Leith van Onselen


Thank heavens universities were ignored on international student ban

Only a month ago, Australia’s universities and international education lobby groups were demanding Australia lift its travel ban on China. For example: The head of Australia’s peak foreign student body [the Council of International Students Australia]… Ahmed Ademoglu, who represents 700,000 international tertiary students in Australia, said they felt “exploited” and would discourage future students


Links 18 March 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Dow falls 2,200 points, trading halted, as rate cut fails to calm markets – NBC News Gold’s worst week since 1983 strips metal of safe-haven status – Mining Weekly Wall Street set to crash again after Fed slashes rates – Reuters Dow drops 2,999 points on word coronavirus crisis


NSW hospitals stretched even before virus outbreak

Over recent days I have argued that Australia’s hospital system is poorly placed to deal with the coronavirus outbreak given it has only 3.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people –  only slightly better than Italy and less than one-third Korea and Japan: This morning it was revealed that NSW’s hospital system was already under acute


As university graduates boom, job prospects bust

A speech by Alexandra Heath, the RBA’s head of economic analysis, has revealed that full-time job prospects for recent university graduates has fallen to the lowest level since the early-1990s recession, whereas many are also underemployed: The risks of higher education not working out have risen over the past few years. Almost one-quarter of students


Superannuation’s biggest flaw: Market risk

This site has gone to great lengths to expose the critical flaws in Australia’s system of compulsory superannuation and to explain why superannuation is not a genuine retirement pillar. These problems can be broken down into five key areas. First, superannuation is voluntary for those that are self-employed, casually employed, or homemakers. Therefore, it misses


Net migrant arrivals soften to 293,000

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday visitor arrivals and departures statistics for the month of January, which revealed that the number of permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia remains turbo-charged, but has softened slightly. In the year to January 2020, there were 843,340 permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia, up 1% from December 2018,


ABS: Property prices rocketed 3.9% in Q4

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its property price indices for the December quarter – incorporating both detached houses and units – which registered a strong 3.9% quarterly rise in home values driven by massive gains in Sydney (+4.7%) and Melbourne (+5.2%): The other capitals were mostly positive but grew more slowly, with


Stock market crash will further smash consumption

As we know, Australia’s consumption growth was already in the gutter in the December quarter, with household final consumption spending growing at its lowest rate since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC): Blind Freddy can see that the January bush fires alongside the coronavirus will smash consumption over subsequent quarters. But alongside these stiff headwinds, we


Travel shares pounded as Qantas slashes international flights

Qantas has slashed its international capacity by 90% until at least the end of May, up from the 23% reduction announced only last week: Forced into action by the federal government’s new plan to self-isolate all new arrivals into the country for 14-days, the airline said the change “largely reflects the demand impact of severe


Financials drive ASX rebound

The ASX has rallied in early trade with the All Ordinaries Index (tracking the 500 biggest companies) rising 1.2%: The ASX 200 is up 1.4%: With the gains driven by a 2.4% rebound in financials: However, the consumer discretionary sector remains in the toilet, down 0.2%: Based on current levels, the All Ordinaries Index is


Chinese visitor arrivals plunged before travel ban

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released its short-term visitor arrivals and departures data for January. The number of short-term arrivals rose by 4.9% in the year to January, whereas short-term resident departures rose by 4.3%. The ratio of annual arrivals to departures was flat at 81.5%: Net short-term arrivals also remained heavily in


FOMO accelerates into virus property bust

Concerns over the coronavirus have yet to infect Australia’s property market, with pre-auction sales reaching a 10-year high in Melbourne: In February alone, 16.7 per cent of properties up for sale in Melbourne — or 587 properties — sold prior to auction, Domain data shows, and the proportion hovered between 16.6 per cent and 16.8


The false hope of an Indian international student boom

For years, Chinese international students have proven pay dirt for Australia’s education industry, accounting for 27% of total international enrolments in calendar year 2019, according to the Department of Education: China has been an even bigger driver of Australia’s education exports, accounting for 32% of Australia’s $37.3 billion total education exports in 2019: With Chinese


Links 17 March 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Investing in a falling market – Interest.co.nz Coronavirus the ‘Catalyst’ for Popping the ‘Mother of All Bond Bubbles’ – YouTube Will the coronavirus trigger a corporate debt crisis? – LA Times Andrew Yang Warns Coronavirus Fallout Could ‘Be Worse’ Than 2008 Financial Crisis – NewsWeek Americas: At ‘Shock Doctrine


ATO announces assistance to businesses hit by virus

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced various measures to assist businesses that are experiencing financial problems as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. They include deferring by as much as four months the payment date for amounts through the business activity statement, and enabling companies to vary pay-as-you-go instalment amounts to zero for the


Older Australians working longer than ever

According to the ABS, older Australians are working longer than ever and their share of the Australian labour market doubled in the decade to 2016: Nearly a fifth of Australians aged 65 and over and working in 2006 were working ten years later, according to new analysis released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics


Sydney commute times soar amid immigration deluge

Mass immigration continues to squeeze the life out of Sydney, with 70% of the city experiencing a blowout in commute times over the past five years: People living in 70 per cent of Sydney suburbs have experienced a blowout in commute times over the past five years despite billions of dollars being spent on roads


NBN faces its biggest test

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher will convene a meeting of executives from NBN Co, Telstra, Optus and other telcos later today. The meeting will discuss how the national broadband network (NBN) will cope with the expected rise in usage due to the coronavirus outbreak. The NBN is seeing large numbers of Australians being directed to work


COAG agrees to maintain throttle on population growth

After 17 years of extreme immigration-driven population growth: The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has belatedly agreed to establish a National Population and Planning Framework to “to improve Commonwealth, States and Territories and local governments’ understanding of populations, population change and its implications, and set-out a plan for government collaboration on the challenges and opportunities


Australia Institute: Economic stimulus misdirected

The Australia Institute (TAI) has has attacked the Morrison Government’s economic stimulus package as being the right size but poorly targeted: The Prime Minister announced a $17.6 billion coronavirus economic stimulus package in order to try and stave off a recession. Looking at the specifics of the stimulus announcement, one thing stands out: the size


ASX bloodbath resumes

Friday’s dead cat bounce hasn’t lasted long with the ASX 200 plunging 6.9% on the open: The falls have been driven by financials, which have been smashed 7.7%: Consumer discretionaries have also been slaughtered, down 8.3%: The bloodbath resumes.


CBA: Conflicting objectives complicate economic stimulus

From CBA Economics Key Points: The Commonwealth government last week delivered a fiscal stimulus of $A17.6bn to boost demand in the economy. The government also announced measures that while important to support the health of Australians, will have a contractionary impact on spending in the economy.■ Monetary policy still has a big role to play


Auction clearances sicken

The preliminary auction clearance rate softened over the weekend. At the national level, the preliminary rate was 70.6%, down from 74.8% last weekend, but still way above the 51.4% recorded in the same weekend last year: Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate was 74.6, well below the 82.6% last weekend but way above the 54.2% recorded in