Latest posts


International student’s “clenching and corrupting hold” on universities

By Binoy Kampmark, lecturer at RMIT University There are no protests on the streets and no effigies of university officials being burned by protesting students today. There are no protests outside the officers of the over-remunerated Vice Chancellors and their various henchpersons. It is business and malpractice as usual after revelations by Australia’s national broadcaster that Australian universities have


UBS: APRA won’t lift house prices

Via the excellent George Theranou at UBS: With actual mortgage rates of ~4% + the new 2.5% buffer, the assessed borrowing rate is likely fall to ~6.5%, below the ~7¼% floor, ‘notionally’ increasing borrowing capacity by ~8%. If the RBA also cuts & mortgage rates decline to 3.5%, borrowing capacity rises ~14%. However, given the


Links 22 May 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Global economy would save up to $160 trillion by shifting to renewables, electric cars – Think Progress Full-blown trade war will push world toward recession – Morgan Stanley – Reuters Bonds, Not Stocks, Reflect the State of the Economy – Forbes International evidence for Keynesian economics without the Phillips


Macro Afternoon

Asian stock markets are generally positive or putting in mild scratch sessions with Japanese stocks ending the day slightly lower after the US seemingly eases up on sanctions against Huawei. Risk sentiment is swinging back to positive while USD remains very firm as the Australian dollar rolls over below its pre-Monday morning gap. The Shanghai


Chinese Communist Party greets ScoMo with the slap

Via the Communist Party of China foghorn: The surprise victory of Australia’s Liberal National coalition on Saturday gives Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party a third term in government. But apart from delivering his campaign promises to the Australian people, of which he made few, Morrison may also need to recalibrate his country’s relations with


How will Foxtel survive after Game of Thrones finale?

By Leith van Onselen Roy Morgan’s latest survey on Pay TV Subscription services revealed that Netflix had lifted its Australian subscriber base to 11.3 million households after a 25% annual surge in subscribers. By contrast, Foxtel’s subscriber base slid by 2.7% to 4.9 million households: With Game of Thrones airing its final episode yesterday, to which


Why the banking royal commission will ultimately achieve little

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Will the banking services royal commission have a lasting effect of improving the banking and financial sector? The answer is “no”. A temporary change is apparent, but the problems lie deeper than those addressed by the royal commissioner. The worldwide pervasiveness of financial sector misconduct is an indication. This is not a


Austerity time! Victorian Budget tumbles into stamp duty, ScoMo black hole

By Leith van Onselen Over recent months we’ve warned how the impending stamp duty bust in Victoria will force the Andrews Government to tighten its belt. Now with the Morrison Government returned unexpectedly, things have gone from bad to worse: Treasurer Tim Pallas now faces the unenviable task of preparing a state budget without almost


S&P: WA mortgage arrears rip higher for major banks

Via S&P: Australian prime home-loan arrears rose in March, according to a recently published report by S&P Global Ratings. The Standard & Poor’s Performance Index (SPIN) for Australian prime mortgages increased to 1.51% in March from 1.48% a month earlier. Arrears are up by 14 basis points year on year. Across the country, arrears movements


Xi Jinping has gone mad: Rare earths edition

Via Bloomie: President Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earths facility fueled speculation that the strategic materials could be weaponized in China’s tit-for-tat with the U.S. on trade. Shares in JL MAG Rare-Earth Co. surged by their daily limit Monday after state news agency Xinhua said the Chinese president had stopped by the company in


Australia’s infrastructure delivery system is busted beyond repair

By Leith van Onselen Last weekend’s Federal Election offered another reminder of why Australia’s infrastructure delivery system is busted and badly ill-equipped to keep pace with the federal government’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy. In the wake of the Coalition’s re-election, the Morrison Government and Victoria’s Andrews Government are locked in a heated battle over


RBA minutes dove up

Via the RBA: International Economic Conditions Members commenced their discussion of the international economy by observing that global growth had eased in the second half of 2018 and looked to have continued at around this more moderate rate in 2019. Growth in Australia’s major trading partners was also expected to continue at around this slower


CoreLogic: APRA cuts won’t lift house prices

Via Cameron Kusher: APRA looks to loosen lending limits – CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher: Earlier today, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) issued a letter to all authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADI) regarding consultation on revisions to prudential practice guide APG 223 residential mortgage lending.  While that may not mean very much to readers specifically


ATO: Tax cuts may get through this year

Via The Australian: Scott Morrison’s promised tax cuts will be delivered by the 2019-20 financial year, with the Australian Tax Office saying it can pass on the promised changes if Labor agrees to them. There was speculation in other media outlets this morning that the tax cuts would not be passed on as the Prime


Melbourne’s McMansion mushroom cloud rises into MSM

Last year it became apparent that Melbourne’s house and land market had become an giant bubble after the median pricefor a housing lot hit $339,000 – up 21% in only 12 months – with steeper rises in the cost per square metre: In August 2018, the panic began to set in with land speculators rushing for the exits: Speculators who


Mortgage brokers rejoice at re-election of Property Council PM

By Leith van Onselen Labor had planned to ban trailing commissions for mortgage brokers from 1 July 2020, so its defeat at the federal election has been welcomed by the mortgage broking sector. The Hayne royal commission had recommended that trailing commissions be abolished and that banks stop paying upfront commissions to brokers. Labor had


Motorists gouged by escalating toll road charges

By Leith van Onselen While residents of Sydney and Melbourne are suffering from crush-loaded roads, trains, schools, and hospitals, as well as hideously expensive housing, toll road companies like Transurban are making out like bandits. Earlier this year, ABC News reported that Sydney’s toll road network is the most expensive and extensive in the world:


Labor leadership turns into three horse race

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has just thrown his hat into the ring to contest Labor’s leadership, turning it into a three horse race between him, Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers. From The Australian: The Australian has confirmed Chris Bowen will run as the Right candidate for the Labor leadership… Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has brushed


Bubble on. APRA to cut mortgage servicing requirments

And that’s how it long it took for our corrupt system to turn itself around: The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has begun consulting on possible revisions to its guidance on the serviceability assessments that authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) perform on residential mortgage loan applications. In a letter to ADIs issued today, APRA has proposed


Manufacturing should leave Australia

I’ve tried my hardest but have failed and the result us upon us, at the AFR: A gas price cut is required for Queensland’s Gibson Island fertiliser plant to avoid closure this year, with owner Incitec Pivot urging the re-elected Morrison Government to ensure gas was ”available and affordable” for Australian manufacturers. Uncertainty over the