Australian business media

Australian business media is the world’s dumbest and one of the most corrupt. It exists in a frozen duopolostic structure between Fairfax Media and News Corporation. These two focus one another rather than innovation or service delivery, poaching each other’s staff, copying businesses and generally overpaying for any assets that pop up to threaten the cosy relationship.

Business coverage in Australia is much more akin to a “boys club” of back-slapping private school alumni than it is any investigative or analytical force. It pretends to endorse private markets as a philosophy but in actuality largely exists to defend vested interests. Both halves of the duopoly are addicted to bank and real estate advertising, with Fairfax especially prepared to sell out its editorial in pursuit of higher house prices (and more ads). It’s real estate classifieds business, Domain, has slowly but surely turned its business news coverage from reporting and investigation to press-release recycling and property price cheer-leading.

MacroBusiness covers these foibles daily.


ACCC must look beyond Facebook and Google

Via Domainfax: Some big news in the media space today with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launching an inquiry into digital platforms, including Facebook and Google, and the impact they are having of competition in the media and advertising markets. The highly anticipated inquiry, which was a condition of a deal the Turnbull government struck with


Domainfax spawns a rising star in Crispin Hull

By Leith van Onselen This year, Crispin Hull has emerged as Fairfax’s rising star, demonstrating that unlike his colleagues Peter Martin, Jessica Irvine and Michael Pascoe, he actually understands the key issues afflicting Australia. Below are some key examples of Hull’s excellent work. Back in January, Hull argued that the main solution to making housing


Amazon corrupts AFR

An Amazon junket has produced the following at the AFR: I arrived in the US over the weekend. And as usual, the immigration officer asked what business brought me to the country. When I told him I was a journalist attending an Amazon Web Services conference in Las Vegas, our conversation immediately turned to its retail parent Amazon


China silences book about its “silent invasion” of Australia

Oh dear: Australian publisher Allen & Unwin has ditched a book on Chinese Communist Party influence in Australian politics and academia, citing fear of legal action from the Chinese government or its proxies. The publisher’s chief executive, Robert Gorman, said last week that it would abandon publication of a completed manuscript by Clive Hamilton, a


Jacinda Ardern exposes Australia’s pathetic Fake Left

Jacinda Ardern, legend: New Zealand prime-minister-elect Jacinda Ardern has described capitalism as a “blatant failure” in the country, nominating poverty and homelessness as her priorities when she takes office. Speaking in her first sit-down interview, on TV3’s The Nation, Ms Ardern said New Zealanders were not feeling the benefits of prosperity. Asked if capitalism had


Pascometer redlines on itself

Weeoo, weeoo, weeoo. The Pascometer is redlining, only today on itself: Unsurprisingly, the 30th anniversary of the Crash of ’87 really has nothing new to add to what was written for the 25th anniversary and the 20th and so on before it. But it is a chance to revisit the anniversary of the first of


Only the conservative media seems capable of a population debate

By Leith van Onselen Why is it that only the conservative (“Right”) side of the media and politics seems capable of having a debate on Australia’s future population? Over the past year, we have seen conservative commentators like Judith Sloan, Terry McCrann, Adam Creighton, Andrew Bolt, and Mark Latham, Quadrant Magazine, as well as federal


Jess Irvine wants a home but you can go to Hell

It’s a truly ridiculous editorial tightrope that Jess Irvine has decided to walk. Recently she declared: Somewhere deep inside me, a switch has flicked. I feel different; changed somehow. I never thought it would happen to me. And, diary, I’m embarrassed by this new feeling. But I’m ready to confess. First, a little background. As


Bloomberg redoubles Crapstralia assault

Today it’s the bubble: Home ownership among young Australians has fallen to the lowest level on record, as an explosive property boom squeezes out all but the wealthiest. Supercharged by record low interest rates, a lack of supply and a tax system that favors property investors, home prices have surged more than 140 percent in


Pascoe mafia labels Satyajit Das “doomsayer” in record time

From card-carrying bubble-boy and Pascoe ally, Bernard Keane, at Crikey In a piece in the Financial Review today with the sinister title “Australia’s luck is running out”, Das — a former banker turned author and commentator, manages to combine that staple of Fairfax, the property bubble/We’re All Rooned piece with a broader critique of the Australian economy. Das


Domainfax journalism has collapsed

For a long time we’ve mocked it but this week has really seen a new low in Domainfax journalism. First, admire the trivia: Note that this is the most dominant owner of media eyeballs in the country. Three pieces of fake news sum it up today. The first is by political commentator Mark Kenny: Pull the


Gotti surveys his empire and weeps

Often wrong, never in doubt is Gotti: I have been reporting and commenting on large enterprises in the Australian private sector for more than half a century. I have never seen significant lumps of the private sector in such disarray as I am now seeing. And in the case of energy the private sector mess


Xenoponzi bribes MB to support media consolidation

Via Domainfax: A dramatic reshaping of Australia’s media industry is imminent after the Turnbull government’s plan to scrap “outdated and irrelevant” media ownership laws received endorsement from crucial Senate crossbenchers at the end of a day of furious backroom horse trading. In exchange for his support, Senate kingmaker Nick Xenophon secured a suite of concessions


Coalition flunkies enter energy “loony fog”

The AFR hasn’t done too bad a job on energy. Ben Potter finally converted to energy transformation in recent years and Angela Macdonald-Smith has, at times, described the great gas gouge. But it sure ain’t coming from the top, via Michael Stutchbury’s note on the weekend: Coal is Turnbull’s new black. Wages the economic growth


Dick Smith calls out ABC population ponzi bias

Go Dick: Dick Smith is launching an advertising campaign against ABC TV news and current affairs, which he says has warped the debate he has tried to spur over Australian population growth. He claims both Labor and Liberal politicians have told him they agree that Australia needs to cut its immigration intake to avoid future


Why did 4Corners cut the population angle?

Unfortunately for 4Corners, I know pretty much everybody that they interviewed for their housing bubble busting expose last night and one complaint that has come back from my discussions with more than one is that despite considerable time being dedicated to discussion of the role of population growth in the formation of the bubble, it


4 Corners does a decent job on the bubble

I’m sure many of you watched the 4 Corners housing bubble take last night, here. It was nothing terribly new but did a reasonable job of summing up the issues: record household debt; dodgy broker incentives; over-exposed banks; macro-economic risk, and over-extended supports such as monetary policy. It was basically a decent cautionary tale. What


Fairfax readies Domainmaggeddon

Thanks to McGrathmaggeddon we know exactly what to look for in over-inflated and poorly timed exit strategy IPO. Fairfax today announced something a little similar. It’s full year result was ordinary with falling revenue but costs falling even faster to deliver a rebounding net profit after big losses last year: Needless to say, shrinking to


Weatherill nails energy “right-wing f..kwits”

At MB we are great fans of Jay Weatherill. His bank levy is bonza. His renewables shift is nation leading. And his temper is a Bobby Dazzler: South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has been urged to apologise after branding critics of the state’s power outages “right-wing f..kwits” at a federal colleague’s book launch. Speaking at


What is the bloody point of being Australian?

Matt Canavan has to go. He’s a foreign national in the parliament. Via the AFR: Matt Canavan “automatically” became an Italian citizen because of his blood ties, says a specialist migration lawyer. Melbourne lawyer Joseph Italiano, a former member of the Immigration Review Tribunal, said under Italian law a person has a blood right known


Rise of the housing bubble hypocrites

From Rob Burgess today: Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen gave a good speech on Tuesday, promising to super-size Labor’s planned banking royal commission. Originally intended to flush out illegal and deceptive activity in the banks, a royal commission should, he says, spring clean their legal activities too because that’s where the real damage to the economy is occurring. Actually,