How to get the cheapest airfare

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Few things are more annoying than spending a large sum of money on a purchase, only to discover that someone else got the same thing for a lower price. This often happens with airfares. You go the same website, search the same airline, choose the same seat row and fare conditions,


WestConnex “biggest misuse of public for corporate gain in history”

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The NSW government has confirmed it will sell 51% of WestConnex — the nation’s biggest road infrastructure project — to a consortium led by Transurban, the nation’s biggest toll road corporation. NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet described the A$9.3 billion sale to one of his party’s more generous donors as a “very


Grattan: Labor’s womens super policy more symbolism than substance

Cross-posted from The Conversation: When it comes to the gender gap in retirement incomes, symbolism appears to matter more than actually achieving something. Labor’s plan to add super contributions to government-funded parental leave was heralded by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten this week as having a “big impact down the track”. Our analysis shows it would


CBA: Why house prices will continue to fall

By Gareth Aird, Senior Economist at CBA Key Points: Australian residential property prices have fallen over the past nine months. Further declines appear likely over the next year due to softer credit growth, a continued lift in apartment supply, less foreign demand and more rational price expectations from would-be buyers. We retain our view, however,


Housing behind rising Australian inequality

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The Productivity Commission – the Australian government’s highly influential economic advisory body – released a report titled Rising Inequality? last week. The question mark indicates its scepticism about other research findings on rising inequality in Australia. The commission responded to its own question in the report’s very first heading: “Over nearly


MSM mis-represented PC inequality data

Cross-posted from The Conversation: If you were going to reduce a 150-page Productivity Commission examination of trends in Australian inequality to a few words, it would be nice if they weren’t “ALP inequality claims sunk”, or “Progressive article of faith blown up” or “Labor inequality myths busted by commission”. The editorial in the Australian Financial


Environment forgotten in endless immigration debate

By William Bourke, President of the Sustainable Australia party Australia has a rich history of migration, with around 7 million permanent migrants calling Australia home in the 20th century alone. That’s 70,000 migrants per year – or a bumper ANZ Stadium crowd. By the turn of the century, our population had reached 19 million and


How we lit the fuse on the population bomb

By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from The Pulse We’ve been here before – concerns about our capacity to house a large population are not new. But lately, hostility to rapid rates of population growth is gaining traction. There have been calls for a population enquiry and former PM Abbott has called for immigration (and hence population


#Reefgate just one of many Malcolm Turnbull scandals

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: PRIME MINISTER MALCOLM TURNBULL has a sustained and unremarkable record of achievement in office, not least of all in the top job. But let’s start with the Great Barrier Reef. First, the Turnbull Government wanted to give away a billion dollars to the Indian-owned mining company, Adani, whose Carmichael coal mine


RBA all out of bullets

By Gareth Aird, Senior Economist at CBA: Key Points: Stronger growth in export receipts has taken Australia’s trade balance into the black. But the current account remains in deficit because the net income deficit has widened. We expect Australia’s current account deficit to average 2½% of GDP over the next two years – lower than


Westpac: Chinese economy to slow

Elliot Clarke, CFA Senior Economist Frances Cheung, CFA Head of Macro Strategy, Asia At the beginning of 2018, we outlined a growth view for China that would underwhelm the expectations of both the market and Chinese authorities. Against the official 2018 benchmark of 6.5% growth, we forecast 6.3% for 2018 then 6.1% in 2019. Given


Why the NEG is unlikely to lower power prices

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The final design document for the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), released this week, contains a range of claims about the policy’s ability to drive down both greenhouse emissions and electricity prices. But still there is precious little detail on how exactly these assertions are backed up. Specifically, two claims in the


Strong US economic growth won’t last

Cross posted from The Conversation: by Richard Holden Professor of Economics and PLuS Alliance Fellow, UNSW The US economy grew at a startling 4.1% in the second quarter, the first time in four years it has hit the 4% mark. It was not surprising that President Donald Trump was both delighted and vocal about the figures. “Once again,


Can the Australian housing market cope with higher mortgage rates?

By Cameron Kusher, senior research analyst at CoreLogic: The Reserve Bank (RBA) has kept official interest rates sitting at 1.5% ever since August 2016 which represents the longest period of cash rate stability on record.  Although official interest rates haven’t moved over this period, investors who have been an increasing source of mortgage demand over recent


The genesis of white-collar criminology

By LF Economics The US sociologist and criminologist Edwin Hardin Sutherland is widely considered the founder of white-collar criminology, and was mentored by a protégé of the well-known economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen. Although there was considerable effort on the part of journalists dedicated to investigating the crimes of the rich and powerful during the


The massive immorality of mass immigration

By Dr Vino Veritas Despite an overwhelming majority of Australians opposing mass immigration we continue to engorge our nation’s population like a force-fed goose. Mass immigration is a bi-partisan strategy; both our major parties are in lock-step frog-marching the electorate down the road to Big Australia. It is the centrepiece of Australian economic dogma that


APRA airbrushes history of huge mortgage risks

By John Adams, Chief Economist at As Good As Gold Australia Australia has truly entered the uncharted twilight zone. Last week, Chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), Wayne Byres delivered a speech entitled ‘preparing for a rainy day’ . The Chairman, as part of this speech, outlined a range of policy initiatives that APRA


Women dominate Australia’s bed pan economy

Cross-posted from The Conversation: One of the biggest transformations we have seen in advanced economies is the increased participation of women in the paid workforce. In recent Australian labour force trends, female participation is growing at nine times the rate of men’s. Women are dominating both full and part-time employment growth in Australia. Why do


How to solve Australia’s low wages growth

By Philip Soos, an independent economist and PhD candidate investigating bank crime and mortgage control fraud. ONE OF THE MOST important economic issues in recent times has been low wage growth. Barely a day goes by without the mass media, politicians, unions, economists, industry associations and workers discussing the topic. Industry and the Coalition are


Consumer rebound risks being sunk by falling house prices

By Gareth Aird, Senior Economist at CBA Key Points: A solid lift in consumer sentiment as well as a pick-up in retail sales, job vacancies and total employee earnings suggests there are some green shoots to the outlook for consumer spending. Falling dwelling prices, however, pose a risk to the outlook but so far Australian


Why women have dominated jobs growth

By Gareth Aird, Senior Economist at CBA: Key Points: Employment growth has been much stronger for females than for males over the past year. Strong growth in the services sector, particularly health, is behind the big lift in female employment. The rise in female employment has been accompanied by a lift in participation. There are


Bankwest debacle shines light on APRA’s “appalling” regulatory oversight

By Nathan Lynch, Asia-Pacific bureau chief, financial crime and risk, Thomson Reuters When the HBOS Group collapsed in 2008, UK taxpayers were left to fund a £17 billion bank bail-out. It was a prudential disaster that contributed to the break-up of the FSA. In Australia, meanwhile, the bank’s “appalling lending record” was even worse than