Leith van Onselen


Links 23 September 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: 5 Major Banks Exposed for Moving Trillions for Mobsters, Onecoin Ponzi, and Drug Cartels – Bitcoin News In the Covid-19 pandemic, people should be supported, not jobs – Economic Daily Remote working is here to stay – but that doesn’t mean the end of offices or city centres –


RBA Deputy Governor Debelle lists ‘other’ policy options.

From CBA’s head of Australian economics, Gareth Aird: RBA Deputy Governor Guy Debelle listed four ‘other’ options to ease monetary policy further: (i) purchase bonds further out on the curve (supplementing the three year yield target); (ii) foreign exchange intervention; (iii) cut the current structure of interest rates in the economy without going negative; and (iv) negative rates. Purchasing


Travel agents demand taxpayer bailout

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents has urged the federal and state governments to provide targeted assistance for the industry, which has been amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel agents qualify for financial hardship assistance if their turnover has fallen by 30%, but many have experienced a decline of 90% or more.


Property Council demands migrant meat for grinder

The mask has slipped and the reason Australia has had such high immigration rates has been revealed: The Property Council has called on the Federal Government to extend its successful HomeBuilder stimulus program for new housing construction for a further six months to July 2021. The Property Council has also recommended a ‘Welcome to Australia’


ABS: Payroll jobs still down 4.5% from pre-COVID level

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia survey, which reveals that the number of payroll jobs remains 4.5% lower than pre-COVID levels, whereas total wages are down 4.3%: Key statistics Between the week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case) and


Gottiboff: Death taxes would sap first home buyer confidence

Historically low interest rates and government incentives are prompting more first-home buyers (FHBs) to enter the housing market. However, according to Robert Gottliebsen, renewed talk of reintroducing death taxes will sap the confidence of FHBs: After lying dormant for many years, death taxes are suddenly re-entering the speculative arena. And so to treasurer Josh Frydenberg


Victorian COVID-19 infections rebound

Victoria recorded 28 new COVID-19 infections overnight, a significant rebound from yesterday’s multi-month low of 11. However, it recorded only 3 deaths.   The 14-day trend, which is what the Victorian Government is looking at in order to ease Melbourne’s restrictions, has fallen to 32.8: NSW recorded only 2 new COVID-19 infections, with the trend


Brace for a tsunami of insolvencies

Amendments to the Corporations and Bankruptcy Acts – including the relaxation of insolvent trading laws for six months – have delayed business insolvencies and related personal bankruptcies during the COVID-19 crisis. These rules, alongside massive emergency income support and debt repayment deferrals, have seen personal insolvencies plunge to record low levels: Whereas the number of


The long, painful death of TAFE

A recent report from the Centre for Future Work showed that enrolments in apprenticeships and traineeships have collapsed since 2012, and projected a further 30% drop in new apprenticeships (with 130,000 fewer positions) resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to 2023: The report also showed that government Vocational Education and Training (VET) spending has languished far


Early superannuation release slows again

APRA has published its early superannuation release data for the week ended 13 September, which revealed that only $340 million was withdrawn from Australia’s superannuation system, taking the total amount withdrawn early to $33.3 billion: According to APRA: Over the week to 13 September, superannuation funds made payments to 46,000 members, bringing the total number


Banks brace for tidal wave of mortgage defaults

According to Richard Gluyas at The Australian, Australia’s major banks have deployed more staff to their financial hardship units as loan deferral periods for mortgage and small business customers begin to wind down. The banks are also anticipating a sharp rise in loan defaults as government stimulus measures begin to be scaled back. National Australia


Coalition to launch new ProfitKeeper program

Earlier this month, we reported how the Morrison Government’s JobKeeper subsidy has been an absolute boon for Australian business owners, juicing company dividends and profits. This was reflected in the latest national accounts for the June quarter, which showed that employee wages & salaries fell by 3.3% over the quarter while company profits soared by


CBA upgrades Australia’s GDP outlook

From CBA’s head of Australian economics, Gareth Aird: Key Points: We have upwardly revised our profile for Australian GDP growth, based largely on a significant upgrade to Q320. GDP is now forecast to rise by 2.0% in Q3 20 GDP compared to our previous estimate centred on a broadly flat outcome. GDP in 2020 is


Job listings rebound outside Victoria

Callam Pickering, economist at global Jobs site Indeed, has updated his weekly job postings data, which shows that Australia’s labour market continues to improve outside Victoria: Specifically, Victorian job postings are tracking 51% below last year’s trend, compared with a 19% gap for the rest of Australia. Moreover, the gap between Victoria and the rest


Links 22 September 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: In the Covid-19 pandemic, people should be supported, not jobs – Economic Daily Who Bought the $3.3 Trillion Piled on the Incredibly Spiking US National Debt Since March? – Wolf Street U.S. Stock Outperformance Portends More Dark Days for the Dollar – Bloomberg Apple Is Set Up For Huge


Coalition re-opens door to money laundering visas

Back in March, Atlas Advisors Australia wasted no time in using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to lobby the Morrison Government to open the floodgates to Significant Investor Visas (SIV) – affectionately known as “Golden Ticket Visas”: About $100 million could provide a lifeline for start-ups and emerging companies crippled by the coronavirus if


Immigration bust slices housing demand

New research from the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) claims the COVID-19 pandemic could cut demand for Australian housing by up to 232,000 dwellings over the next three years: The organisation found that international border closures had effectively shut down net overseas migration, which accounted for 59 per cent of population growth since


Australia facing zero net migration in 2020-21

Abul Rizvi believes that Australia’s permanent migration program may contribute zero to net overseas migration (NOM) in 2020-21: In 2019-20, the Government delivered a migration program around 20,000 places below the ceiling of 160,000. A record 70 percent of the skill stream was delivered to people already living and/or working in Australia. For the family


RBA: Unemployment hangover could last a decade

The latest RBA Bulletin contains an interesting report on COVID-19’s impact on Australia’s labour market, in which the RBA warns that unemployment may take a decade to fully recover: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rapid deterioration in labour market outcomes, some of which may be long-lasting. This article examines the long-lived effects of


Youth took the virus pain. Old get the virus gain

The Morrison Government is reportedly gearing up for ‘astounding’ expenditure in the upcoming federal budget, centred around bringing forward $14 billion of tax cuts: The Morrison government is preparing to unleash an “astounding” amount of spending in next month’s budget to drag the country out of its first recession in 29 years with the nation


Sydney’s auction market gathers steam

CoreLogic’s preliminary auction clearance rate surged, with 72.4% of reported auctions cleared versus 67.3% last weekend: Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate strengthened again with 72.4% of reported auctions sold, up from 70.4% last weekend. However, Melbourne had too few auctions to even report a clearance rate. According to CoreLogic: This week, the combined capital city preliminary


Links 21 September 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Apple Is Set Up For Huge iPhone Sales Of 5G Handset – Bulls Waves Goldman Says Options Market Pushing Election Risk to December – Bloomberg Basic Income Experiments Around the World – Visual Capitalist PS5 Will Sell Over 200 Million Units, According To Analysts – Screen Rant BP said


Weekend Reading: 19-20 September 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Wall Street slumps as most stocks fall; tech leads decliners – AP News Asia stocks defy Wall Street weakness but economy, US election worries cap gains – Straits Times World Bank: Coronavirus pandemic threatens health and education – Economo The OECD is a little more optimistic about the global


CBA: Household income still booming

This month’s June quarter national accounts reported that aggregate compensation of employees fell by 2.5% over the June quarter driven by a heavy 3.6% decline across the private sector: Similarly, total wages & salaries fell by 3.3% in the June quarter: However, household disposable income surged by 2.8% in the June quarter in real per capita


CoreLogic: Inner-city rents hammered

The latest rental data from CoreLogic reveals that apartment rents across Sydney and Melbourne have been hammered since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, falling by 4.2% and 4.4% respectively between March and August: CoreLogic’s head of research, Eliza Owen, has released additional data showing that properties closer to the city are more likely to


RBA: “unprecedented shock” ravages rental market

The latest RBA Bulletin contains an interesting report on COVID-19’s impact on Australia’s residential rental market, which it claims is experiencing “an unprecedented shock” with “reducing demand for rental properties at the same time as supply has increased”: The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented shock to the rental housing market, reducing demand for rental properties


Youth labour market climbs out of gutter

Yesterday’s ABS labour force release for August revealed that Australia’s youth – i.e. those aged 15 to 24 years old – led the nation’s jobs rebound. The headline youth unemployment rate fell 2.0% to 14.3%, although it remains nearly three times higher than the rest of the labour market (5.4%): Of more interest, youth jobs


Temporary migrants angry at Australia

A nationwide survey of international students and temporary migrants reveals anger at being excluded from welfare payments like JobKeeper and JobSeeker. Accordingly, many would not recommend Australia as a destination: A nationwide survey of 6000 visa workers and overseas students found that 70 per cent had lost work during the pandemic and 28 per cent