#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


CBA’s historic $700m penalty sets new quantum for enforcement cases

By Nathan Lynch, Asia-Pacific bureau chief, financial crime and risk, Thomson Reuters THE Commonwealth Bank’s A$700 million settlement with AUSTRAC over 53,750 anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) breaches has set a new benchmark for enforcement action in Australia. Regulatory officials and lawyers said the statement of agreed facts, although light on detail in some


Coalition’s income tax package will erode progressiveness

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Does the Coalition’s tax plan favour high earners over those with lower incomes? Depending whom you listen to, the tax cuts, unveiled in last month’s federal budget, lead to either a flatter, more regressive tax system under which low-income earners will be even worse off relative to high earners, or the


The honest way to build a ‘Big Australia’

Cross-posted from The Glass Pyramid: The debate about how big the population of Australia should be and how quickly we get there would be a lot more civilised if those promoting a Big Australia were more honest about what is required to create a Big Australia and spent less time calling everyone who disagrees with


Capex preview: Q1 2018

By Gareth Aird, senior economist at CBA: Key Points: A second estimate of 2018/19 spending plans of around $90bn would imply no change to investment intentions compared to the first estimate. We expect the sixth estimate of 2017/18 spending plans to come in near $118bn. Our forecast is for the actual volume of Q1 capex


Commonwealth Bank: House prices to fall further

By Gareth Aird, senior economist at CBA: Key Points: Australian residential property prices have fallen over the past six months. Additional declines appear likely over the next 1½ years due to a further tightening in lending standards, a continued lift in supply, potentially higher mortgage rates and more rational price expectations from would-be buyers. A


Why this year’s Budget will worsen inequality

Cross-posted from The Conversation: In the federal budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison promised tax cuts to all working Australians in the form of an offset and changes to tax income thresholds. But our analysis of Treasury data shows that while the government advertised these as payments to low and middle income Australians, most of the benefits


5 ways the Treasurer could boost the Budget bottom line

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Treasurer Scott Morrison faces a difficult balancing act in the federal budget. He wants to cut income taxes, deliver new infrastructure spending and still reach a surplus by at least 2019. If he’s serious about maintaining the surplus, here are five ways the Treasurer could boost revenue to make the numbers


Why Australia needs to broaden its tax base

From The Conversation: As we move closer to Treasurer Scott Morrison’s third budget, what we do know is this – Australia has a revenue problem. A more global and digital economy; an ageing population with fewer taxpayers and sluggish wage growth make future predictions of revenue even more precarious. There’s never been a better time


Families worse-off, retirees better-off under Coalition Budgets

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Sole parent families have suffered most from the Coalition government’s recent tax and welfare changes, our analysis shows. We compared the impact of taxes and welfare in the Coalition and Labor budgets on different families over eight years. The impact of Coalition tax and welfare changes on sole parent families can