Unconventional Economist


Open borders Labor blows multiculturalism foghorn

Labor’s open borders spokesperson, Kristina Keneally, has warned that multiculturalism is under threat by Australia’s “cruel” immigration policies: Labor’s spokesperson for immigration, Kristina Keneally, will use a keynote speech to warn that multiculturalism is under threat. Blown out wait times to become an Australian citizen have led to the largest-ever drop in people pledging their


ISA admits lifting superannuation guarantee will lower wages

New research released by Industry Super Australia (ISA) has admitted that lifting the superannuation guarantee (compulsory superannuation) from the current 9.5% to 12% will lower workers’ take-home pay compared to what they would receive without the superannuation guarantee increase: ISA found that… an average worker would see a reduction in prospective weekly wage rises of


VIC Government feeds homeless to the wolves

With Victoria’s population growing out of control on the back of turbo-charged immigration: And Melbourne’s population projected to more than double over the next half century: You would think that the Victorian State Government would be seeking to boost the stock of social housing in order to prevent vulnerable residents from becoming homeless. Not so,


Australian housing’s supply-side squeeze

With this week’s release of dwelling commencements and completions data for the June quarter, it’s once again time to examine how Australia’s dwelling supply is tracking against population growth. The below charts track the following, which are based on the latest available quarterly data: Dwelling approvals to June 2019; Dwelling commencements to June 2019; Dwelling


Links 11 October 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: US futures drop after Chinese media reports that US and China have made no progress in trade talks – CNBC IMF warns of economic slowdown in 90 per cent of world – Yuv News Bankers Start Turning on Fiat, Making Bitcoin a More Attractive Alternative – Be In Crypto


NSW Government spearheads new privatisation push

NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, is leading renewed calls for the federal government to reinstate the Abbott Government’s “asset recycling” program to provide states with financial incentives to reinvest the proceeds of asset sales into new infrastructure projects: On Thursday, the state Treasurers will meet among themselves and Mr Perrottet said he would seek support for


Australia’s mortgage market goes BOOM!

Today’s housing finance data for August from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recorded another strong rebound in mortgage commitments: As shown above, total finance commitments (excluding refinancings) rose by 2.9% in August, with owner-occupied commitments rising 1.9% and investor commitments rising 5.7%. However over the year, total finance commitments (excluding refinancings) fell by 5.0%,


Final auction clearance rate slides into the 60s

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 3.7% decline in the final national auction clearance rate to 67.6% – well above the same weekend last year (49.5%) but below last week’s 71.0%: As you can see, Sydney’s


Fake Labor Party waves through wage-crushing Indonesian FTA

The Joint Standing Committee on Trade (JSCOT) has released its report rubber stamping the Hong Kong and Indonesia Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). The Indonesian FTA, in particular, will permit several thousand more Indonesians working rights, thus leading to more temporary migrant rorting, more low cost labour for business, and further undermining Australian wages and working


Australia facing climate change “mass migrant invasion”

As we already know, Australia massively increased its migrant intake in the early-2000s, and this has driven a three-fold increase in Australia’s net overseas migration (NOM) compared to the historical average: Accordingly, the Australian population has ballooned by around 6.4 million people (34%) so far this century. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) median projections


Prepare for the dwelling construction jobs bust

The ABS yesterday released dwelling construction data for the June quarter, which recorded a dead cat bounce in both commencements and completions. According to the ABS, the number of dwelling commencements rebounded by a seasonally-adjusted 1.1% over the June quarter, but crashed by 20.3% over the year. While detached house commencements fell by 10.6% over


International students set to fall as entry standards forced up

Have we finally started to make a difference? Earlier this week we learned that several Australian universities have blocked access to Indian international students from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. These changes to university admissions follows the Department of Home Affairs’ reclassification of student visa applications from India, Nepal and Pakistan as “high-risk”. This means


Links 10 October 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: “Close To A Standstill”: IMF Warns Global Growth Will Be Cut To Lowest Since Lehman – Zero Hedge Powell says the Fed will start expanding its balance sheet soon – CNBC Wall Street Falls on Persistent Trade War Concerns – Stock Market News The best ways to invest an


More evidence New Zealand’s ‘skills-based’ visa system is failing

Much like Australia, New Zealand purports to run a ‘skills-based’ visa system that plugs critical skills shortages across the nation. However, new data from Statistics New Zealand actually shows that fewer of those migrating to New Zealand are of working-age. From Interest.co.nz: The Government’s decision to open the door to the parents of migrants to


Private health insurers need to stop seeking handouts

Stephen Duckett – the director of the health program at Grattan Institute – has lashed calls from the private health insurance industry for the government to lift funding by another $1.2 billion: Last week’s call by Private Healthcare Australia, the private health insurance industry lobby group, for another $1.2bn handout shows the message has not


ABC: Melbourne’s outer migrant suburbs a “modern slum nightmare”

The ABC has published an interesting profile on the outer-Western Melbourne suburb of Tarneit, which is fast morphing into a modern migrant slum nightmare: When the Bahadur family moved into their new home in Melbourne’s booming outer west four months ago, they dreamed of suburban bliss. But it turned out to be a nightmare. “We


Coalition defends Newstart poverty payments

Amid ever growing pressure to lift Australia’s Newstart rate, which is among the lowest in the OECD, the Morrison Government has hit back, claiming that its focus is on “reducing debt” and Budget repair. From The Guardian: In a submission to a Senate inquiry into Newstart, the government said it intended to “focus on strengthening


Employer groups: 12% compulsory superannuation will lower wages

Several Australian employer groups have backed the views of the Australian Treasury, the Henry Tax Review, the Grattan Institute, and the Parliamentary Budget Office, who claim that raising Australia’s superannuation guarantee (‘compulsory superannuation’) from 9.5% to 12% would lower wage growth. From The AFR: Motor Trades Association of Australia chief executive Richard Dudley, whose industry


Australia’s economy is bred for stupidity

Yesterday we reported how the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for International Development has ranked the Australian economy amongst the least sophisticated, with Harvard labelling Australia “rich, dumb and getting dumber”. Today, a variety of mainstream Australian economists have addressed Harvard’s rankings, with some dismissing the findings and others showing concern. From The AFR: “Complexity of


Shrinkflation returns to Australia’s housing market

In 2017, MB coined the phrase “shrinkflation” to describe the unusual phenomenon where housing transaction volumes fall at the same time as dwelling values rise strongly. It appears that the Australian housing market is experiencing another episode of housing shrinkflation, with prices escalating at the same time as listings and transaction volumes have shrunk. The


Trashed visa system fuels human trafficking, exploitation and slavery

Department of Home Affairs officials have confirmed that around 95,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Australia by plane over the past five years, which Labor claims is fuelling “exploitation and slavery”: The figures were disclosed in answers to Questions on Notice from Labor’s spokesperson for Home Affairs and Immigration Kristina Keneally. “There’s nothing wrong with


International students conned by deceitful migration agents

Last week, a group of academics released a report, entitled Temporary Graduatification, which sounded the alarm over the exposure of international student graduates to unscrupulous migration agents: … many international students who want to stay on and apply for the 485 [Graduate] visa are vulnerable to being exploited by a growing number of ‘dodgy’ agents


Links 9 October 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: GE freezing pensions for 20,000 employees – MarketWatch The world’s 10 most and least liveable cities for 2019 – CRE Herald Apple Stock Is at ‘Unreasonable’ Levels, Analyst Says – Barrons N.Y. Fed awards $47.05 billion in Monday morning repos – Reuters Americas: U.S. Economy: The Economic Slowdown Will


Investors set to storm Australia’s housing market

Peter Koulizos, chairman of lobby group Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA), claims that investors are set to storm Australia’s housing market: Peter Koulizos… said there had been a surge in buyer sentiment in recent months, with corresponding price increases in Sydney and Melbourne. The organisation has just released the results of a survey of