ABC Q & A With Economist Yanis Varoufakis on Australia’s Economic Response to Covid-19

ABC Q & A: 9 SEPTEMBER 2021 WITH ECONOMIST JANIS VAROUFAKIS

How would Yanis Varoufakis rate Australia’s economic response to COVID-19? #QandA

QUESTION FROM BOJAN STANOJCIC:

How would you rate Australia’s economic response to the Covid-19 Crisis, and if you were in charge would you have done things differently?

YANIS VAROUFAKIS:

All the boring questions come to me because I have this predicament of being an economist, and a Greek Economist.

Okay, I shall compare the treatment – the response during the Covid-19 period to what happened after 2009 under the Kevin Rudd Government, after the GFC.

Both responses were large. The 2009 response was more effective in a sense that money went directly to families, independently of their circumstances.

So it was a more efficient system.

The support of the Australian economy now – during the Pandemic has been larger, and it had to be larger because the shock was greater, but I very much fear that it has created a large wall of money – which as the Pandemic recedes – and we hope it will soon so that I can come and visit my daughter to begin with – that this wall of money is not going to fuel house prices, yet again, asset prices because this is the great scourge of the Australian political economyHOUSING!

If all this money becomes higher asset prices it will be a monumental waste of all this liquidity that has been created by the Bank of Australia instead of going into investing so that we have good green jobs for experts, for the Arts – for that matter which is not a luxury to be added on to whatever else Australians are doing.

So to cut a long story short, take this liquidity and put it to good use, and do not waste it on real estate!

PART 2 WITH YANIS VAROUFAKIS:

VIRGINIA TRIOLI:

… Yanis, something that you have noted, and that concerns you, is that Australia is falling behind not only because the model that we have relied on for quite some time, which is our heavy reliance on China you regard that as out-moded that that is finished, and that we need to look elsewhere.

What is the solution to that, Yanis?

YANIS VAROUFAKIS:

Investment! It is not just Australia by the way; not being critical of Australia. It is also the European Union. The two blocks that are suffering, if you want, I consider Australia a small block, and the European Union. The European Union and Australia.

Because the business models of both Europe and Australia have relied upon for prosperity are now defunct, and it is the United States and China that are steaming ahead, coming out of the crisis stronger.

This, of course, is clouded over by the merging Cold War between them, and Australia and the European Union are running a very serious risk of being left behind.

Because the … future are Green Energy, artificial intelligence, robotics, and this is where there is insufficient investment – both in Australia and in the European Union.

And at the same time we have to remember that if Sierra Leone, or you know, some developing country that is simply impoverished are not investing – well you can understand that they don’t have the money to invest.

But both Australia and the European Union – we are swimming in money. We never had so much money as we have today, but we are wasting it, we are not investing it into the things that we need, and I totally concur with the point we just heard about the manner in which Women’s rising discontent has been completely ignored by the Government.

But in the end, imagine we were exploring The Universe – Startrek like – and we chanced upon some alien Civilisation we would look at where they were putting their resources you know judge their collective character.

Where are we putting our resources today? In the large corporations that are already sitting on a huge stash of – into men and into the powerful …

(Interview disrupted due to being out of sync.)

WATCH AND PLEASE SHARE!

https://twitter.com/i/status/1435926721568534528

The Feds berated for shifty foreign investment in Tasmania

The Morrison Government has been berated for shifty foreign investment in Tasmania

View the Media Release from Peter Whish Wilson

The Senate Inquiry Report, ‘The Senate Economics References Committee Greenfields, Cash Cows and the Regulations of Foreign Investment in Australia’

Greenfields, cash cows and the regulation of foreign investment in Australia (aph.gov.au)

reveals serious flaws in Australia’s foreign investment approval process, and Australia’s corporate transparency and anti-money laundering regime.

Three outstanding overseas investment approvals were analysed:

-the Musselroe Bay Resort development; part of a money laundering scheme

Bellamy’s takeover by Mengniu

Van Diemen’s Land (VDL) Dairy takeover by Moon Lake Investments

Senator Peter Whish Wilson summed up the problems with FIRB approvals:

-at the discretion of the Treasurer

-lack of transparency; allowing a government to extract an arrangement with foreign investors free from public scrutiny to suit its political ends

-the sale of VDL to Moon Lake, a political donor to the Liberal Party over that of a local consortium

Recommendations were made, but we ask why the need for foreign investment when Australia is a wealthy nation? The answer, it would seem, is apparent ….

Chinese Buyers enjoy Bonza Buy of Australia’s Farmlands!

CHINESE Buyers enjoy Bonza Buy of Australia’s Farmlands … we read this report, ‘’China-Australia relations: Chinese buyers defy Beijing-Canberra blues to say ‘Bonza’ to farmland Down Under“, and it raised many questions for us! We hope you will think about what we question, and share with others!

WITH the diminishing availability of Australia’s farmland, and with it increasingly becoming a popular asset class for Chinese, are we missing something here? Why the disconnect?

WHY aren’t Australian investors ensuring the wealth of Our Nation by investing in this very valuable resource with a very large demand for our produce coming from a hungry 1.4 Billion Chinese?

IT appears we are losing this resource on two fronts from the PRC!  …

With the property sector encouraged, and allowed to devour this precious resource through urban sprawl?

WHEN it is contrary to the interests of not only Our Farmers, but Our Nation and future generations!

WITH the diminishing availability of Our Farmlands, why does the FIRB allow the sell-off to foreign buyers particularly China?

HOW credible are the ‘frosty relations between Canberra and Beijing?” 

WHERE are the so-called restrictions on these foreign investments in our most valuable resources?

.yet China’s investment only fell by more than a third to $827.6M in 2020

HOW is it alleged that Chinese investment in Australian farmlands benefits our Nation? 

When Australia has lost ownership?  Agricultural lands account for 11% of our exports.  How much of that 11% is now owned by the Chinese?

WITHOUT the need for government approval for buying Australia’s property valued less than A$15M, is it any wonder that Chinese investors have the largest holding of 9.2 million hectares?

. also cover investment in vehicles or funds that buy stakes in agricultural lands

WHY not hold onto Australia’s farmlands for our farmers to sell produce to China’s fast-growing Mainland market?

BECAUSE China’s demand for these imported commodities and refined agricultural products will only grow! Currently China accounts for some 18% of Australia’s farming exports!

WHY isn’t the Morrison Government ensuring the viability of our Farming Sector? So that our Farmers are not forced to sell out!

HOW dumb are we?

READ MORE!

‘’China-Australia relations: Chinese buyers defy Beijing-Canberra blues to say ‘Bonza’ to farmland Down Under

https://www.edgeprop.sg/property-news/china-australia-relations-chinese-buyers-defy-beijing-canberra-blues-say-bonza-farmland-down-under?__cf_chl_captcha_tk__=pmd_8r9gzm5ifWqRf0JGsSdlZnhoOqD0YzJnSiuYY5Ddrd4-1630469360-0-gqNtZGzNA3ujcnBszQc9

Australia … we used to have 70% Home Ownership!

AUSTRALIA … we used to have 70% Home Ownership …

WHAT happened to this?

WHAT is needed is HOUSING for AUSTRALIANS … with affordable BUILD-TO-RENT that allows Tenants to BUY!

… Not Foreign Billions and Housing to be marketed to even more foreign buyers with Benefits!

AND what we have learnt from our Commentators …

‘That rent to buy was what the Department of Housing used to do!

Now it’s all about profits, forcing community housing groups to do the same. It’s become a vicious nightmare of CEO’s (many in charities) receiving exorbitant wages, and Rents based on 40% of household income!

This will continue to stifle home ownership. And coupled with elderly home owners having to sell their homes to finance their aged care and then you see the whole mess for our future generations (no inheritance) for those just above the poverty line.’

CAAN: And when was the damage inflicted? It was the late 1990s when the Howard Government … John Howard scapegoated refugees (who were in relatively small numbers) as his government opened the floodgates of the backdoor to migration (with Temporary Visa Holders).

‘John Howard’s Bait-and-Switch:  Is it time for a debate on the mass immigration “Ponzi scheme”?’

https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/john-howards-baitandswitch-is-it-time-for-a-debate-on-the-mass-immigration-ponzi-scheme/news-story/163e317be07822ca17641dd98415713f

Big Australia’

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Australia

Australia went from a sustainable Permanent Migration system of 70,000 people p.a., to escalate, and prior to the Pandemic there were 2.3 MILLION Visa holders in Australia; of which 1.6 MILLION were Visa workers willing to be exploited (with inferior wages and conditions) lured by the prospect of Permanent Residency.

Who could blame them?

However, this led to high unemployment and underemployment of Australians. Those ‘unAustralian’ employers put about hateful comments like: “Australians won’t work; don’t work”.

Obviously many employers (and companies) have enjoyed the benefits of greater profits from paying such low (below Award) wages; and enjoy TAX BENEFITS contrary to those who pay full tax!

Another very poor Liberal HOWARD Government policy was the introduction of the TAX BENEFITS of NEGATIVE GEARING AND CAPITAL GAINS making HOUSING a financial asset … something you buy and sell and accumulate.

THUS the financialisation of housing that was Shelter!

Our Families locked out not only by Low Wages, and increasingly now Super Inflated Housing Prices due to the competition from those negatively gearing!

INVESTORS are buying up more housing because bank interest rates are too low to leave their money in bank accounts! And the Housing Property Market opened up for them once again with the Chinese withdrawing from their Real Estate Tours. The Chinese are still house shopping here, but have been eclipsed by the Singaporeans (70% Chinese) who have spent $20Bn in the two years to mid 2020!

What is happening with those bags full of Cash?’

Read more!
https://bit.ly/38oYLUU

Businesses in Byron Bay and other coastal towns too have felt the impact of the loss of affordable rental accommodation because they are losing their workers! The fabric of the community is falling apart!

This is due to landlords letting their properties out to short term rentals on AirBnb, and Stayz rather than leasing homes to families and singles for 6 months or more at a lower monthly rate!

Read more!

Banning AirBnb and Shipping in Portable Homes considered as Housing Crisis bites in Coastal Towns’

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-28/coastal-families-lose-homes-to-airbnb-and-owners-fleeing-cities/100380642?fbclid=IwAR0E6yvyeI3B5r14mxiXVxDSF0lXiIxaRWvgI2elUm6xljcCvWNCQ0mU7vE

AND what has been happening as we so eagerly wait for the 11.00 a.m. presser about the failure of our governments to act early to stop the spread of Covid?

UNDER THE COVER OF COVID …

The developer sector has been beavering away marketing ‘Build-to-Rent’! It has called on the Big Boys from New York!

So another investment avenue for our local Ingestors too!

‘More Foreign Billions pouring into Build-to-Rent (BTR) … ‘

https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/articles/build-to-rent-breakthrough-year?utm_source=TUD+-+Daily+Briefing&utm_campaign=e2a40c93cb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_11_2021_9_36_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_982c36d415-e2a40c93cb-195692726

And …

Countdown Begins for Build-to-Rent’s Breakthrough Year’

https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/articles/build-to-rent-breakthrough-year?utm_source=TUD+-+Daily+Briefing&utm_campaign=e2a40c93cb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_11_2021_9_36_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_982c36d415-e2a40c93cb-195692726

We hear often ‘We’re all in this together’… however it would seem this has another meaning … another Commentator reminded us that NSW INC raised more than $1 BILLION in Stamp Duty 2019!

See how this all ties in together!

What of the Housing Crisis Nightmare for Australians and First Home Buyers … next? As the floodgates open again to more Chinese, Singaporeans and Indian Middle Class Visa Holders ready to scoop up!

Is this too what is behind the Liberals saying: ‘Sell your Family Home … Downsize … Go Regional’… To open up more opportunities for redevelopment? For more development of high-rise … duplex … townhouses … terraces … villas and retirement villages? FFS!

Afghan Interpreter denied a Protection Visa but wealthy Foreign Investors are Prioritised!

An Afghan Interpreter for the ADF was rejected for a Protection Visa, and evacuated to the Netherlands!

Evidently this is where we are at in 2021 … much like it was in the late 1990s and 2001 … with the Tampa Affair

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_affair

‘Asad worked as a translator with the Dutch Army in the Uruzgan Province from 2007 to 2010, then with the United States Army in Kandahar, before joining the ADF as an aviation security advisor at the Kandahar airfield in 2011.

Two years later, he applied to Defence for protection under the Locally Engaged Employee visa program (LEEs) after receiving a death threat from the Taliban.’ 

Following this …

‘A serving member of the Australian Defence Force who worked with Asad and wrote a letter of recommendation which was submitted as part of his LEEs application.

“Whilst in the performance of his duties, Asad has placed his life and that of his family at risk in order to facilitate coalition and Australian success within Afghanistan,” he wrote. 

“I value this man’s integrity and friendship most highly.” ‘

Are you aware that if he were to have the means to invest in Australia’s Real Estate or business it would be a different matter?  Especially ‘Hot Money’ with the Real Estate Gatekeepers exempt from the Anti-Money Laundering Laws in October 2018 by the Morrison Government!

But CHARACTER and service to Australia and our troops evidently means ZIP!

This is what we are referring to!  It has been happening for years now through Visa manipulation.  And again recently under the Cover of Covid …

AND …

READ MORE ABOUT ASAD: ‘Afghan interpreter rejected for protection visa evacuated to the Netherlands’

FACT SHEET … Under the Cover of Covid … Singapore has bought almost $20Bn Australian Real Estate

FACT SHEET …

-Singapore, 2nd largest buyer of our Real Estate; only trails the United States

-overshadowed China with investments from large developers, and sovereign wealth fund, GIC

-2 years to July 2020 Singaporeans bought $19.3Bn: Latest FIRB data  –

Foreign Investment Review Board Annual Report 2019-20 (firb.gov.au)

-Singaporeans spent $6.1Bn more than China over the 2 years

.with an economy 44 times smaller

George Chmiel, Chair of Juwai IQI on Singaporean Investment:

-doubled in last 3 years; led by institutional investors funding large-scale projects

-and individual *home buyers also active in Australian home markets*

-Singaporean developers are selling to Singaporean buyers

.e.g. Elements at Carousel, by Jean Yip Holdings, Perth with 60% Singapore buyers

-Singapore short flying distance from Australian capital cities

-property investment likely to rise further as travel reopens

-the Morrison Govt late 2020 quietly prioritised visas for UHNW for further home buying

-over the last 10 years China is the largest investor; spent some $126Bn since 2010

.Singapore spent around 44 cents on the dollar over the same period

SOURCE: Business Insider: ‘ Singapore has bought almost $20 billion worth of Australian real estate in the last two years, eclipsing China’

India-Australia Free Trade talks set to reopen following Tony Abbott’s visit to New Delhi

UNDER the cover of Covid Tony Abbott has visited New Delhi, and India-Australia Free Trade talks are to resume! 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-12/india-australia-free-trade-talks-to-resume-abbott-tehan/100373390

Discussions began back in 2011.

How is this in the interests of Australian manufacturing and business? Picking up from where we left off with China as Scomo makes much noise about his stand off with the PRC …

It is anticipated by Trade Minister Dan Tehan that an agreement might be struck in the not too distant future.

Despite India’s policies to promote their own industries against those of other nations.  Protectionist! They are not stupid …  

And this, it would seem, explains partly why negotiations broke down.  India turned down Australia’s demands for improved market access as Australia during 2011 refused to loosen restrictions on Visas for Indians who wanted to work in Australia. As they had already rorted Australia’s ‘skilled’ visa and student visa systems.  As reported by the ABC 7.30:

‘Corruption and widespread rorting ‘undermining Australia’s immigration programs’ … with people smuggling …

Nick McKenzie when interviewing Jasvinder Sidhu uncovered that many Indians had paid large cash sums (as large as $45,000) to illegally obtain skilled or student visas to gain permanent residency.

These people paid a large wad of cash to fabricate a job which did not exist to gain ‘permanent residency’.

Thousands of fake Indians are being sponsored through this corruption!

Just as we see … it is alleged our unemployment is falling due to our borders being closed to Visa workers … why would we adjust our sovereign borders to India (or any other Nation) because what it means weakening our Australian wages and conditions for increased market access to what are inferior products to our own.

Abbott alleges these trade deals ‘… would be an important sign of the democratic world’s tilt away from China, as well as boosting long-term prosperity of both our countries.’

As it makes India’s wealthy, and Indian-Australian ‘Permanent Residents richer too!

Why not produce Australian owned, grown or manufactured goods here to improve our economy?

Read and watch!

Corruption and widespread rorting ‘undermining Australia’s immigration programs’ – 7.30 (abc.net.au)

Predictions our ‘Hot Property’ market could escalate further when Borders reopen!

Who are ‘the Suits’ in Australia … the ‘Judas’ in our midst seeking more Hot Money in our Real Estate?

Is there no end to their greed?  

How about our Rich Listers fly off and buy in Beijing … Shanghai … ?

Juwai IQI chair Georg Chmiel has reported that in both Los Angeles and Montreal house prices have surged triple that of Sydney

Enough is enough!

Not only should the Australian Government put a stop to ‘foreign buying of our home market’ through the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) ruling, but it should reverse the exemption granted to the Real Estate Gatekeepers for the second tranche of the Anti-Money Laundering Laws.

We heard muchin fact continuously about the cheap money from the banks and government grants for First Home Buyers and renovators which pushed up house prices … again to benefit this Sector! And through Government media, Australia was promoted as having largely restricted the Pandemic outbreak … was this to entice more foreign buyers?

This campaign has locked out even more Australians seeking a home.

 
Where is our federal government intervention?
At least in New Zealand their central bank has introduced lending restrictions to pull up these runaway house prices unlike here where investors have taken up where First Home Buyers have again been locked out of home ownership.

According to Chmiel our city house prices are closer to the ‘middle of the pack’ … cheap, eh?  Our price growth he says is measured, that  in London and Tokyo fell by 6% and 7% … we wish!  True, our borders were closed to migrants and Australians stranded overseas, but not to some 15,000 wealthy foreigners especially Chinese buying our mansions, and homes with large land lots! 

https://bit.ly/3C6txPF

… So it seems Juwai figures this Boom will continue as the lockdown retreats with the return of Chinese students gaining Family Visas and all …

So what is the Morrison Government going to do about this?  This disease is not going away any time soon especially with China’s very big problems

Wuhan has reported a new and growing cluster on 3 August sparking a new round of testing. And scientists say China’s vaccines are less effective against new strains of this virus.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-09/wuhan-mass-virus-testing/100361016

And an outbreak that started in July has now spread to about 40 cities!

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-07/china-covid-outbreak-nanjing-wuhan-delta-variant-risks/100345914

Is this government going to risk the health of its constituents, and our broader economy just to look after the property sector?

How can the impact of foreign buyers be muted when millions are either of Ultra High Net Worth or HNW can fly into Australia?  China has 1.4 Billion people keen for the uptake of new builds … inner city apartments, mansions and suburban homes … that is looking like a plague in proportions!

We figure a lending intervention will only work if at the same time the Government puts a stop to ‘wealthy foreigners buying our homes’

It’s time the government looked at the role of the agents in all of this … during 2021 we had the Open Homes of 100 or more buyers now replaced with one to one private inspections booked on top of one another …

Followed by auctions or Private Treaty where agents communicate inflated prices on properties setting up FOMO buyers!

An increase in supply will only work to return this market to Australians if the Government puts a stop to the overseas sell-off .

Related article:

Under the Cover of Covid 15,000 Wealthy Foreigners given Australian Visas!

DURING the Pandemic 15,000 wealthy foreigners have been given Australian Visas!

WE did tell you so! 

Martin North, principal of property research firm Digital Finance Analytics, also notes ‘there’s been a swing away from foreigners looking to invest to people wanting to move here.’  And that they are more interested in buying land and larger properties!

Overseas Buyers are tipped to Return!

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-02/chinese-overseas-buyers-australia-property-housing-investors/100259470

Little-known property investor quietly secures $32m housing parcel in Vaucluse

https://www.domain.com.au/news/ying-yu-sister-in-law-of-wilson-shoe-king-xue-buys-8m-house-as-part-of-32m-vaucluse-consolidation-1073532/

MEANWHILE tens of thousands of Australians remain stranded overseas!

This latest report:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-28/australians-want-to-flee-coronavirus-hit-indonesia/100323264

IS this not the ultimate betrayal by the Morrison Government through its business innovation and investment visa programme?

Under these visas:

Business Innovation Stream applicants can buy or start a business, and have $1.25M in either business or personal assets

Investor stream, applicants have to be recommended by a state or territory agency and invest $2.5M on authorised investments

Significant investor stream, applicants must invest $5M, with a minumum $1M in venture capital or private equity

In September 2016 in its final report the Productivity Commission called for these visas to be scrapped because they are channels for money laundering!

WHY hasn’t there been a response from the Morrison Government to a public inquiry into “Migrant intake into Australia”?

https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/migrant-intake#report

With the ‘Significant Investor and Premium Investor Visas’

no English language requirements

no upper age limits

-a risk they might be an avenue for ‘dirty money’

Most business and investment immigrants are often older, buy retail and hospitality businesses, so how can this add to Australia’s innovative and entrepreneurial capacity?

View this AFR report about migration agents enabling Chinese investors to gain Significant Investment Visas!

https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/vc-funds-concoct-fraudulent-visas-for-wealthy-chinese-investors-20200729-p55gii

HOW can this be of any benefit to the Australian people and our Nation with more competition to buy our businesses from overseas with ‘black money’?

AND even more competition for a limited supply of housing, and inadequate infrastructure as these VISAS allow ‘Permanent Residency,’ and the benefits of parking ‘their family’ in Australia as they can continue to run their business in another country?

These families have access to our MEDICARE, and FREE EDUCATION as their business is predominantly overseas! 

WT ****!

READ MORE!

https://www.smh.com.au/national/15-000-rich-foreigners-given-visas-to-australia-during-the-pandemic-20210721-p58bky.html

NSW INC falling into Line with 7600 New Homes in Macquarie Park

Planning Minister, Rob Stokes said ‘future development would help Macquarie Park transition from a successful suburban business park to a vibrant commercial and residential centre’.

Have we missed somethin’? Already there is extensive high density, high-rise residential development there that has replaced much of what was a well-planned Business Park …

AS SUMMED UP BY GEORGE!

‘……and of course the 7600 apartments marked for Macquarie Park Precinct in the midst of a PANDEMIC these fools are counting on the INTERNATIONAL borders opening up to a FLOOD of STUDENTS who then pave the way for their parents coming as RETIREES .. …of course … buying up everything from not only APARTMENTS at the behest of old mate HARRY’s instructions but all our Prime properties in established GREEN suburbs as well…..near the best HOSPITALS to boot. …oh it’s as crook as it gets.’

CAAN: The Macquarie Park apartment precincts were predominantly sold off to foreign buyers particularly to Chinese buyers.

Now Macquarie Park is congested; its roads clogged. With a huge demographic change having taken place within Macquarie Park, who will be in the running for job opportunities?

The CCP expansion is underway from state-owned Chatswood, and the Berejiklian Government, it appears, is enabling this!

VIEW: ‘A Geopolitical Strategist on the MK, Hong Kong, the U.S. and Australia’

David Lee talks of our finance industry siding with Beijing, China contrary to our interests!

READ MORE FROM THE URBAN DEVELOPER: ‘NSW Plots 7600 New Homes in Macquarie Park’

https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/articles/macquarie-park-nsw-strategy?fbclid=IwAR1yQgGkSnRR4dpieCquGGLYNzYjs23gfYcbB1i121yAdA10bBpQOJlWdnY