SMSFs wail over Labor’s property curbs

By Leith van Onselen The whining over Labor’s proposed ban on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) being able to borrow money to fund property purchases hit a crescendo over the weekend. Let’s take a look at the arguments on offer. First up, The Australian editorial claimed that “Labor’s plan would cost us dearly”: Bill Shorten wants

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Vive Le Pen!

The below charts do not pick up any movement from this morning’s French election results. The US dollar was firm: Commodity currencies too: And gold: Brent was whacked: Base metals were soft: Big miners mixed: EM stocks firm: High yield too: US bonds sold: European spreads tumbled: Stocks were muted: Friday’s big news was that


Fake Greens try to scuttle 457 visa changes

By Leith van Onselen Unbelievably, the party that is supposed to safeguard the Australian environment – The Australian Greens – is trying to scuttle the Turnbull Government’s modest changes to so-called ‘skilled’ 457 visas. From The Canberra Times: The Turnbull government’s plan to scrap the 457 skilled migration visa faces new hurdles in the Senate with


Murdoch flunkies whine about 457 visa reforms

By Leith van Onselen The Weekend Australian had a full blown whinge over the Turnbull Government’s announced changes to Australia’s temporary ‘skilled’ visa system, claiming that it will damage the economy. First up, we have political editor, Paul Kelly: The politically driven battle cry “Aussie jobs before foreigners” is a decisive change in the zeitgeist


The Coalition needs to see a shrink

From Gerard Henderson over the weekend: It’s no way to treat a former leader. The Australian Financial Review’s lead story on Thursday, titled “Revealed: How Turnbull saved Abbott’s skin”, continues a campaign by supporters of Malcolm Turnbull to diminish his predecessor. This is potentially unwise and ignores the strong support for Tony Abbott within the


Government right to target “job snobs”

Via The Australian: Coalition MPs with thousands of dole recipients in their electorates have hit out at “job snobs” and demanded the government target those who are “working the system” by choosing welfare over work and leaving employers to rely on foreign labour. Warning that employers, particularly in regional areas, are “competing with the welfare


So, Mr Cannon-Brookes, what kind of billionaire are you?

From the AFR over the weekend: “The rhetoric and the language I think is dangerous for the ability to attract that talent and retain that talent,” he said. “The ‘Australia first’ is a very nationalist argument, very exclusive, not inclusive. And here we’re trying to hire someone in Australia by telling them we really want


Sydney auction clearances weaken

CoreLogic released its auction report yesterday, which revealed another weekend of strong auction conditions, despite the national auction clearance rate falling to 72.1% from 77.6% in the weekend before Easter, and remained above the 69.7% recorded in the same weekend last year: Auction volumes nationally (1,732) were also above the same weekend last year (1,565).


NSW, VIC parasites continue to drive ponzi economy

By Leith van Onselen CommSec has released its latest State of the States report, which yet again ranks New South Wales and Victoria on top due largely to a combination of strong population growth, housing, and debt-fueled consumption: Each quarter CommSec attempts to find out by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; business


Garnaut backs gas export curbs

The gas debate got a good boost over the weekend when the Godfather of Australian neo-liberlaims, Professor Ross Garnaut backed gas export curbs, via the AFR: ZEN Energy chairman Professor Ross Garnaut says the solution to Australia’s gas crisis which threatens to do “unconscionable” damage to the manufacturing sector is for all three LNG projects


China deploys anti-laundering property rules

Via Ifeng: April 20 evening, the People’s Bank of China Business Management Department (equivalent to the Beijing Branch) in its official website, and Beijing Construction Committee, the Beijing Banking Regulatory Bureau jointly announced an important document: “on real estate development enterprises real estate brokerage agencies to implement anti-money laundering Obligations of the notice “. This


Links 24 April 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: The operation and demise of the Bretton Woods system – VOX March for Science: Worldwide protests begin – CNN March for Science: Rallies worldwide to protest against political interference – BBC Water streaming across Antarctica surprises, worries scientists – CBS News Despite Mounting Losses, Mystery Trader “50 Cent” Doubles Down With Massive VIX


Weekend reading: 22-23 April 2017

MB Radio: Rort of the ElitesGlobal Macro / Markets / Investing: Panama Papers law firm boss sees tax shelter boom in US – Yahoo Fixing the Financial Crisis Was the Easy Part – Bloomberg The Blockchain Could Change the Backbone of the Stock Market – Visual Capitalist Digitisation shakes up corporate-bond markets – The Economist The Emerging Markets Consumer


Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker With the BOJ still confirming that it is pressing the helicopter money button, the Yen sold off to buoy Japanese markets as a bounce in iron ore helped lifted domestic stocks to end the week more positively. In China, the Shanghai Composite is sliding down going into the close, off by 0.2% to 3165


One-eyed HIA ignores demand-side housing distortions

By Leith van Onselen The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has issued another media release cautioning against policies aimed at cooling housing demand: Australia needs supply not demand focused solutions to address our national affordability challenges, said the Housing Industry Association. “Attempts to remove demand for new housing will reduce supply, affordability and jobs,” said HIA’s


Barnaby’s BBQ robots “get on with the job” of quitting

Via The Guardian: The head of the pesticides authority being forcibly relocated to Barnaby Joyce’s electorate has resigned. Kareena Arthy, the chief executive of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, informed the deputy prime minister of her decision on Thursday afternoon. It leaves the APVMA bereft of leadership in a tumultuous time for the


Children-devouring property parasites: Labor is racist

There is nothing more satisfying than observing a dodgy realtor get upset that his/her dodgy trade with dodgy foreign money launderers is being shut down: Labor leader Bill Shorten’s pledge to double the fees and penalties imposed on foreign property buyers and tax vacant properties drew a strong reaction for singling out Chinese investors. “This is


Legalising Airbnb may make housing more unaffordable

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Australia, and particularly Sydney, are gripped by a housing affordability crisis. So the NSW government’s omission of any concrete commitment to monitor the conversion of permanent rental housing to holiday accommodation, like Airbnb and Stayz, is concerning. It would seem regulators in NSW and many other states in Australia are out