Featured Article

67

Australian dollar hammered as China bans Aussie coal

Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you. Via Reuters: Customs at China’s northern Dalian port has banned imports of Australian coal and will cap overall coal imports for 2019 through its harbours at 12 million tonnes, an official at Dalian Port Group told Reuters on Thursday. The indefinite ban on imports from top supplier Australia,

48

Westpac hit with class action over ‘irresponsible’ mortgages

By Leith van Onselen Westpac will face a class action in the federal court for issuing home loans that breached responsible lending rules. From SBS News: Westpac is facing a class action for allegedly giving loans to people who couldn’t afford to pay them back. The class action, in the Federal Court, is the first

38

McGrathmageddon: “Exceptional” property market “resurgent”

This is how one McGrathmageddon realtor summed up the property market this week: 2019 looks more promising than many would have thought. November and December were very tough but in January things really picked up. Buyer enquiry has been exceptional. The negative media reports preaching that it’s a great time to purchase must be prompting buyer

82

Corruption swamps Scummo Government

Tony Wright sums of the death of our Westminster system of government today: With fast-gathering regularity, ministerial responsibility appears to have all but decayed to no responsibility. Daily now the nation is assaulted by revelations of conduct that would get the cold shoulder in a shearer’s pub. It is as if Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s

32

Robb, Carr cut Chinese dough and run

Via Domain comes another signal of a step change in the milieu of Australia/China relations: Former trade minister Andrew Robb has quietly ceased his controversial $880,000 per annum consultancy with a company closely linked to the Chinese government, as the deadline looms for lobbyists for overseas state interests to sign up to Australia’s new foreign influence

39

LF Economics: House prices in 20% “bloodbath” in 2019

By Leith van Onselen LF Economics has released a new report, entitled “Let the Bloodbath Begin”, which forecasts a doomsday scenario for Sydney and Melbourne housing: With many pressures mounting throughout 2019, we are confident that house price declines will accelerate in Sydney and Melbourne. In our baseline scenario, we anticipate nominal house prices to

38

“No more Chinese” crashing property

By Leith van Onselen The latest NAB survey: And the latest FIRB report for 2017-18: Both showed a collapse in foreign buyer demand, particularly from China. Today, The AFR reports that property values in suburbs that were once hotbeds for Chinese investment are plummeting: Houses in the suburb of Penshurst, 17 kilometres south of Sydney’s

56

5 million Aussies left behind by mass immigration disaster

By Leith van Onselen Glenn Docherty, chair of the National Growth Areas Alliance, penned a disturbing article in Fairfax claiming that five million Aussies living in Australia’s outer-suburban areas have been left without adequate access to infrastructure or services as Australia’s population has ballooned: …for nearly one fifth of Australia’s population, the federal government’s piecemeal approach

32

Desperate developers rain incentives on buyers

By Leith van Onselen With a near record level of apartments still under construction across Australia: Concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne: And dwelling values plummeting across the two major markets: Developers are getting increasingly desperate, throwing incentives at buyers to clear surplus stock. From Domain: Free mortgage payments are among the latest incentives on offer

42

Village idiot RBA whines about contracting gene pool

Via The Australian: The Reserve Bank has called on education authorities to help ­arrest the sharp decline in the number of senior students in NSW studying economics, by ­elevating the status of the subject within the curriculum. Once the third most popular subject choice for Year 12 students, economics enrolments have plummeted over the past

31

Angry China singles out Aussie coal for pain

Via Reuters: Chinese coal traders are halting purchases of Australian coal and coking coal as clearing times through China’s customs have at least doubled to 40 days or more, four traders at major buyers told Reuters on Monday. The traders said only cargoes from Australia, the biggest supplier of the fuel to the world’s top

39

Chinese drug money mass laundered in Aussie property

Via Banking Day: Nathan Lynch of Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence The revelations about Chinese asset recovery agents operating covertly in Australia will put pressure on the Department of Home Affairs to introduce law reforms ahead of the May general election. The government is sitting on “Phase 1.5” legislation that will prepare Australia for the introduction

52

Housing bust spreads into services activity

The warnings of slower services activity spreading from the housing bust continue to mount. We know that Westpac is stalled, BOQ is shrinking, McGrathmageddon and Domainmageddon roll on. But these are obvious, direct casualties. More interesting now are indirect multipliers. There’s SG Fleet for instance: Fleet management provider SG Fleet has posted a 7 per

27

Two can play the fear game: Mediscare 2.0 warms up

Via New Daily: Labor is preparing to unleash a Mediscare 2.0-style campaign, claiming the Morrison government cannot be trusted on GP fee increases and cuts to health. In her first major speech to the National Press Club, opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King said having failed to introduce the $7 GP co-payment, the Prime Minister was trying

69

SA rejoice: You’re failing to attract migrants

This is totally perverse from the ABC: South Australia is losing a very important battle — to win the hearts and minds of those migrating to Australia. Premier Steven Marshall wants to gain some ground by attracting skilled migrants to the state rather than Victoria and New South Wales, as the State Government holds a

102

China delivers Aussie property death knell

This is not good. Via the AFR: China has introduced jail terms for operators of “underground banks” illegally helping tens of thousands of its citizens transfer money out of the country to buy property overseas, in a move developers warn is a big blow to Australia’s real estate market. China’s Supreme Court quietly introduced stiff

177

Should I buy property now?

Via Martin North: In short, no, although I never argue that owner occupiers try to time the market. It causes too much agonising in Australia’s busted political economy. That said, these are the worst headwinds for Australian property in my lifetime. I’m not so shy about saying that investors should push property away with a ten

57

Labor pushes for massive banker penalties

From SBS News: Bankers found guilty of serious corporate crimes could be jailed for up to 15 years and shonky corporations may face fines of up to $525 million, under legislation proposed by Labor. In the wake of the damning banking royal commission, the federal party wants to significantly increase penalties against financial institutions who

20

Fake news: Property investors charging back into market

Get ready for an avalanche of this fake news, via the AFR: Property investors are chasing falling prices, bargain-basement fixed rates, rising rental yields and bigger discounts as they rush to beat a Labor government’s negative gearing changes, agents and analysts said. Anecdotal accounts from real estate agents, representing sellers, and brokers’ agents, representing buyers,

126

Coalition & Co to crowd fund new Tampa (with sharks!)

Lots of hysteria around borders today as the Coalition friends set up for another Tampa election. Paul Kelly personifies the neurosis nicely: Labor has changed its stance, its policy and its heart on border protection. This is the enduring ­element in the present dramas. It is high-risk politics and misconceived policy by Bill Shorten that