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Scanlon Foundation attacks immigration anger polls

By Leith van Onselen If you want a textbook example of how desperate the ‘growth lobby’ has become in its support of mass immigration and a ‘Big Australia’, look no further than Andrew Markus’ disparaging remarks about the Australian Population Research Institute’s (APRI) recent survey showing that nearly three-quarters of Australian voters believe Australia already


Chinese tourists, students dumping Australia?

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday released its overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for January, which continued to show a trend rise in the number of inbound visitors, with Chinese arrivals continuing to boom. The number of short-term visitor arrivals fell a seasonal 30.5% in January in original terms, whereas


Fair Work exposes ubiquitous Western Sydney wages underclass

Via Domainfax: A concentration of underpaid workers has been uncovered in western Sydney, with almost two- thirds of businesses audited found to be seriously short-changing workers or failing to keep proper pay records. The Fair Work Ombudsman investigation found that 64 per cent of almost 200 businesses audited were breaching workplace laws in suburbs including


Labor eyes adjustments to imputation reform

Via the AFR: Low-income retirees caught by Labor’s plan to scrap cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits could be compensated by other opposition policy measures – possibly including changes to the deeming rate, which is used to determine the level of a pension based on the income from assets. …Speculation is rife that Labor


Sydney house prices fall for 27th consecutive week

By Leith van Onselen The deflation of Sydney’s housing market has continued for the 27th consecutive week, with CoreLogic’s dwelling values index registering another 0.09% decline, and values down a cumulative 4.1% over that 27-week period, and dwelling values also down 4.0% over the past 32 weeks: Sydney’s quarterly growth rate remains firmly negative, down


CoreLogic Weekly Australian house price index melts away

By Leith van Onselen In the week ended 15 March 2018, the CoreLogic 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, fell another 0.03%: Values fell in Sydney and Adelaide, but rose elsewhere: So far in March, dwelling values are down 0.10%, driven by Sydney: So far in 2018, dwelling


Australia’s new boom: bureaucrats

By Gareth Aird, senior economist at CBA: Key Points: General government consumption growth has materially outpaced household consumption growth over the past three years. Public sector jobs growth has significantly outpaced private sector jobs growth over the past two years. Public sector wages have been growing at a faster pace than private sector wages for


Links 16 March 2018

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: A Decade After Bear’s Collapse, the Seeds of Instability Are Germinating Again – WSJ Tesla employees say automaker is churning out a high volume of flawed parts requiring costly rework – CNBC Bitcoin Is Worthless, Bubble May Pop Soon, Allianz Global Says – Bloomberg Amazon: The Making of a


Macro Afternoon

A mixed day here in Asia with most stock markets putting in scratch sessions following the poor lead overnight from Wall Street. The White House is getting a new economic advisor – Larry “I’m never right really” Kudlow, so that should work out fine. US stocks are facing their fourth night of losses if confidence


Toys ‘R’ Us to liquidate

Retail carnage is mushrooming, via Domainfax: News broke overnight Australia time that Toys ‘R’ Us was preparing to sell or close all 885 stores in the US after failing to reach a deal to restructure billions of dollars of debt. The Wall Street Journal reported that chief executive David Brandon told staff the company would likely liquidate stores


CEOs make out like bandits while ordinary workers’ pay slides

By Leith van Onselen I have always found it irritating when interest groups like the Business Council of Australia complain about Australia’s uncompetitive wages and the need to cut penalty rates or the minimum wage, as well as slash company taxes, but conveniently refuse to address the egregious blow-out in CEO and senior management pay.


Long-term migrant arrivals hit record high in January

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released visitor arrivals and departures data for the month of January, which registered a big lift in net annual permanent and long-term arrivals. In the year to January 2018, there were 787,710 permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia – up 5% from January 2017


CBA’s broker conflicts have clear 1890s resonances

Via the ABC: The first witness to appear today is CBA’s executive general manager of home buying, Daniel Huggins. Under questioning from the commission’s senior counsel, Rowena Orr QC, Mr Huggins acknowledged there was a conflict of interest created by the commission payments banks make to mortgage brokers. “The larger the loan, the larger the


Macquarie pushes back rate hikes

Another one bites the dust: Macquarie’s economics team of Justin Fabo and Ric Deverell say they now expect the RBA to remain on hold until early 2019. While the economy is improving, the unemployment rate remains too high, and wages and price inflation too low for the 25 basis points of rate hikes pencilled in for August and November


Toronto house prices continue to fall as new lending rules bite

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this month, it was suggested that the wheels were falling off Canada’s biggest housing market – Toronto-  with the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reporting that house sales had fallen by around a third year-on-year in the Greater Toronto area, with average sales prices for all dwelling types also down


Is Jacinda Ardern another housing affordability phony?

By Leith van Onselen In  the lead-up to last year’s September general election, I praised New Zealand Labour’s housing platform because it promised to address both supply and demand distortions via negative gearing reform, banning foreign buyers of existing homes, tighter capital gains taxes, removal of urban growth boundaries, plus bond financing for infrastructure. I


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker Last night saw continued withdrawal of buying confidence this time with economic news actually having an impact as US advanced retail sales surprised to the downside. US stocks led the charge down with the Dow off 1% but commodities recovered on the Chinese retail sales/FAI/production figures yesterday. Risk markets are waiting patiently for


Idiot (box) takes control of US economy

Via the WSJ: President Donald Trump has offered Lawrence Kudlow the job as director of the National Economic Council and he accepted, making the economic commentator one of the president’s top economic advisers, Mr. Kudlow said in an interview. We’ve all watched Kudlow for years on CNBC spout his supply-side Reaganomics drivel. Calculated Risk records


Australia should consider ending dividend imputation

By Leith van Onselen The debate continued yesterday over Labor’s pledge to abolish cash refunds of excess franking credits from 1 July 2019 if Labor wins the next federal election, thereby saving the budget $5.6 billion in the first full year, rising to $8 billion a year over the medium term. The Australia Institute’s (TAI)


NAB’s mortgage practice is worse than sub-prime USA

Karen Moley is worried: It’s still early days, but if I were a senior bank executive or even a bank shareholder, I’d be feeling distinctly nervous about where the Hayne royal commission will end up on the crucial issue of how much responsibility home loan borrowers should shoulder when they’ve knowingly provided false information to