Leith van Onselen


FOMO hits Australia’s mortgage market

According to Domain, mortgage brokers are being inundated with applications from homebuyers wishing to break into the market: Mortgage brokers report they have been inundated with inquiries and home loan applications during what would traditionally be a holiday break. Most interest has come from owner-occupiers including first-home buyers, while some investors are also keen, according


Tassie’s housing crisis escalates

Following his re-election in 2018, Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman rejoiced at the acceleration in the state’s population growth: Tasmania’s population is growing at its fastest rate in five years and the State Government wants to see more of it… “There’s no doubt that Tasmania has ample room for additional intake of people from interstate or


Pessimism engulfs Australians

The traditional Gallup International End of Year survey conducted in countries all over the world shows Australians are amongst the least optimistic about 2020 of anyone: As shown above, only 12% of Australians are optimistic about 2020, versus 40% that are pessimistic. In fact, the only OECD nation that is more net pessimistic than Australia


Sydney’s water savings swallowed by population ponzi

With Sydney’s water storages plummeting at an unprecedented rate, hitting just 43.0%: Another plummeting water storage article has appeared in The SMH: Since the drought started to bite around the Sydney region about 33 months ago, 281 billion litres have flowed into Sydney’s biggest dam at Warragamba. The tally is less than half the previous


Spin engulfs Melbourne’s $50b rail megaponzi

The Sunday Herald-Sun published an extraordinary propaganda article spruiking the State Government’s 90 kilometre suburban rail loop, which it labelled a “game changer”: Melbourne’s new suburban rail loop will operate up to 40m underground and could run driverless trains… A gun team of 150 experts from Australia and overseas has been assembled to get the


Australia can’t meet emissions targets with mass immigration

Yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was quizzed by the media on whether the government intended to meet Australia’s emissions targets as laid-out under the Paris Agreement, and promised to go even further: Australia has pledged to cut emissions by 26 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, under the Paris Agreement. “It is my intention


Free trade agreements are a Trojan horse

The Australia Institute’s (TAI) chief economist, Richard Denniss, has lambasted the Coalition’s unwavering push to sign as many ‘free trade agreements’ (FTAs) as possible, claiming that undermine Australia’s sovereignty: While Morrison’s new talking points suggest there should be no higher power than the Australian people, his government is in the middle of negotiating free trade


Bushfire backlash lashes ScoMo with voter approval plummeting

The bushfire crisis has placed Labor ahead of the Coalition for the first time since the federal election, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating also plummeting, according to a Newspoll published in The Australian, Labor is ahead 51-49 on a two-party-preferred basis, representing a significant turnaround from December’s poll, which had the Coalition ahead


Congestion costs to soar as Australia’s population balloons

The AFR’s Infrastructure reporter, Jenny Wiggins, penned a detailed report over the weekend on how Australia’s cities are facing declining living standards and must shift from being car-based towards mass transit: …as horrific bushfires rage around the country, filling cities with smoke, and the nation’s population of 25.5 million keeps rising – the Australian Bureau


International student whistleblower strongarmed by tyrannical university

Last month we reported that whistle-blowing academic, Dr Gerd Schroeder-Turk, was facing possible financial ruin after criticising Murdoch University’s admission standards and raising ethical concerns on Four Corners’ Cash Cows report in May 2019. Dr Gerd Schroeder-Turk is being accused by Murdoch University of causing a sharp drop in international student enrolments, thus costing the


Links 13 January 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Debt will kill the global economy. But it seems no one cares – The Guardian How Bitcoin Really Has Become a Digital Gold Store of Value – Be In Crypto Nearly 40% of U.S.-listed stocks are loss-making – WSJ Critical Time for Bitcoin (Bear vs Bull Scenario) – Igorb


Weekend Reading: 11-12 January 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Banks and government bonds: A love story – VoxEU Political information in the age of the internet – VoxEU The Demonization of Journalists Must End – Project-Syndicate Central Banks Face a Year of Mounting Challenges – Project-Syndicate The Fed Can’t Reverse the Decline of Financialization and Globalization – Charles Hugh Smith Internet shutdowns


Shock horror: the mega rich are happier

Water is wet. Snow is white. The sun is hot. And the wealthiest 1% are more satisfied with their lives than the poor, according to a new survey from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Adults in the top 1 per cent of US household income


Black Friday drives retail sales to the moon

The ABS has released retail sales figures for the month of November, which recorded 0.9% growth in the value of retail sales over the month in seasonally-adjusted terms, with annual sales growth lifting to 3.2%: In trend terms, annual retail sales growth rose to 2.9%. According to the ABS: “We have seen strong growth in


Sydney water bills to soar as mass immigration overruns supply

With Sydney’s water storages plummeting at an unprecedented rate: The Berejiklian Government this week announced that it would fast-track an expansion of Sydney’s desalination plant, doubling its size in order to provide more than 30% of Sydney’s drinking water. Predictably, this expansion is set to drive up household water bills: Water experts are warning an


It’s time to dump the GDP obsession

Ross Gittins has joined the growing band of economists questioning the merits of  GDP as the key economic measure of progress: GDP is the most closely watched bottom line of the “national accounts” for the Australian economy… The critics are right to point out the many respects in which GDP falls short as a measure


Is Australia’s population growth “impossible to control”?

That’s the question asked today by Marcus Roberts, co-editor of Demography is Destiny, MercatorNet’s blog on population issues: New South Wales’ Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, has recently tried to undercut criticism of high-rise development in Sydney by arguing that population growth is inevitable and so there is no point in arguing against it, or its


Tourism industry king hit by bushfires

Australia’s tourism industry is Australia’s fifth biggest export, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Export revenues have also roughly doubled since 2013: However, there are widespread concerns that the bushfire crisis will stop international tourists from visiting Australia, smashing the industry alongside export revenue. Overnight, the US Department of State urged American


Retail recession drives torrent of store closures

The retail recession afflicting Australia has been well documented. Retail sales volumes registered their first annual decline since the early-1990s recession in the September quarter: Whereas household consumption spending growth slowed to just 1.2% in the year to September – the lowest level since the Global Financial Crisis: Now the retail closures are piling up,


CoreLogic weekly house price update: still rising

In the week ended 9 January 2019, the CoreLogic 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, surged another 0.20%: The rise in values was fairly broad-based, but again driven by Sydney and Melbourne: Quarterly dwelling values continue to rise strongly, driven by Sydney and Melbourne, where prices are still


The great high-rise apartment bust rolls on

On Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its dwelling approvals data for November, which recorded a modest rebound in apartment approvals: However, apartment approvals remained 48% below their June 2016 peak. Today, I want to focus on the high-rise apartment segment, which has driving the apartment bust. The next chart shows the picture


Mortgage stress rockets to record high

Mortgage rates may have cratered, but mortgage stress has lifted to another record high with 1.1 million households now under stress, comprising 32.7% of borrowing households. From Martin North: We are releasing the results of our rolling household surveys, which were completed before the latest round of bushfires started raging. Nevertheless, the results are a


Links 10 January 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Every $1 increase in minimum wage decreases suicide rate by up to 6% – ZME Science Oil shippers raise rates for Middle East route after Iran strikes – Straits Times Bayer-Monsanto’s secret weapon: Ex-Green lobbyist to tell the world its cancer-linked weedkiller will save the climate – RT Stocks


The ALP must abandon Paul Keating

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: Deregulation has given us unstable, anaemic economies with high inequality and the labour parties have demolished their own constituencies, writes Geoff Davies. ANOTHER ELECTION LOST by Labour, this time in Britain. The Blairites have their long knives out and will no doubt fight to drag the UK Labour Party back to


Another Big Australia hypocrite emerges

For years, City of Melbourne’s planning chairman and principal fellow at Melbourne University, Nick Reece, has vigorously defended the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy. For example, he stated the following propaganda in 2017 on his Politics HQ program: “Countries that don’t have strong immigration programs often get themselves into trouble. And probably the best example


Australia’s trade surplus lifts

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released trade data for the month of November, with Australia’s trade surplus rising to $5.8 billion from $4.1 billion in October: The next chart shows that Australia’s trade surplus is running at strong levels: In November, exports (credits) fell and imports (debits) fell: In seasonally adjusted terms, goods


Little joy in latest job vacancies data

After yesterday’s ABS job vacancies data for the November quarter revealed a slight uptick: CommSec’s perma-bull chief economist, Craig James, was quick to put lipstick on a pig: Commsec’s Craig James said: “There are jobs to be had, especially, it seems in the public sector. And the surge in online sales has boosted jobs in