Unconventional Economist


ScoMo’s visa system privatisation will Swiss cheese borders

Michael West has done a terrific job today exposing the vested interests behind the Morrison Government’s privatisation of Australia’s visa system: Despite the myriad failures of privatisation, not least the disastrous sale of the nation’s energy networks which has delivered dazzling profits to foreign multinationals at the expense of every citizen in this country, the


Nearly half of Aussies living paycheck to paycheck

The latest ME Bank six monthly survey of financial comfort, released this week, revealed that cost of living pressures remain by far the biggest concern amongst Australian households, with 40% claiming they are living paycheck to paycheck: 31% of households that indicated that their financial situation had worsened over the past year, there was a


Desperate developers puke massive incentives for dud apartments

As stalled developments hulk across Australia’s east coast amid the surge in completions: The AFR reports that desperate developers are offering incentives of up to $90,000 in order to clear their apartment backlog: Commission payments of between $30,000 and $90,000 – plus extra incentives for multiple sales – are being offered by developers to buyers’


UK wages boom from cuts to cheap foreign labour

UK wages continue to boom, rising at their fastest rate since 2008, with unemployment also near the lowest level since the mid-1970s: In sharp contrast to the broader economic slowdown that has taken Britain to the brink of recession, the Office for National Statistics said annual average pay – excluding bonuses – rose by 3.9%


Coalition, Labor back away from a “Big Australia”

Yesterday’s dire Infrastructure Australia audit, which warned of growing infrastructure bottlenecks and rising costs across roads, rail, schools, electricity and water as Australia’s population balloons to a projected to 31.4 million people by 2031, has finally prompted both major parties to question their bipartisan support for mass immigration and a ‘Big Australia’. The Morrison Government has announced


Australian households face 400% increase in water bills

Infrastructure Australia’s audit of the nation’s requirements highlights water as a key pressure point arising from the 24% projected increase in Australia’s population to 31.4 million people by 2031: Population growth is ramping up pressure on limited water supplies While climate change is tightening water supplies in many parts of the country, our population has


Let Australia’s international student market collapse

Robert Gottliebsen has rung the alarm that Australia’s international student trade risks falling over if Chinese international students stop arriving in record numbers: Universities are funded by taking in foreign students who pay full fees. Many of these students come from China. Chinese universities have adapted their courses to fit the modern world… In other


“Tiny homes” are a marketing con

The growing “tiny home” movement must be one of the greatest marketing cons pulled off in recent years. With home ownership on the decline across much of the developed world, and homelessness rising, policy makers and the media have managed to convince the general public into believing that stuffing people into glorified caravans and trailer


Links 14 August 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: The World’s Wealthiest Family Gets $4 Million Richer Every Hour: “The 25 wealthiest dynasties on the planet control $1.4 trillion” – Bloomberg Former NYU Business School Standout, New to Wall Street, Charged With Insider Trading – WSJ New Investigation Claims Many Companies Used Blockchain to Boost Stocks – Be


Morrison Government spruiks new “high skill” fast track visas

Federal Immigration Minister David Coleman is to release details of its Global Talent Scheme (GTS) visa program today, with visas for 5,000 “high-skilled” people from around the world to be fast-tracked each year. Coleman says the Global Talent Independent Program will focus on no more than five or six sectors, with fintech, quantum computing and


Why the public sector wage push is misguided

Last month we witnessed Labor’s shadow financial services minister, Stephen Jones, demanding the federal government stimulate the economy and wage growth by lifting public sector salaries: Mr Jones said Australians needed a pay rise and the government should “lead by example” by boosting the wages of federal workers. “The government has got a role to


LVO talks pharmacy reform on Radio 2GB

This morning I gave the above interview on Radio 2GB whereby I explained why Australia needs to reform pharmacy ownership rules to boost competition and lower prescription drug costs. This interview is based largely on an article published last week entitled, Chemist Warehouse declares war on rent-seeking Pharmacy Guild.    


Department of Employment: Australia to become a bed pan economy

Since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) struck in 2008, the lion’s share of Australia’s jobs growth has come from Healthcare & Social Assistance, which has accounted for 590,000 jobs created: The Department of Employment has released its Australian Jobs Report, which projects that Healthcare & Social Assistance will continue to dominate jobs growth, alongside other population-driven


Infrastructure Australia forecasts dystopian “Big Australia”

An Infrastructure Australia audit of the nation’s requirements across areas like roads, rail, schools, electricity and water has found that almost two-thirds of the burden from population growth will fall on the mass immigration epicentres of Sydney and Melbourne. The report also predicts that traffic delays on roads and public transport will balloon despite $200


Anger erupts as cracking apartment owners left destitute and bankrupt

Yesterday was the first day of the inquiry into NSW building standards, which was set up last month after major faults appeared in apartment buildings such as Mascot Towers and Opal Tower. The inquiry heard tails of woe from owners of apartments in the Mascot Tower, who have been left destitute and facing potential bankruptcy.


Migrant visa tsunami pushes older Australians onto dole queue

Recall Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor, Phil Lowe’s, testimony on Friday to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, whereby Lowe wrongly claimed that increased labour force participation from older Australians is one of the key reasons for excess capacity in Australia’s labour market and why wage growth has stuck to historically low


Links 13 August 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Student Loans Keeping You From Saving for Retirement? You’re Not Alone. – Barrons World Economy Edges Closer to a Recession as Trade Dread Deepens – Bloomberg Asia shares decline as trade war concerns dampen investor sentiment – CNBC Cathay Pacific shares drop after China orders carrier to suspend staff


If you buy apartments off-the-plan, you are off-the-planet

In the video above, Martin North and property insider Edwin Almeida delve deeper into the high-rise apartment crisis, which they have previously claimed is a $1 trillion problem for Australia. In particular, North and Almeida discuss the collapse of developer Ralan and what the implications are for home buyers of off-the-plan buyers. Two months ago, Edwin Almeida


Is tightened credit behind the crash in new car sales?

Earlier this month, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries reported that annual new car sale had hit the lowest level since November 2012: Today, The AFR blames part of this decline on tightening automotive credit: In a post-royal commission world, where the banks are struggling to come to grips with what “responsible” lending really means,


More proof superannuation benefits the wealthy

One of the biggest knocks on Australia’s compulsory superannuation system is that because of Australia’s flat 15% tax on contributions, those on lower incomes receive minimal concessions (or are penalised), whereas those on higher incomes receive the biggest tax concessions on contributions: Division 293 remedies the situation for those very high income earners above $250,000.