Featured Article


Jobs report even weaker than it appears

Via Credit Suisse’s Damien Boey: Soft March employment data Employment came in well below expectations, rising by only 4.9K in March, with February’s 17.5K gain revised down to a 6.3K loss. Full-time employment fell, while part-time employment rose. Aggregate hours worked rose moderately by 0.3% over the month, taking year-ended growth lower to 3.2% from


Pollies cat fight over royal commission kudos

It began this morning with Kelly O-Dwyer: Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said the government had been vindicated in its decision to establish a financial services royal commission — despite being strongly against the probe and begrudgingly establishing it because of a revolt from the Nationals. …Ms O’Dwyer told ABC radio the government could take


ME Bank “forced” to hike mortgage rates on “funding costs”

Breaking from ME Bank ME’s standard variable rate for existing owner-occupier principal-and-interest borrowers with an LVR of 80% or less, will increase by 6 basis points to 5.09% p.a. (comparison rate 5.11% p.a.^). Variable rates for existing investor principal-and-interest borrowers will increase by 11 basis points, while rates for existing interest-only borrowers will increase by


Bernard Salt: Melbourne’s growing too fast. Cut immigration

By Leith van Onselen You know Australia’s immigration intake is way too high, and that the community mood has turned, when even Bernard Salt – the self proclaimed “unabashed supporter of a bigger Australia” – believes Melbourne is growing too fast and argues that immigration needs to be moderated. From Nine News (here and here): Melbourne’s


Panic grips mortgage broker as bank standards skyrocket

Via Propertychat: As you are probably aware the lending landscape is changing rapidly, what was possible a month ago is now a struggle. One of the biggest issues we are facing right now is a new responsible lending requirement for property investors to fully disclose the ALL COSTS of maintaining their properties. This includes insurance,


ABC’s The Business does rampant CBA, AMP corruption

And via the ABC: Senior counsel assisting the commission Michael Hodge QC appears to have finally and completely lost patience with CBA witness Marianne Perkovic. Hodge: Ms Perkovic, is the reason that you are dissembling in the way that you are dissembling because you are trying to pre-emptively explain why it took CFPL (Commonwealth Financial


Queen Lucy’s three city Sydney “plagiarised” from UK

Queen Lucy’s plan for a Sydney dystopia cops more flack from urban planner Chris Brown today: Nauseatingly, the plan boasts of “new thinking” that simply rehashes ideas borrowed from elsewhere. Concepts like the “30-minute city”, “green grid” or “liveability” are not new…The approach is supported by the highly questionable claim that the plan will “align land


Legalise pot to pack Budget cone

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday, I posted an article stating why The Greens’ proposal to legalisation marijuana is sensible policy, namely because: It would bring marijuana in line with alcohol and tobacco, which are both legal and regulated; It would guarantee purity of supply; It would reduce profits to organised crime; and It would provide a


Government has “lost the confidence” of polity on immigration

If Leith’s demolition yesterday was not enough then try Judith Sloan today: …the net annual economic gain is very small: 0.1 per cent of gross domestic product… …No consideration is given in the report to the cost of congestion, the loss of urban amenity, overcrowded schools and hospitals, environmental pressures… …And as for those silly


“Be very affraid” of interest-only mortgage reset

From Australian Broker comes a sombre analysis of the interest-only mortgage reset looming for Australia’s housing market: In January, UNSW professor of economics Richard Holden published a sobering observation of Australia’s relationship with high-LVR and IO loans. In it he reported Australian banks lend an average 25% more than their US counterparts and that these


The great Australian property bust has begun

Via the AFR: Over the past two months, the BBSW has surged 0.32 percentage points, or 32 basis points, to 2.08 per cent. The rate looked to have stabilised late March, only to restart its steep upward trajectory this month. The short-term money market rate directly affects the cost of bank wholesale funding costs. The


Stop the presses: Australian Treasury likes mass immigration

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Treasury has reportedly provided briefing to the Turnbull Government spruiking the economic benefits of mass immigration and warning against any cut to the migrant intake. From The Age: The migrant intake from 2014-15 alone will provide a $10 billion boost to the budget over the next five decades, the


Immigration boosters label sensible centre “hateful extremists”

By Leith van Onselen MB has noted previously (here and here) how the Scanlon Foundation is a front organisation for property developers that are pro-mass immigration and ‘Big Australia’. This view is based on the fact that founder, Peter Scanlon, is a major real estate developer and has a clear vested interest in mass immigration,


Melbourne airport rail link another costly waste

By Leith van Onselen Last week, I questioned the efficacy of the announced $10 billion rail link connecting Melbourne airport to the CBD, noting that: the cost of a rail ticket is likely to be exorbitant, since Melbourne Airport’s private operators are likely to impose significant rental charges on any railway station that is built on


Turnbull admits a ‘Big Australia’ will erode living standards

By Leith van Onselen Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave an interview late last week on 3AW’s Neil Mitchell program (starting at 7.50 mins) where he tied himself in knots over Australia’s immigration program. Below are the key exchanges with my analysis: Neil Mitchell: Is it time for a pause [in the migrant intake] while we


Creepy Pete makes his leadership run

The signals are mounting that “Creepy Pete” Dutton is making his leadership run. In the past few weeks we’ve seen a few very peculiar shifts in the immigration narrative around the minister. First we’ve had the very high profile statements around white and black Africans. I really have no idea what they signal about the


“Hollow” Holden crashes at high speed into brick wall

Hoocoodanode? Via The Australian, the German Commodore ain’t travelling too well: The new ZB Commodore – the first import to carry the badge, following the closure of Holden’s local manufacturing operations in October last year – is tanking. After its launch in February, predicted resale values went straight off the cliff. Industry valuer RedBook has


Mortgage standards panic seeps into MSM

Via a panicky Domainfax and following this week’s WBC tightening: Tom Crowley, National Australia Bank’s acting general manager of home lending, said the bank was collecting “granular” details of a customer’s expenses, and it was keen to work with regulators and other lenders to improve their assessments of borrowers’ finances. …Managing director of mortgage broker Homeloanexperts.com.au,


Precarious employment booms

Via The Conversation: Precarious employment is increasing over time, and it still remains higher for women than men in Australia. But over the last nine years it has increased far more rapidly among men. This is despite greater workforce participation and lower unemployment rates in Australia’s labour market. The quality of jobs in Australia has


Enter another crazed ANU immigration booster

By Leith van Onselen Regular MB readers would be well aware of the mass immigration propaganda flowing from the Australian National University (ANU) via Dr Liz Allen and Professor Peter McDonald. Now another ANU immigration spruiker, Professor Glenn Withers, has entered the fray claiming that Australia risks “big economic losses” if it dares to lower immigration


Bravo to China tensions!

Via The Australian: China says reports it wants to build a military base in Vanuatu are “sheer fiction” from Australians stirring up trouble. Malcolm Turnbull admits there is tension between the two countries, after Fairfax Media this week reported China asked Vanuatu about building a permanent military base, while Australian ministers have been refused visas


Turnbull lies, Abbott rips, Dutton cuts immigration

By Leith van Onselen After Immigration Minister Peter Dutton contradicted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday, confirming that he did in fact discuss reducing Australia’s immigration intake with senior colleagues, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has lined up to kick Turnbull. From The New Daily: “Why on earth the Prime Minister himself and other senior ministers


Five reasons why the RAAF should carpet bomb Curtis Island

It would be in the national interest. Curtis Island only has 1200 odd workers in its three LNG plants. Yet it is doing untold economic damage everywhere else, costing many thousands of jobs. This is because gas is the key input into the entire east coast energy system. As Innes Willox said yesterday: Gas prices went


IAG: Driverless cars 20 years away

David Harrington from IAG channels Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”. From The Australian: Australia has 700 pieces of different regulation that need to be changed before driverless cars can take to the roads, according to Insurance Australia Group, which