Latest posts


Hits and misses in new temporary ‘skilled’ visa scheme

By Leith van Onselen The federal government’s 457 temporary ‘skilled’ visa program ended on 18 March, and will now be replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. A component of the Temporary Skilled Visa will be the Global Talent Scheme (GTS), which is a trial program that will commence in July and initially run


Poverty and housing the key concerns of Kiwi voters

By Leith van Onselen With New Zealand’s Labour-led coalition Government nearly six months old, Roy Morgan has released new polling showing that poverty and housing are now the primary concerns of New Zealand voters: Quantified thematic analysis of the verbatim responses of a nationally representative sample of 999 New Zealanders found the economy and things


Are the Greens headed the way of the Democrats?

By Leith van Onselen Saturday’s elections were disastrous for The Greens. After heading into Melbourne’s Batman by-election with a 6-point lead over Labor, preliminary results have Labor winning the seat with a 55% to 45% two-party preferred lead: The result was labelled a disaster by Greens leader Richard DiNatale, who blamed the ‘shock’ defeat on


ABC: 86% of migrants have flooded Australia’s cities, particular Sydney and Melbourne

By Leith van Onselen Over the past year or so, I have ridiculed the new found push by some politicians towards decentralisation, noting that this is a pipe dream based on the settlement pattern of new migrants, which have overwhelmingly chosen to flood the major cities. My view was initially based primarily on data from


Exit Weatherill, enter the Do-nothing Energy Guarantee?

Via The Fake Left: The Turnbull government is one step closer to being able to implement its proposed national energy guarantee, courtesy of Jay Weatherill’s departure as the South Australian premier after Saturday’s state election. Weatherill led the resistance at the state level to the Turnbull proposal, which will impose new reliability and emissions reduction guarantees on energy retailers


There is still one minor party that could shake Aussie politics to the core

Paul Kelly makes plenty of sense today: The old empires are striking back. The hubris and limits of the minor parties are starkly revealed with the Liberals coming to power in South Australia, Labor’s victory in Batman, the Greens denied in a seat they aspired to win and the Nick Xenophon bubble in a long-overdue implosion. …Xenophon’s


Building industry admits it can’t keep up with population ponzi

By Leith van Onselen The Grattan Institute’s latest housing report explicitly stated that if Australia cannot build enough housing and infrastructure to keep pace with population growth, then the pragmatic thing to do is cut immigration, thereby relieving demand. On Friday, the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s (UDIA) Victorian branch admitted that the building industry is


Migrant salaries fall below zero as the great visa rort rages

Via Domainfax: The Fair Work Ombudsman will investigate companies offering unpaid internships for which some students paid $1000, following a report by Fairfax Media. The Ombudsman, Natalie James, said the report raised “serious questions” about the internships hosted by web developer Future Squared and recruitment by Industry Placements Australia. Some graduates paid a $990 “administration


UBS: APRA will have to stomp on mortgage lending again

Via UBS: ‘Macro-pru’ has been more effective than expected The 2nd round of APRA’s macroprudential policy tightening (announced Mar-17) to limit investor credit growth to “comfortably below 10%” & interest only loans to 30% of flow has arguably been even more effective than either APRA or the RBA expected. Loan data released this week for


Auction clearance rate stable at weak

CoreLogic released its auction report yesterday, which reported a largely stable preliminary national auction clearance rate – i.e. 67.5% this week compared to 67.3% last week (later revised down to 63.3%). The preliminary clearance rate was also well below the 74.1% recorded in the same weekend of last year: Auction volumes nationally were at at


Links 19 March 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: President at Billionaire Steve Cohen’s Hedge Fund Firm Resigns – Bloomberg Wall Street’s tech love affair might end in tears – Reuters Fewer Americans Hold Cryptocurrencies Than You Probably Think – Bloomberg Alan Schwartz, Last Head of Bear Stearns, Taking on Wall Street Goliaths at Guggenheim – WSJ How


Weekend Reading: 17-18 March 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: JPMorgan Moves Closer to Urging a Rotation Away From Equities – Bloomberg Imagine Wall Street Without Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein – Bloomberg Leveraged ETFs Are Moving Markets Again – WSJ What’s the Biggest Trade on the New York Stock Exchange? The Last One – WSJ The Bitcoin Fad


Macro Afternoon

Another mixed session to end the week here in Asia with most stock markets putting in scratch sessions or minor losses as markets continued to contemplate the changes in personnel at the White House amid growing concerns the Federal Reserve will raise rates again next week. Commodities were little changed while bond yields dropped slightly.


The problems mass immigration is supposed to solve don’t exist

By William Bourke, President of Sustainable Australia: Population is “the everything issue”. It affects all aspects of public policy and our daily lives. It is essential to get population policy right if we are to achieve critical public policy outcomes like secure jobs, affordable housing, better planning and a sustainable environment. That is not to say


AIG demands cuts to “hair and beauty” penalty rates

From the Australian Industry Group: “On behalf of Hair and Beauty Australia (HABA), Ai Group Workplace Lawyers has filed submissions and evidence in the Fair Work Commission’s Hair and Beauty Industry Penalty Rates Case on behalf of the employers in the industry,” Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today. “In the Fair Work Commission’s major Penalty


Bondcano fizzer: Aussie bonds outperform equities

Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: Equities underperforming bonds For all the negative sentiment towards bonds in the marketplace (eg because of inflation, or policy tightening concerns), it is interesting to note that in China, and in Australia, equities have actually underperformed bonds year-to-date. In a previous article (attached), we argued that these developments are no


CoreLogic: Specufestors stirring

Via Cameron Kusher: Earlier this week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its monthly housing finance data for January 2018 while the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) released their quarterly ADI property exposures data for December 2017.  Each of these releases provide really valuable insight into the state of the mortgage lending environment. Firstly