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Everyone but cruel Coalition wants Newstart lifted

By Leith van Onselen When it comes to cruelty against the unemployed, it’s hard to top the Morrison Government. As the Budget heads back towards surplus, and with the Government pledging tens-of-billions of dollars for tax cuts, it refuses to lift Australia’s Newstart Allowance, which is about to fall to 30% below the poverty line:


Another idiotic ‘Boomer versus Millennial’ housing debate

The AFR’s war on rate cuts took a new an ever more stupid turn on the weekend: Baby Boomers and Millennials are trading blows about who is responsible for deteriorating economic conditions that weaken their chances of home ownership or retirement security. Millennials allege profligate Boomers got a free kick from no university fees and


Manufacturing jobs plummet to record low

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released its quarterly labour force report, which breaks-down employment at the industry level to May 2019. Below are some key charts, which present the changes in employment aggregates on a trend basis. First, the quarterly change in employment by industry: Next, the annual employment


Westpac slices off a head of APRA wet lettuce

Via the AFR: Westpac has unleashed a fresh wave of property lending by relaxing serviceability conditions on low risk home loans, immediately increasing the borrowing capacity of aspiring home owners by as much as 8 per cent. A spokesman for Westpac confirmed the policy change saying credit officers would now have the discretion to approve principal


Aussie banks run by psychos

Honestly, our regulators are the biggest pack of no-hopers, via the AFR: The psychologist inserted by the corporate regulator into boardroom discussions of more than 20 blue-chip companies including Qantas, Woolworths and AMP warns that Australia’s financial sector culture is broken. Elizabeth Arzadon, the regulator’s psychologist of choice, also warns that resistance by boards to


Population growth surges past 400,000 on rising immigration

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its Australian Demographic Statistics for the December quarter of 2018, which revealed that Australia’s population continues to grow manically led by surging net overseas migration (NOM), mostly into Sydney and Melbourne. According to the ABS, Australia’s population rose by 1.6% in the 2018


We’re all slaves now, as gig economy booms

By Leith van Onselen Robert Gottliebsen has hailed the gig economy as enabling many Australians from coping with the rising cost of living and avoiding going into mortgage arrears. Gotti has also cautioned against greater regulation of the gig economy: Australians have embraced the so-called gig economy with great enthusiasm and an incredible survey commissioned


Faulty apartments create generation of “mortgage prisoners”

By Leith van Onselen Australia’s apartment market is in crisis. On Christmas Eve, all residents at the 392-apartment Opal Tower high-rise were evacuated after serious cracking sent soundwaves across the complex. And then over the weekend, residents of a 12 year-old, 10-storey high-rise apartment complex in Mascot were evacuated after cracks were discovered in the foundation


Uhlmann: Straya a China pussy

Via Chris Uhlmann comes a rare voice of sanity: What is it that terrifies the people of Hong Kong about the Chinese Communist Party that eludes so many pliant Australian academics, business leaders and ex-politicians? In the same breath, some local cognoscenti lament the Australian government’s weakness in barely mentioning the troubles in the Chinese


Universities waste international student billions on administration

Earlier this month, Auditor-Generals from Australia’s three largest states warned that Australia’s universities have become dangerously reliant on fees from international students, which have ballooned on the back of the massive rise in international student numbers, as shown below: As you can see, the number of international students studying in Australia has nearly doubled to


China fires up the housing bubble

Trade war? No problem. Housing bubble is the answer. Monthly house price data for May had new house prices up an accelerating 0.7% and 10.7% year on year: The breadth is now nearly complete with 68 of 70 markets rising: Including some formerly constrained first tier markets: The raw data: Expect this to continue because,


Australian dollar hits new lows as RBA minutes lets doves fly

Via the Lunatic just now: International Economic Conditions Members commenced their discussion by noting that the data on the global economy released since the previous meeting had been mixed. GDP growth outcomes for the March quarter in some economies had been slightly stronger than the second half of 2018, while labour markets had remained tight.


ScoMo takes huge dump with “tiny homes” push

Nothing makes my blood boil more than “tiny homes”. Whether it is the buyers or sellers of the sardine cans, acceptance of their existence represents a gigantic failure of the Australian political economy. Those Millennials that Domain so loves to quote as they gasp out a few words from diaphragms crushed between kitchen cabinet and bed,


Is Bitcoin back?

Bitcoin is back: I won’t even pretend that this is sustainable. Nothing has changed for crypto in my book. It is as worthless and useless as ever. With the same inbuilt contradiction: that if it succeeds it can only fail, given it’s only purpose is subvert a fiat currency system that it does not control.


Australia’s skilled migrant visa sham

Australian employer groups frequently claim that a strong ‘skilled’ migration program is required to overcome perceived labour shortages – a view that is shared by Australia’s state and federal governments. However, the available data does not support their assertions. First, while Australia’s is said to run a ‘skilled’ migration program, the Productivity Commission’s (PC) 2016


It pays to be a crooked developer in Melbourne

By Leith van Onselen In September 2016, Developers Raman Shaqiri and Stefce Kutlesovski illegally demolished the two-story 1859 Corkman Irish Hotel in inner-city Carlton. The building was under heritage protection, and yet these cowboy developers bulldozed the hotel under the cover of darkness without planning permission. Last year, the same developers pleaded guilty to dumping asbestos