Kennett: VIC is going to toss Labor

Jeff Kennett today predicts a Victorian election boil over: Four years ago the ALP was fraudulently using public moneys for its own electoral purposes — the Red Shirts Affair — and then spent voters’ money trying to stop it becoming public. Recently we saw Premier Daniel Andrews refuse to allow the 21 MPs, including six

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Personal and renovation finance collapsing

By Leith van Onselen Today’s Lending Finance data for September, released by the ABS, revealed that personal and renovation finance continue to collapse. Personal finance commitments were down 5.4% over the year, are down 24% since the March 2013 peak, and are tracking at the lowest level since December 2002: In a similar vein, renovation


A day later, Morrison backflips on Foodbank funding cuts

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday, we attacked the Morrison Government’s plan to halve funding to charity Foodbank, which provides meals to 710,000 needy Australians. Thankfully we can today report that the community backlash has forced the Coalition to backflip: The National Farmers’ Federation, the community sector and Labor yesterday slammed the Government’s plans to slash


‘Migrants to the bush’ exposed as regional visas hit decade low

By Leith van Onselen The Morrison Government’s ‘migrants to the bush’ smokescreen has been comprehensively exposed with regional migration approvals hitting a decade low. From The ABC: Regional visa approvals have fallen to their lowest levels in a decade as the Federal Government prepares to introduce a scheme requiring new arrivals to work outside the


Bottom-feeders gobble Brisvegas apartments

Hmmm…at the AFR: Former Macquarie banker Andrew Hooper-Nguyen and his business ­partner, the co-founder of ASX-listed Excel Coal, Chris Ellis, have made a bulk purchase of brand new apartments at Rich Lister Tim Gurner’s FV tower in Brisbane where there have already been discounts of 24 percent from sales made four years ago. …”Market weakness


Household financial confidence tumbles with wages, houses

From DFA’s latest household survey of 52,000 Australian households: The results from the DFA household surveys to the end of October 2018 are out today. The index measures households overall comfort level with their finances across a number of key dimensions. Recent home price trends, lower returns on deposits and share market gyrations have combined


Joye: “plenty of options” to stabilise house prices. Are there?

So says Chanticleer: Joye’s message was not to panic. Even if the market were to really tank there were plenty of options for regulators and governments wishing to stabilise the situation. It is my view that when the RBA is forced to cut next year it will stabilise the market for a while (assuming it


Do the smaller states and regions want more immigration?

By Leith van Onselen The Coalition’s repeated assertion that Australia’s smaller states and regions are “begging for migrants” has received a lukewarm reception. After Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday announced that he would give the states a say on how many migrants they want, Western Australia’s Premier, Mark McGowan, pushed back: “If the federal government want


Judge shoots down Westpac “liar loan” fine

Via the ABC: In an extraordinary move, the Federal Court has refused to approve a $35 million penalty for Westpac, despite the bank admitting it broke responsible lending laws.The penalty was a negotiated settlement between Westpac and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).However, in a highly critical judgment, Justice Nye Perram said “admirable ingenuity


New winner for worst ever negative gearing reform attack

By Leith van Onselen Just when I thought we’d hit peak stupid in the negative gearing debate, along comes The Courier Mail’s Peter Gleeson with the following faeces laden argument that Labor’s policy will somehow hit battlers the most: OF ALL the destructive policies to be implemented under a Bill Shorten-led People’s Socialist Republic of


RBA and Treasury versus APRA and ASIC?

So says CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless in a well considered argument at the AFR: Tim Lawless of housing data firm Corelogic said that for “the first time in forever” there was a potential split among top regulators that make up the Council of Financial Regulators in how to deal with a declining property market. While the


CoreLogic: Worst yet to come for Aussie housing market

By Leith van Onselen CoreLogic is dialling up the warnings about Australia’s budding housing bust. After Friday’s disastrous housing finance figures, which showed both owner-occupied finance crashing, Cameron Kusher predicted both housing growth and sales will take another leg down: Given the ongoing declines in dwelling values, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, and the now apparent


Is Labor riven by China?

Is the Pope a Catholic? First, via The Australian: Bill Shorten has defended Premier Daniel Andrews for joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative, arguing the deal was part of the “normal day to day work” of state politicians. The Opposition Leader said he was not surprised Mr Andrews released the memorandum of understanding over the


Negative gearing reform polling still strong

Via The Australian: An exclusive Newspoll conduct­ed for The Australian reveale­d a seven-point fall in suppor­t for Mr Shorten’s centrepiece housing policy amid a softening market, although backer­s of Labor’s tax overhaul still outweigh opponents by 47 to 33 per cent. Of those surveyed, 42 per cent believed the policy would cause house prices to


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker A poor start to the trading week for overnight markets with US stocks selling off sharply on the back of tech giant Apple and confounded by falling oil prices that are hurting energy stocks. Brexit negotiations are also fouling up the roost in Europe while the USD is soaring against the major


Morrison’s immigration capitulation nearly complete

By Leith van Onselen It’s been amazing watching Scott Morrison’s speedy transformation from mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ defender to a sceptic on the verge of slashing the permanent migrant intake. As recently as four months ago, Scott Morrison lambasted Tony Abbott’s push to cut the migrant intake to 110,000, warning it risked Australia’s future economic


The Kouk: Negative gearing reform to “put a floor on house prices”!

By Leith van Onselen I know Stephen Koukoulas is a Labor guy and is a good team player, but he’s drawing a long bow suggesting that Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains tac (CGT) might actually “put a floor on house prices”: The government is claiming that the negative gearing change will “take a sledgehammer”,


CoreLogic fugly: Mortgages sag, listings rocket, auction fails widen

CoreLogic’s weekly housing indicators are fugly today. Mortgage credit is fading when it should be surging: Listings are ripping towards 2012 highs:   And auction failure is now near universal having spread from suburbs to inner city and out to neighbouring centres: The bust is still clearly building momentum. Full report.  


A new China shock brews for Australia

The Council of Foreign Relations has some bad news for Australia: Over the past two years, as our left-hand figure above shows, foreign portfolio investors have piled prodigiously into Chinese assets, helping to support the RMB. But history suggests this trend is about to reverse. While inflows have been rising, Chinese stocks have been tumbling—they are


Links 13 November 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: The CEO obsession with bitcoin and blockchain is over – Axios Clever Map Shows the True Size of Countries – Visual Capitalist Be Afraid of Economic ‘Bigness.’ Be Very Afraid – NY Times Why “Qualified Opportunity Zones” May Be the Next Hot Thing in Investing – Barron’s Elon Musk