Unconventional Economist


ScoMo’s favourite immigration propagandist returns

By Leith van Onselen Flip-flopping demographer Peter McDonald is back with more immigration propaganda at yesterday’s AFR Infrastructure Summit, where he derided Scott Morrison’s decision to lower the non-humanitarian permanent migrant intake to 160,000: Peter McDonald, professor of demography at the University of Melbourne, said Australia was facing a potential “labour-supply crunch” because about two million


Crashing home ownership, mortgage debt to smash retirement system

By Leith van Onselen Academic researchers, Rachel Ong and Gavin Wood, warns that the number of mature age Australians carrying mortgage debt into retirement is soaring, endangering Australia’s retirement system. From The Conversation: Microdata from the Bureau of Statistics survey of income and housing shows an increase in the proportion of homeowners owing money on mortgages across every


Western Sydney hospitals swamped by immigration flood

By Leith van Onselen The ghettoisation of Western Sydney continues, with a record number of patients flooding the regions emergency departments and waiting times blowing-out, according to the latest NSW hospital data: Record numbers of patients are swamping emergency departments across NSW… The rising numbers – above population growth – show no sign of slowing…


Brexit continues to boost wages

By Leith van Onselen The decline in EU immigration into the UK in the wake of the Brexit Turmoil continues to be a boon for workers, with unemployment falling to the lowest level since the 1970s and UK wages surging: Wage growth beat market and economist expectations in the three months from February to April.


Fidelity: ScoMo’s first home buyer bribe to make affordability worse

By Leith van Onselen Fidelity International investment specialist Anthony Doyle has taken direct aim at Scott Morrison’s first home buyer (FHB) deposit subsidy scheme, claiming that it will actually make housing affordability worse by pushing up prices. From The AFR: Mr Doyle said that introducing subsidies on the buy side doesn’t address housing affordability. He


Tourism recovery fades as Chinese shun Australia

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday released its overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for April, which showed a trend moderation in arrivals and a worsening is Australia’s ‘tourism balance’. The number of short-term visitor arrivals dived by 16.3% in April in original terms, whereas short-term resident departures rose by 27.5%


Infrastructure Australia: Failing infrastructure wrecking productivity

By Leith van Onselen Hot on the heels of former Infrastructure Australia (IA) chief, Michael Deegan, slamming the shroud of secrecy surrounding infrastructure provision across Australia, which has resulted in taxpayers being gouged, current IA head, Romilly Madew, has warned that Australia’s failing infrastructure is wrecking both productivity and living standards. From The AFR: Ms Madew


Links 13 June 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Putting a tax on wealth means we first must measure it – Brookings Millennials are ‘canaries in the coalmine’ for toxic economic trends, say Stanford scholars – Stanford Workers: no longer needed? Productivity is down despite automation – IBO The Economics of a Job Guarantee: Wage and Employment Effects


Corrupt APRA waters down bank capital framework

From Martin North [my emphasis]: The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released its response to the first round of consultation on proposed changes to the capital framework for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs). The package of proposed changes, first released in February last year, flows from the finalised Basel III reforms, as well as the Financial


Federal government’s mass immigration program destroys state finances

By Leith van Onselen In 2018, then Treasurer Scott Morrison made headlines when he claimed Tony Abbott’s proposal to cut Australia’s permanent migrant intake by 80,000 to 110,000 would cost the Federal Budget “$4 billion to $5 billion over the next four years”, arguing “the economy (would not be) growing at the same level and


Former IA boss demolishes corrupt infrastructure system

By Leith van Onselen The former head of Infrastructure Australia (IA), Michael Deegan, has slammed the shroud of secrecy applied to infrastructure provision across Australia, which has resulted in taxpayers being gouged: Michael Deegan led Infrastructure Australia from 2008 to 2014 and said he was under “constant” pressure from state governments to keep key transport


Immigration into Australia continues to smash official forecasts

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released visitor arrivals and departures statistics for the month of April, which suggested that immigration into Australia continues to surge. In the year to April 2019, there were a near record 843,950 permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia, up 5% from April 2018, and


Mortgage parasites fasten to another Hayne recommendation

By Leith van Onselen The final report of the Hayne Royal Commission called for a “best interest duty” on mortgage brokers that would require the industry to act in the best interests of their clients and mirrors obligations imposed on financial planners. However, Australia’s mortgage broking industry is fighting back against the reforms. From The


FIRE vampire continues to drain Aussie economy

By Leith van Onselen Last week’s national accounts release for the March quarter confirmed that Australia’s FIRE economy – Finance, Insurance and Rental, Hiring & Real Estate Services – continues bleeding its host, with its share of the Australian economy rebounding to a near  record high 11.7%: Since financial markets were first deregulated in the


Does record low mortgage growth matter for house prices?

By Leith van Onselen Following yesterday’s post charting Australia’s housing finance data against house prices across Australia’s major capitals, below is a chart comparing mortgage credit growth – as reported monthly by the RBA – against dwelling values nationally, since I frequently get requests for this from readers: As you can see, unlike the ABS’


Links 12 June 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: G20 agrees to push ahead with digital tax – Reuters Our World Is Run By Global Corporations & Megacities, Not Countries – Citi Post Financial Crisis Has Seen the Largest Increase in Commercial Indebtedness on Record – The SoundingLine Crypto-Friendly French Finance Minister Fears a Worldwide Economic Crisis –


Sydney’s ‘ghost tower’ apartment boom

By Leith van Onselen Just a day after ‘Highrise’ Harry Triguboff’s mouthpiece, Robert Gottliebsen, warned that Sydney is facing chronic apartment shortages and escalating rents due to planning restrictions: …chaos reigns in both cities [Sydney and Melbourne] because supply cannot be generated to meet looming demand… In Sydney and Melbourne, with supply unable to be


SA Government pimps migrant slave special economic zone

By Leith van Onselen Back in April, the Committee for Adelaide demanded that the appallingly low salary floor for ‘skilled’ migrants be lowered to reduce costs for business: Committee for Adelaide member and prominent migration agent Mark Glazbrook told parliament “a successful migration program… needs to be based on demand and it needs to be


ScoMo’s tax cuts massively regressive

By Leith van Onselen The Australia Institute (TAI) has released new research estimating that the final stage of the Morrison Government’s unlegislated income tax plan, stage 3(a) will, over the five years after it is introduced in 2024-25, deliver a $33 billion benefit to those earning more than $180,000: Key findings: Those earning more than


Gottiboff: Apartment market to boom and bust simultaneously

By Leith van Onselen A fortnight ago, The Australian’s Robert Gottliebsen ludicrously claimed that apartment prices across Sydney had surged by 10% in the wake of the Coalition’s shock 18 May election victory: The Chinese realise Australia’s outlook has changed and have created a surge of buying that has skyrocketed Sydney apartment prices by 10