Latest posts


Coalition to announce immigration cut

By Leith van Onselen The Coalition is set to announce a small cut in Australia’s permanent non-humanitarian migrant intake in April’s pre-election Budget to a cap of 160,000 from 190,000. From 9 News: Cabinet has authorised the changes, which would slash the targeted annual intake of permanent migrants by up to 30,000… A regional settlement


Will Australia allow Shell to eat it?

Because that is its plan. The ACCC confirmed yesterday that the gas cartel is still taking the major piss, via The Australian: Gas prices on Australia’s east coast are set to fall this winter, potentially providing some relief to long-suffering manufacturers and heavy industry, according to data from the competition watchdog. Domestic gas prices may


UBS: Get ready for sub-1% RBA

Via the excellent George Tharenou at UBS: For the RBA outlook, given the limited policy firepower at a 1.5% cash rate, & our deep dive showing banks likely won’t pass on the full reduction, to make cuts more effective, the RBA should communicate a ‘dovish easing’, with a commitment to further ease if required to


Chinese arrivals continue to moderate

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 both Chinese arrivals and student arrivals hitting an all-time high. The number of short-term visitor arrivals dived by a seasonal 30.9%


Links 19 March 2019

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Looking for Hope in the Rubble of Value Investing – WSJ Emerging Markets Aren’t Out of the Woods Yet – Foreign Affairs What’s Wrong with Contemporary Capitalism? – Project Syndicate JPMorgan Sees Lower Need for Hedges Amid Volatility Bear Market – Bloomberg How Parents Are Robbing Their Children of


Macro Afternoon

Following the very positive finish on Wall Street on Friday night, risk markets here in Asia have popped higher, with the Australian dollar advancing strongly, albeit on the tightening yield spread with US Treasuries. The Federal Reserve meeting this week will affect sentiment, along with a series of important economic releases – let alone the


China “avoiding” Aussie coal

Via Credit Suisse: The price of Australian thermal coal sold to China (5500kcal high-ash) is being hit relative to competitors, at odds with assurances by the Chinese and Australian Governments that there is no ban on Australian coal at China ports. Whether there is a ban or just restrictions, the price suggests importers are not


CoreLogic: Sydney and Melbourne face two years oversupply

By Leith van Onselen CoreLogic expects both Sydney and Melbourne to feel the impact of apartment oversupply for the next two years. A glut in both cities is seeing a significant number of new apartments being sold on valuations that are less than what was paid for off-the-plan. From The Australian: “For units that were


Trump/XI meeting shunted again

The God King’s diary is guiding global markets, via SCMP: A meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to end the trade war may be put back to June, sources have said, as they will not be able to finalise an agreement by April. It had initially been hoped that they


Young Aussies left behind by “troubled economy”

By Leith van Onselen Economist Callam Pickering has provided the ABC with great analysis explaining why younger Australians have been left behind over the past decade, shunted into part-time employment: 1.85 million new jobs were created between 2008 and 2018… All of which is great news, unless you are a young worker looking for full-time


Labour force preview

Via Westpac: Total employment lifted a solid 39.1k in January, well clear of the market median of 15k. The year started with a solid trend pace of employment growth with a three month average gain of 31.9k. While it is just one month into the year, employment has gained 271k in the year to January


Insurers pull the pin after flammable cladding fiasco

By Leith van Onselen Flammable cladding-related insurance policy exclusions may force fire engineers and building surveyors out of business. Such exclusions are increasingly being inserted by insurers in the wake of recent fires at the Lacrosse and Neo 200 buildings. However, building regulators will not register surveyors and fire engineers if their professional liability insurance


New car sales to keep on falling

By Leith van Onselen From mid-2018, new car sales across Australia nose-dived on the back of the housing crash, with Victoria (-11.7%), New South Wales (-11.0%) and Western Australia (-8.3%) – i.e. the markets where house prices are crashing – recording the biggest year-on-year falls in new car sales: Now, Roy Morgan Research has released


NBN writedown could cost taxpayers $20 billion

By Leith van Onselen Leaked emails from industry experts have shredded the roll-out of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) and warned that taxpayers face a potential $20 Budget hit. From The Saturday Paper: In the unusually frank correspondence, sent between members of a discussion list hosted by advocacy body Internet Australia, industry veteran Robin Eckermann


Coalition abandons ‘draconian’ expat CGT policy

By Leith van Onselen The federal government announced in the 2017 Budget that it would remove a capital gains tax (CGT) exemption for around 100,000 expatriate Australians who sell their main residence while overseas. While the measure was projected to raise $581 million over the forward estimates, it has been condemned by tax and legal


Deloitte: Budget windfall to be brief

Via Deloitte: The economy is getting worse, but the Budget’s getting better. That’s unusual:  people think politicians drive the Budget, but it’s almost always the economy in the driver’s seat. So it is undeniably bad news that the economy has been taking a few hits since the Budget update was issued ahead of Christmas. It’s hard to pick up a newspaper without getting depressed:  global


Crispin Hull exposes politicians’ Big Australia “madness”

By Leith van Onselen Fairfax’s Crispin Hull has clearly taken over from Ross Gittins (who has curiously gone silent) in pointing-out the pitfalls of the ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration policy. Back in January 2017, Hull argued that the main solution to making housing more affordable rests with winding-back immigration: The principal cause of housing unaffordability


Melbourne’s McMansion mushroom cloud darkens

At the end of 2017, it became apparent that Melbourne’s house and land market had become an giant bubble after the median price for a housing lot hit $318,500 – up 31.5% in only 12 months. In mid-2018, we learned that that Chinese developers had taken control of Melbourne’s land supply pipeline, driving-up prices even further: Chinese developers have


Labor mulls wage rises for only the poorest

The wages war rages on with more good material from the suddenly less Fake Left over the weekend. Mike Seccombe at The Saturday Paper: Back then Tony Abbott’s chosen employment spokesman, Eric Abetz, led the scare campaign, doing his very best to talk up the threat of an economy-wrecking wages breakout. He was never clearer than