Australia’s job market Uber-ised

A new report by Accenture that was commissioned by Uber claims that that Uber is now Australia’s second-largest employer. The report also claims that a typical Uber Eats delivery worker earned $21.55 an hour after costs in 2020, almost 9% more than the minimum wage. Further, over 80% of its workers say they are happy

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Coalition launches new front in war against workers

Over recent months, we have witnessed the Morrison Government stage a multi-pronged war on workers, designed to subsidise profits by suppressing worker bargaining power and keeping businesses well stocked with abundant cheap labour. Examples of the Coalition’s policy settings include: Refusing to lift JobSeeker to a subsistence level, thereby ‘incentivising’ workers to take precarious, low


Sydney property smashes more records

CoreLogic’s March dwelling value results recorded a whopping 3.7% monthly rise in Sydney home values, which was the strongest monthly result since August 1988: As of yesterday (i.e. 6 April 2021), Sydney’s quarterly dwelling value growth was tracking at an insane 7.1%, which is the strongest quarterly growth since October 1988: Thus, the last time


Links 7 April 2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Janet Yellen to call for global minimum tax rate in first major address as Treasury secretary – Axios Oil and Gas Jobs Are Disappearing—With or Without Renewables – New Republic U.S. trade chief readies tariffs against six countries over digital taxes – Reuters LG to close mobile phone business


RBA remains uber-dovish

No change to the uber-dovish RBA: At its meeting today, the Board decided to maintain the current policy settings, including the targets of 10 basis points for the cash rate and the yield on the 3-year Australian Government bond, as well as the parameters of the Term Funding Facility and the government bond purchase program. The


Commodity super-cycle hype: Copper edition

Over the last few months, there has been an increase in analysts calling a commodity super-cycle. I disagree. Many commodity prices are at super-cycle levels. It is the volumes that are not in a super-cycle.  And high prices without an increase in volumes is a sure recipe for price reversion. Or, in other words, a cycle. Not


Time Australia coerced NZ on China

As Australia’s relationship with China has shifted to a more realistic footing in the past twelve months, New Zealand has been practising a very studied strategic ambiguity. This reached an ugly head several months ago when Trade Minister Damien O’Connor advised Australia to grovel a lot more. Today we had another example of NZ’s double


ANZ job ads still flying on catch-up growth

#ANZ Australian Job Ads rose a further 7.4% m/m in March to hit its highest level since November 2008. This points to further sharp declines in the unemployment rate this year, aside from a temporary rise expected in Q2, post-JobKeeper. #ausecon @cfbirch @MBansi pic.twitter.com/zT6c92Y1BA — ANZ_Research (@ANZ_Research) April 6, 2021 Plenty of slack yet and


International student numbers to halve, and that’s a good thing

The Mitchell Institute for Education and Health Policy at Victoria University has undertaken analysis for Fairfax, which forecasts that the number of international students studying in Australia will more than halve by January 2022 from pre-pandemic levels: The Mitchell Institute argues that this reduction in student numbers will have a devastating impact on university finances


Aussie tradies run off their feet by housing construction boom

Thursday’s lending indicators data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that loans for new home construction hit the six consecutive monthly record high in February 2021, surging 166% year-on-year: As noted by HIA Chief Economist, Tim Reardon: “The number of construction loans to owner occupiers in the three months to February 2021 is


Newspoll craters as Morrison filth goes global

Morrison Government smut covers Australia in infamy worldwide today as the truth comes out at Bloomberg: Few believe Morrison knew nothing of the smut scandals. Canberra is an inescapable cess-pit where pollies and media are locked in incestuous proximity. Washington is much more decentralised, older, and less parochial. Insular blow-ins breed contempt for the polity.


China singles out real estate for slowing

Over the holiday period, the FT had another confirmation piece of the MB view that China is set to slow, particularly in the most commodity-intensive sector of real estate: PBOC has instructed banks to cut credit availability. Macquarie says concerns about virus-impacted growth are gone and structural reform has resumed. Chinese real estate sales surged


Oil supply discipline is breaking

It is the favourite trick of investment banks to set their own forecast so that they can be “surprised” when data misses come about. They all use it to manipulate price action to benefit their trades. A nice example is Goldman in the oil market today. The pre-Easter OPEC was bearish for prices as OPEC


Time to buy Afterpay! Not

It is amusing to watch bottom-up analysts try to make sense of, and defend, Australia’s buy now, pay later bubble stocks. I know nothing of these stocks. But I can identify a top-down market trend when I see one. APT was never about much more than a monetary bubble produced by COVID-19. Just as was


Mortgage market points to once-in-generation property boom

As regular readers know, I consider the growth rate in new mortgage commitments to be the number one short-term indicator for Australian property prices. This is due to the incredibly strong historical correlation between new mortgage commitments and dwelling value growth. On Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released data on new mortgage commitments


Goldman folds on Australia dollar bull market

Pre-Easter trading had a still strong US dollar as jobs growth accelerated dramatically. Nonetheless, the Australian dollar held at the bottom of its recent trading range around 76 cents. Then last night the US dollar swooned as oil was whacked. To the charts: The Australian dollar held the neckline of its head-and-shoulders top again: Oil


Links 6 April.2021

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Lumber Prices Are Soaring. Why Are Tree Growers Miserable? – WSJ The untold story of Jackie Robinson of Wall Street, Reginald Lewis – Forbes Majority of economists say benefits of reaching net zero by 2050 outweigh costs, survey finds – Independent Janet Yellen: Climate change poses ‘existential threat’ to


MB Fund Podcast: Positioning for success in post pandemic global markets (now with in-studio video)

This week our attention turns to global stocks post covid rebuild, as investment professionals the world over mull the opportunities and pitfalls of the various sectors in the market on the search for reliable growth. With traditional defensive stocks not currently behaving defensively, the new challenge lies in optimising global coverage that positions for growth