Leith van Onselen


Greedy universities demand immediate budget stimulus

Facing a multi-billion dollar reduction in fees from the loss of international students, Australia’s universities are now putting their hands out for budget stimulus: Universities and international education providers are holding out for more direct coronavirus support in the May budget… International Education Australia chief executive Phil Honeywood said he would push for more support


NZ housing bubble returns with a vengence

The REINZ has released its house price data for February, which revealed a 4.1% increase in median values over the month, with values nationally surging by 14.3% year-on-year to another record high: The summary breakdown shown below: Outside of Auckland, median house prices rose by 4.8% in February, with prices up 11.8% year-on-year. Whereas Auckland’s


Morrison Government shafts unemployed for pensioners

Last year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Coalition MPs that any increases in welfare spending should go to pensioners, not the unemployed: Pensioners will be prioritised ahead of unemployed Australians for any boost to welfare payments as the Morrison government stands firm against growing demands to lift the Newstart allowance. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has


Superannuation cure “worse than the disease”

The Australia Institute (TAI) released startling research on the growing cost of Australia’s compulsory superannuation system, which is costing the federal budget much more than it saves in Aged Pension costs: Superannuation tax concessions are almost as big as the cost of the age pension. They’re also growing at twice the rate of the age


Fake Greens turn property developer

Greens leader, Adam Bandt, has launched a “Green New Deal” which promises to build 500,000 affordable social houses: [ADAM] Right now across Australia people are feeling the pressure. People are feeling anxious because the basics of life, like housing are no longer guaranteed. [MEHREEN] We are in the middle of a climate emergency and a


Migrant-stuffed Western Sydney bakes under concrete

CoreLogic has released research showing that Sydney’s fast growing west is becoming increasingly hot, while the wealthy inner-east is enjoying stable temperatures: Western Sydney is undergoing unprecedented development and transformation, reflecting the vast size and population growth of the region. However, Western Sydney is also getting hotter. Data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology shows


CoreLogic weekly house price update: Slowing

In the week ended 12 March 2020, the CoreLogic 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, rose another 0.19%: The rise in values was broad-based, with the exception of Perth: Quarterly dwelling values continue to rise strongly, driven by Sydney and Melbourne, where prices are still rocketing: The epic


Unis facing “significant financial loss” as international students collapse

Australia’s universities are warning that the crash in international student enrolments could drag into the second semester: There are new threats to the $38 billion international student market as university staff are barred from travelling to overseas recruitment fairs, putting stress on projected earnings for the second half of the calendar year, according to the


Links 13 March 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Sell-off on Wall Street accelerates, with the Dow down 1,000 points – CNBC Analyst who predicted 2008 global financial crash warns another one is on the way — and not just because of coronavirus – Independent World Health Organization Declares COVID-19 a ‘Pandemic’ – Stock Market News Dow Drops


Final auction clearance rate points to softer growth

Earlier this week, CoreLogic released its preliminary auction clearance rates, which revealed the following results: Today, CoreLogic has released its final auction results, which reported a 6.2% decline in the final national auction clearance rate to 68.6% – still well above the same weekend last year (47.8%): As you can see, Sydney’s final auction clearance


2.7m Aussie jobs to vanish as robots take over

Data modelling undertaken on behalf of the Australian Computer Society has highlighted the potential impact of robots and artificial intelligence technology on the labour market. The modelling, which is based on data from the 2016 Census, indicates that about 2.7 million jobs in Australia could become fully automated by 2034, while another 4.5 million existing


Kouk covered in COVID-19 ignominy

It has been interesting watching Stephen Koukoulas (“The Kouk”) quickly reverse gear over the coronavirus. Early last month, The Kouk blasted the decision to implement a travel ban on China: The Kouk then called for the travel ban to be lifted:   He also played down the economic impacts: Over the past week, The Kouk


Vultures descend on NBN

Last week it was revealed that telecommunications entrepreneur, David Teoh, was planning to use the $15 billion merger between TPG and Vodafone to launch a 5G mobile product to undercut the National Broadband Network’s (NBN) fixed-line offerings. This followed Telstra’s CEO, Andy Penn, who last month signaled it would offer a competing fixed wireless 5G


UK banks join Italy’s in suspending mortgage payments

Yesterday, we learned that Italy has suspended mortgage repayments amid the coronavirus crisis: Italy’s deputy finance minister has said the government will suspend mortgage payments and other household bills across the entire country during the coronavirus outbreak. Laura Castelli, part of the Five Star Movement side of Italy’s coalition government, said in an interview with


Roy Morgan unemployment 8.3% in February

The latest Roy Morgan Research (RMR) unemployment estimate for February registered a big fall in unemployment from 9.7% to 8.3%: Over the year, unemployment fell by 1.3%. However, underemployment rose by 0.3% over the month (to 9.0%) and by 0.4% over the year, with labour underutilisation tracking at 17.3% (down from 0.9% from a year


Unemployed shafted again by Morrison Government

So, the Morrison Government has announced an $18 billion stimulus package to combat the coronavirus. While the unemployed languishing on Newstart will receive tiny one-off payments of $750, they once again were largely overlooked by the federal government, which sees pensioners, small businesses, and tradies as more worthy of report. Let me explain, once again,


NAB: Tourism and education king hit by virus

NAB has named Australia’s tourism and education sectors as the areas of the economy most likely to be hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic: “For Australia, the immediate impact is likely to be on exports, with travel restrictions weighing on the education and tourism sectors,” NAB said. China was Australia’s biggest source of international visitors


University closes door on “unsustainable” international students

Last year’s Four Corners Cash Cows report accused Australia’s universities of lowering entry and teaching standards in order to grow international student enrolments, which have nearly doubled since 2013: The University of Tasmania (UTAS) was one of the institutes alleged to have waived their own English-language standards. To its credit, UTAS immediately announced that it


Links 12 March 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Investors expect a ‘permanent recession,’ Paul Krugman warns after Treasury yields tumble and interest rates plunge – Markets Insider Markets plunge in worst fall since 2008 crisis: Whatever the gyrations of the markets over the next days and weeks, it is clear that an inflection point has been reached


Australian bedpan jobs boom

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its experimental labour market accounts for the December quarter, which reveals that healthcare and social assistance continued to drive jobs growth in calendar year 2019, with the number of jobs in this industry surging 5.3% year-on-year: Much of this latest increase can be attributed to the ongoing


HIA parasite demands housing stimulus

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) is the latest vested interest to put its hands out for economic stimulus: “As the Australian government looks to respond to the current global financial uncertainty and identify appropriate policies and stimulus measures to enact, the residential building industry should be one of the most supported,” said HIA Chief Executive


The rich feast while Aussie households famine

While ordinary Australian households tread water financially, experiencing zero growth in household disposable income over more than seven years: Australia’s ultra-wealthy population is projected to balloon further over the next five years, according to the Knight Frank Wealth Report: The data shows Australia’s ultra-high-net-worth-individual (UHNWI) population will rise to 4,881 by 2024, up from 3,796


It’s time to slay the bloated, inefficient university monster

The Australian’s Adam Creighton has taken direct aim at Australia’s rent-seeking, bloated university sector, calling on policy makers to bring them to heel: For waste and perverse incentives it’s hard to go past the nation’s 39 universities… whose swol­len bureaucracies have be­come­ ground zero for highly paid BS jobs in “strategy, engagement, culture” et cetera.


Property industry: Virus no threat to house prices

Australia’s property industry is playing down the threat of a coronavirus pandemic on Australia’s housing market, claiming it may only slow price growth: An economic recession would not automatically drag the housing market into another downturn and a property bubble remains highly unlikely, property experts claim… Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Consibee said a recession would


Owner-occupier mortgages bubble

Today’s new mortgage data for January from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recorded another month of strong growth: Total new mortgage commitments (excluding refinancings) surged by 4.6% in January, with owner-occupied mortgages rising 5.0% and investor mortgages rising 3.6%. Year-on-year, total new mortgage commitments (excluding refinancings) rose by 23.3%, with owner-occupier mortgages rising by


How plane arrivals rort Australia’s visa system

Daniel Ghezelbash, Associate Professor at Macquarie University, has published research explaining how purported asylum seekers arriving in Australia via plane are using our over-loaded immigration appeals processes to extend their stays and/or attempt to gain permanent residency: The data, obtained from a freedom of information request, cover 18,196 cases decided by the AAT between January