Unconventional Economist


Ministers told to lay off FOI laws

A review of the federal public service has been urged not to impose new restrictions on freedom of information (FOI) laws. Three governance experts from the Australia & New Zealand School of Government have told the review that FOI laws help to create trust in government by providing a degree of transparency, and that this


Melbourne’s dystopian migrant-stuffed future revealed

The latest medium population projections from the ABS has Melbourne’s population more than doubling to 10.2 million by 2066, with the city’s population projected to increase by 109,000 people annually: As you can see above, 89% of Melbourne’s population increase is projected to come from net overseas migration (NOM), meaning that without positive migration, Melbourne’s


The dumbening of Australia

The Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for International Development has developed an Atlas of Economic Complexity, with Australia being ranked as having one of the least complex economies. The Atlas measures the diversity and sophistication of national exports, with almost all of Australia’s exports not requiring a degree to make. The Center for International Development contends


Australian Treasury: compulsory superannuation increase will lower wage growth

Treasury analysis, obtained under Freedom of Information, claims that raising Australia’s superannuation guarantee (‘compulsory superannuation) to 12% would lower wage growth and would make the gender retirement savings imbalance even worse: Though compulsory SG contributions are paid for by employers, wage settings generally takes into account all labour costs. As such, it is widely accepted


Coalition’s first home buyer bribe gets Senate tick

The federal government has identified a number of legislative priorities when Parliament resumes on 14 October. However, analysis suggests that the Coalition may lack the numbers to pass up to seven out of eight bills in the Senate, including the Ensuring Integrity Bill and a religious discrimination bill. The proposed first-home loan deposit scheme is


Don’t privatise Australia’s visa system

Yesterday, we reported how migration groups have attacked the Morrison Government’s plan to privatise Australia’s visa processing system, claiming that will create “major systemic risks” and is a “disaster in the making”. Today, former Department of Immigration deputy secretary, Abul Rizvi, has again warned that privatising Australia’s visa system opens Australia’s to “immense risks” and is


Banks’ offshore bond issuance hits all-time high

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently released its National Financial Accounts for the June quarter, which revealed a 0.5% quarterly rise in Australian banks’ gross external liabilities (offshore borrowings), but a 0.6% decrease over the year. Bonds (+$8 billion), Loans (+$7 billion) and Other (+$5 billion) drove the quarterly rise in offshore borrowings by


Links 8 October 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: What If The World Treated the US Like A Rogue State? – Huff Post How Trade War Happens and Destroys Countries – YouTube Markets Fear Oil Price Collapse: Should OPEC Cut More Production? – Oil Price European bank chief says negative rates may be bad for banks, but good


NZ Government opens visa sluice gates

In the lead-up to the September 2017 general election, the New Zealand Labour Party launched a plan to reduce immigration by around a third in a bid to relieve chronic housing and infrastructure pressures (especially around Auckland): …in recent years our population has been growing rapidly as record numbers of migrants arrive here. This has


Open borders Labor bats for migrants, not Australians

Labor’s immigration spokesperson. Kristina Keneally, has again attacked the growing backlog of migrants awaiting citizenship: Hundreds of thousands of migrants from China, India and the United Kingdom face waiting more than a year to receive their Australian citizenship… Despite a 100,000 drop in the number of applications to become an Australian citizen over the past


Transurban West Gate private tax skyrockets

In late 2017, the Victorian Labor Government completed a shady $6.7 billion deal with Transurban to build the West Gate Tunnel Project, which will see Transurban contribute $4.4 billion towards the cost in exchange motorists paying $15 billion in additional tolls on CityLink until 2045. Former Premier Jeff Kennett described the deal as “absurd” and


Coalition launches Population Propaganda Centre

As Australia’s population swells by around 1,000 people a day, and is projected to balloon to around 43 million people over the next half-century: The Morrison Government has launched a new Population Centre to produce more accurate growth forecasts and better planning: Launching the $23.4 million body in Canberra on Friday, Population Minister Alan Tudge


Auction clearances hover above 70%

Auction clearance rates remained solid over the weekend, with the preliminary rate nationally coming in at 71.3%, down a few percent from 74.4% last weekend: Auction clearances were also way above the 49.5% recorded in the same weekend last year:   Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate was 79.8%, up from 77.7% last weekend, and way above


Morrison Government’s visa privatisation creates “major systemic risks”

Immigration lobby groups are the latest to lash the Morrison Government’s plan to privatise Australia’s visa system, claiming it will create “major systemic risks” and is a “disaster in the making”: In the latest set of submissions delivered to the Senate committee looking into “the impact of changes to service delivery models on the administration


Indian international students blacklisted from Australian universities

This time last week, we reported how international students from India, Nepal and Pakistan had been deemed “high-risk” by Australia, which means that students from these nations would now face deeper scrutiny and have more difficulty obtaining visas from the Department of Home Affairs. In particular, student applicants from these nations are now required to


Links 7 October 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Wall Street’s Cold Shoulder Drives Coal Veteran to the Exit – Bloomberg Paypal withdraws support for facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency – The Verge Basic Income Recipients Spent the Money on “Literal Necessities” – Futurism Dow Continues Nosedive, Dropping More than 1100 Points in Three Days – BeInCrypto A Wealth Tax


Weekend Links: 5-6 October 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Saudis Raise Oil Pricing to Asia After Attacks Cut Output – Bloomberg Dow Drops 300 Points … Fears of a Recession Continue … – Stock Market News Dow Drops Most to Start Quarter Since 2008 – Barrons The Federal Reserve Should Reduce Interest Rates to Stem an Economic Downturn


UK seeks to copy Australia’s fake skilled visa system

The United Kingdom’s Conservative Party is seeking to emulate Australia’s points-based migration system, which it claims is the best in the world and would restore integrity to the United Kingdom’s borders: Addressing supporters at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, British Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government is working hard to make it happen.


Australian retail sales remain in the gutter

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released retail sales figures for the month of July, which recorded a 0.4% rise in retail sales over the month in seasonally-adjusted terms, with annual sales growth rebounding to just 2.6%: In trend terms, annual retail sales growth slowed to 2.3%. The below chart maps out nominal seasonally-adjusted


CoreLogic: Expensive properties driving property rebound

CoreLogic’s head of research, Tim Lawless, has produced interesting data showing how expensive properties in Sydney and Melbourne are driving Australia’s housing rebound: After recording the largest losses during the recent housing market downturn, the premium end of Sydney and Melbourne’s housing market is driving the rebound in capital gains… In Sydney and Melbourne its


LVO demolishes RBA’s wage lies on Radio 2GB

This morning I was interviewed by Radio 2GB’s Luke Grant, whereby I demolished the RBA’s claim that Australia’s weak wage growth has been caused by the rise of older Australians in the workforce, which has supposedly raised labour supply relative to demand. This interview was based upon yesterday’s article, entitled “RBA blames oldies for crushing


Collapse in new car sales proof Aussie consumers are sick

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has released its new car sales figures for September, which revealed that new car sales have declined for 18 consecutive months, down 6.9% year-on-year and by 9.8% from the March 2018 peak: FCAI has blamed “restrictive lending conditions” for the slump in new car sales: According to Tony


CoreLogic weekly house price update: Boom!

In the week ended 3 October 2019, the CoreLogic 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, rose another 0.32%: The rise in values was again driven by Sydney and Melbourne: Quarterly dwelling values continue to rise strongly, again driven by Sydney and Melbourne, where prices are rocketing: The rebound


Migrants line up to “game” Australia’s visa system

Over the past week, we have witnessed more evidence that Australia’s visa system is being systematically rorted. Last weekend, The Australian reported that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has become overrun, due in part to bogus applications for asylum from migrants that have arrived in Australia by plane: The backlog of active cases has grown


Links 4 October 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Dow Drops 300 Points … Fears of a Recession Continue … – Stock Market News Dow Drops Most to Start Quarter Since 2008 – Barrons The Collapse Might Finally Be Here – Jalopnic Global Trade Is Deteriorating Fast, Sapping the World’s Economy – NY Times Are Workers Losing to


Final auction clearance rate locked above 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 3.4% decline in the final national auction clearance rate to 71.0% – well above the same weekend last year (45.8%) and slightly above last week’s 70.7%: As you can see,


Greg Combet barfs compulsory superannuation propaganda

Industry Super Australia bigwig and former union strongman, Greg Combet, has gone on another propaganda tirade against calls to freeze Australia’s superannuation guarantee (compulsory superannuation) at the current 9.5%: As the cornerstone of Australia’s retirement income system, compulsory superannuation is one of our greatest success stories. It has created a significant pool of capital that


Australia’s trade surplus retraces from record high

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released trade data for the month of August, with Australia’s trade surplus retracing to $5.9 billion from $7.3 billion in July: The next chart shows that Australia’s trade surplus is still running near record highs: In August, exports (credits) and imports (debits) both fell: In seasonally adjusted terms,