Australian Politics


Turnbull champions rent seeker No1, hoses RBA

The Mad King at work: Malcolm Turnbull has brushed off a note from the Reserve Bank of Australia suggesting that changes to negative gearing could benefit the economy. The Prime Minister said the two-year-old note was directed at a “different issue”, which was the amount banks were lending to investors. “That issue has been addressed


Election 2016: Ritual over reality

At The Australian, Paul Kelly sums it pretty well today: Election 2016 is the contest between Malcolm Turnbull’s economic strategy and Bill Shorten’s people strategy. Turnbull aims to win by persuading the public to trust him as a superior economic manager while Shorten plays to the people’s angst, daily tribulations and pressure on family living standards.


MB Radio: The Budget, the Rate Cut and the Ugly

Upon the release of the 2016 Federal Budget Gunnamatta spoke with David Llewellyn-Smith, Leith van Onselen and Callam Pickering of CP Economics about the underpinnings of the budget, the integrity of some of its assumptions and forecasts, and the risks to the economy over the coming year and beyond. In a 45 minute discussion the


Coalition company tax cut another $55bn “captain’s call”

Add another policy to the list of hair-brained schemes birthed by a desperate PM, from The Australian: Treasury has not modelled the dollar cost of the government’s 10-year plan to cut company tax, Malcolm Turnbull has revealed, saying an expert’s estimate of $55 billion over the decade “may or may not be correct”. The Prime


Turnbull reckons Aussies are dumber than Yanks

Weird this: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says income inequality in the US is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump, acknowledging the outlandish billionaire has the Republican nomination “in the bag”. Mr Trump will be the presumptive nominee at the party’s July convention, following an emphatic victory in the Indiana primary which forced rivals Ted


The short and shocking reign of Malcolm Bligh Turnbull

The wondrous thing about this job is that you get to peer behind the curtain of power and money to see what’s really driving both. Over the six years that I’ve blogged, I have been progressively more amazed at the bastardry and bloody-mindedness that one finds behind the veneer. It’s been a journey into the darkest


Roy Morgan: Labor stretches its lead

From Roy Morgan today: Primary support for the L-NP is 40% (down 0.5%) with ALP at 32.5% (up 0.5%). Support for the Greens is down 0.5%% to 13.5%, Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) 4% (down 0.5%; 20.5% in South Australia), Katter’s Australian Party is 1% (up 0.5%), Palmer United Party is 0% (unchanged) and Independents/ Others


Christopher Pyne’s retainer rises to 4.7% of GDP

From Chris Joye: With another bloated budget looming next week that could further undermine Australia’s AAA credit rating, it is opportune to reflect on the integrity of the Turnbull government’s bold decision to punt $50 billion on building 12 French submarine “concepts” that have yet to be designed, produced or proven in the water. Here the


Betting markets ease further from Turnbott

Cross-posted from Mark the Ballot: …here are the weekly betting market statistics for the Coalition’s likelihood of winning the next Australian election. House Coalition Odds ($) Labor Odds ($) Coalition Win Probability (%) 2016-04-29 Betfair 1.38 3.28 70.39 2016-04-29 CrownBet 1.34 3.20 70.48 2016-04-29 Ladbrokes 1.35 3.15 70.00 2016-04-29 Luxbet 1.31 3.30 71.58 2016-04-29 Sportsbet


Why are big banks silent on negative gearing reform?

From The Australian today: Like a well-drilled army unit, the big banks rallied together to dismiss a royal commission, firing off the scary reasons why it was a bad idea. They did the same when the Murray inquiry threatened higher capital requirements. So if negative gearing changes were such a disaster, why have the banks been


Turnbull completes Turnbott transition with boats

Was there ever a centrist and reasoned Malcolm Turnbull? From The Australian: Malcolm Turnbull has categorically ruled out bringing the asylum-seekers detained on Manus Island to Australia, warning against becoming “misty-eyed” about the plight of more than 900 asylum-seekers and refugees in limbo on the island. Although his Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has chosen his


Waleed Aly crushes Turnbull on negative gearing

The Project’s Waleed Aly is a national treasure. On last night’s program he ran the above segment completely demolishing the Turnbull Government’s support of negative gearing and the capital gains tax (CGT) discount. One particularly interesting slice from the video is the below graphic, which shows that Malcolm Turnbull’s own electorate of Wentworth is the


Westpac severs foreign property buyer umbilical

Prepare for a Gotti and Highrise Harry conniption, from the AFR: Westpac Bank and all banks in the Westpac group including St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA have ceased lending to all foreign residential property buyers. The bank joins ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank in the latest round of foreign lending tightening. “In line with Westpac Group’s responsible lending practices,


Grattan annihilates Turnbull negative gearing lies…again

From John Daley at the AFR comes another slaying of our increasingly lost and hapless PM. In his blogged response to the Grattan paper, Turnbull argued that: The paper claims that negative gearing “goes beyond generally accepted principles for offsetting losses against gains”.  But this is factually incorrect.  The ability to deduct interest and other


Would you employ Chris Pyne for $24.5bn?

It’s a rhetorical question because you just did. From defense expert Brian Toohey: …everything is wrong about the Turnbull government’s decision to build 12 extremely large submarines in Adelaide. …The government’s refusal to go with an off-the-shelf design will cost more billions, because the first of new submarines won’t be operational until after 2030 and the


Turnbull blog-flames Grattan, self

Nothing stirs the passions of our Prime Minister like criticism of negative gearing. So much so he’s blogged a reply to the Grattan Institute today: John Daley’s paper recommends major changes to Australia’s negative gearing provisions. Firstly, it proposes to only allow deductibility of net rental losses against other investment income. This is despite the


Labor versus the giant Australian Vampire Squid

Anybody that has read Matt Taibbi’s legendary take on Goldman Sachs will remember this: The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. Over the years I’ve offered my own version of this colourful metaphor in my descriptions


More Australian commodity forecast propaganda exposed

Japan has released its full financial year LNG imports: Japan’s imports of liquefied natural gas dropped 6.2 percent in the fiscal year that ended March 31, preliminary data from Japan’s Ministry of Finance showed on Wednesday. The world’s largest buyer of chilled gas imported 83.57 million mt of LNG in the fiscal year spanning from April 2015-March 2016, as


Ferguson: ASIC boost no substitute for Royal Commission

From the always excellent Adele Ferguson who exposed much recent banking malfeasance: To get to the root of unethical conduct requires more than creating a strong regulator. It requires a systemic review, which would look at vertical integration, whistleblower legislation, a review of remuneration structures, a review of the many compensation schemes in place, as well


Turnbott throws ScoMo another hospital pass

Another day, another hospital pass from Prime Minister Turnbott to Treasurer ScoMo, via the AFR: Australia’s banks will pay $121 million over the next four years to fund sweeping new powers and resources for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The funding, which puts backs the $120 million the Abbott government took from ASIC in


Turnbott adds ASIC to his trail of destruction

Mr Fixit on the run that is, from The Australian: The Turnbull government is set to restore funding to the corporate watchdog, enabling it to conduct high-intensity surveillance of hot spots for misconduct in the financial services industry. The government’s package of measures, which respond to an ASIC capability review and are designed to neutralise


Turnbull delivers more policy on the run

By Leith van Onselen After gutting its funding by $120m over four years in the 2014 federal budget, and severely reducing its enforcement capabilities, the Coalition Government is now looking to restore the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) funding in a bid to stymie Labor’s call for a banking Royal Commission. From The Guardian: