Commentary

Should children play with interest-only fireworks?

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Investor interest-only loans are a key risk factor threatening to destabilize Australia’s mountain of private debt, according to investment firm Standard Life Investments, a keen observer of interest rates. IO loans are often associated with thin equity buffers, risky investment strategies and the aggressive pursuit of capital gain over income. Standard Life says: “Much of […]

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Turnbull Government prepares to squib on PRRT

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The Petroleum Resource Rent Tax has been a successful revenue-sharing device since 1987, delivering well over $33 billion to Consolidated Revenue, derived entirely from the economic rents of resource extraction with no harm to producers. It has never deterred exploration or hindered output. Treasurer Scott Morrison commissioned a Treasury review by Michael Callaghan into why […]

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“No Longer Politically Palatable”

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by Bryan Kavanagh reposted from thedepression.org.au Mason Gaffney gives amazing chapter and verse in ‘The Corruption of Economics‘ about the people who successfully sought to conflate land and capital within the study of economics, in order to circumvent Henry George‘s popular late 19th century campaign to capture land rents to the public purse as an […]

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Why do we tolerate land rationing by vested interests?

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The ninth UDIA State of the Land report on residential land development shows 57,381 new house lots were produced and 53,107 sold in 2016, up 8 per cent on 2015. Meanwhile, national land prices rose 13 per cent. The stock of land available to builders and homebuyers in Sydney, Melbourne and SE Queensland is sorely […]

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The economics of empty homes

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by Dr Cameron Murray reposted from macrobusiness Prosper Australia has for years been conducting research into how many of Australia’s 9.8 million homes are left vacant. Their major finding is that of the 1.7 million homes in greater Melbourne alone, around 82,000 are vacant, or 4.8%. Their research has been cited by a recent United […]

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Corruption and Property Laundering

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Nelson Yap at the Australian Property Journal writes: SECRET companies are allowing illicit and corrupt money to flood into Sydney and Australia’s real estate market. Transparency International’s new report Doors Wide Open: Corruption and Real Estate in Key Markets has identified Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and United States as the top four hot spots […]

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Horror 1400 per cent land tax hike shock

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The Cohen family, holders of The Block Arcade in Collins Street Melbourne, must meet a massive rise in State Land Tax after the Valuer-General’s biennial land revaluation. Their 2017 tax bill is $450,000, up from $30,000 last year. According to the AFR, the Cohens will object to the valuation. The Block Arcade, built 1890-93, is […]

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Oz lottery: Win $85 billion in Stamp Duty reform

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Peter Martin, Australia’s clearest economic writer, has turned his icy gaze to Stamp Duty. This vile tax causes real harm to all of us and begs to be struck from the statute books. Yes, it is a state tax. Yes, the feds can push reform along and add $85.5 billion to the economy. “There’s no […]

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“Poverty is the mother of crime”

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What did Marcus Aurelius mean when he said “Poverty is the mother of crime”? Surely he wasn’t trying to justify crime?  The vast majority of poor people keep on ‘the straight and narrow’ without turning to crime? No, he wasn’t justifying crime; he was simply being realistic. When they see affluence all around them, some of […]

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Australia’s democracy destroyed – for thirty pieces of silver

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Matthew Stevens, the AFR’s kindly mouthpiece for big miners, is today promoting a range of very bad ideas that suit his, ahem, audience. The article is paywalled from sheer embarrassment. He lauds the political destruction of WA Nationals’ leader Bernard Grylls for wanting to raise the 25c a tonne royalty on WA iron ore to […]

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