLogic weekly house price update: Super Surge

In the week ended 14 November 2019, the CoreLogic 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, surged another 0.34%: The rise in values was broad-based, but driven by Sydney followed by Melbourne: Quarterly dwelling values continue to rise strongly, driven by Sydney and Melbourne, where prices are rocketing: The


International students plunder ‘regions’ for permanent residency

The Morrison Government’s regional visa incentives, which provides five extra points towards permanent residency and allows international students to stay for up to seven years, has driven a surge in enrolments into Tasmania and South Australia: Data from the International Education Association of Australia shows that student commencements in Tasmania were up by 35 per


Links 15 November 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Wework loses $1.3 billion against topline of $934M ahead of aborted IPO – Bloomberg Is retirement dying? The old work model is disappearing for boomers, Gen Xers – USA Today Global Economy ‘Breakdown’ Seen Putting More Workers at Risk of Slavery – VOA News Google reportedly offering checking accounts


Insolvent developers forced into fire sales

Earlier this week, we learned that construction insolvencies are booming, according to ASIC: Insolvencies in the $150bn residential and non-residential construction industry remain at a high level… insolvencies in the three months to September jumped 78 per cent in Victoria, 41 per cent in Queensland and 7 per cent in NSW. This was a significant


Final auction clearance rate holds at 70%

Last weekend, CoreLogic released its preliminary auction clearance rates, which revealed the following results: Today, CoreLogic has released its final auction results, which reported a 1.4% decline in the final national auction clearance rate to 72.0% – well above the same weekend last year (43.3%) and above last week’s 68.0%: As you can see, Sydney’s


ABS employment in detail: Fugly

As summarised earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released its labour force report for October, which registered a 19,000 decrease in total employment and an increase in the headline unemployment rate (from 5.2% to 5.3%). In trend terms, the unemployment rate was steady at 5.3%: Again, total employment fell by a seasonally adjusted


Graduate employment outcomes worsen

New data released from the federal government shows that graduate employment outcomes have dipped from last year: In 2019, 72.2 per cent of undergraduates were in full-time employment four months after completing their degree, down by 0.7 percentage points from 72.9 per cent in the previous year. The overall employment rate for undergraduates was 86.8


SQM: Housing to boom into bull trap

SQM Research MD Louis Christopher expects growth in housing prices in Australia’s capital cities to average 11% in 2020. The latest edition of Christopher’s Housing Boom and Bust Report forecasts that dwelling prices in Melbourne will rise by up to 15%, while Sydney’s housing market will record growth of 10%-14%. However, Christopher says the housing


Sydney water storages face “day zero” as migrants flood in

Sydney’s water storages are plumetting at a faster rate than was experienced during the 2000s Millennial Drought, which was said to be the worst drought in Australia’s recorded history: This has authorities concerned that Sydney could soon face “day zero” – a time when the city runs out of drinking water: Sydney’s water storage levels


Australian wages become a ward of the state

Yesterday’s labour price index for the September quarter, released by the ABS, confirmed that the public sector is driving wage growth across the Australian economy: As shown above, public sector wages grew by 2.5% in the year to September, versus a 2.2% increase across the private sector. This continues a long-running trend, with real public


Why international student enrolments will soon fall

A superficial glance at Australia’s international student numbers reveals an industry in rude health. The number of international student visa applications granted – a leading indicator for new enrolments – hit an all-time high 406,000 in the year to June 2019: The number of new international student enrolments at Australia’s education institutions also hit a


Links 14 November 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Debt Market Bubble’s Bursting – The ‘CLO Sausage Factory’ Is Stalling – Zero Hedge Wall Street bonuses set to drop as banks focus on cost cuts – Crains New York Two Surveys of Global Businesses Slump to Gloomiest Level Since Recession! – Barrons The world economy is headed for


Adios housing affordability

CoreLogic has released housing affordability data, which shows that affordability peaked in the June quarter of 2019: However, that was as good as it will get given the recent surge in values, especially across Sydney and Melbourne: According to CoreLogic: CoreLogic’s head of research, Tim Lawless, said the return of the “fear of missing out”


The downfall of Murdoch University

With Murdoch University under siege over its poor handling of international student enrolments and its lawsuit against whistle-blower Dr Gerd Schroeder-Turk, an enterprising individual going by the avatar of Murdoch Maven has published the above hilarious parody: “Murdoch Downfall”. Warning: the subtitles contain very explicit language. Enjoy!


Older Australians hog family friendly homes

Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has released new research claiming that older empty-nesters are clinging to their larger family-friendly homes. The AHURI also recommends a wide range of tax reforms to encourage seniors to downsize: “They like to stay where they’re familiar,” said lead researcher Associate Professor Stephen Whelan from the University of


New plan to flood Australia with ‘low-skilled’ Indian workers

Australia is littered with examples of so-called ‘skilled’ migrants gaining visas only to then work in unskilled areas for low pay (e.g. here, here and here). Now, a sinister plan is being hatched to flood Australia with Indian workers to fill imaginary skills shortages: An Indian strategy to boost economic ties with Australia will recommend


NSW Planning Minister attacks community for opposing crush-loading

NSW Planning Minister has attacked so-called NIMBY baby boomers for opposing high-rise development across Sydney: Baby Boomers are primarily responsible for hostility toward housing growth and density, Planning Minister Rob Stokes says, accusing the generation of being the drivers of so-called NIMBYism… Speaking to developers, planning bureaucrats and community leaders, Mr Stokes said growth had


Big Australia lobbyists: Aussies don’t want to live in houses

‘Big Australia’ mass immigration shills claim that Australians no longer want to live in a detached house with a backyard, and are instead choosing high density living and renting: Danni Hunter, Victorian chief executive of the Urban Development Institute of Australia… said density would “grow stronger … and that’s really good for the diversity of


Australian wage growth plummets

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released its Labor Price Index for the September quarter of 2019, which revealed falling wage growth: According to the ABS, wages grew by just 0.53% (both s.a. and trend) in the September quarter. Private sector wages grew by 0.53% (both s.a. and trend) over the quarter, whereas