Australian economic situation already collapsing, says CEO
An Australian CEO has warned we could soon find ourselves in "a world of hurt" as the troubles plaguing the global economy worsen.
That's according to tech entrepreneur Matt Barrie, from freelancing marketplace Freelancer.
In a recent interview with the Australian Financial Review, Mr Barrie shared his views on the challenges facing Australia and the wider world - and his predictions are grim.
"The global economy is troubled. It's low growth everywhere. It's questionable if we ever exited the GFC," Mr Barrie told the publication.
"In Australia every indicator is blinking red. It's a house of cards. We're highly dependent on China (we're on par with the Congo for how reliant we are) and they are in a trade war. We have the housing market falling off a cliff, and this is happening from Vancouver to Auckland too.
"The royal commission will be a catalyst for the collapse of the Australian housing market, with the other catalyst being China coming off the boil and regulations to stop the flow of capital out of China. We should never have let the property bubble get this big. People can't afford the homes and wages haven't kept up."
Mr Barrie said he was concerned the next Australian government would launch "populist policies" which could send us on our way to becoming "the next Argentina".
And he said while the "bright spark" was iron ore, if that came "off the boil", the nation could be in "a world of hurt".
Unfortunately, Mr Barrie's grim view is not an isolated one.
Former Coalition adviser John Adams told news.com.au we were starting to see more signs that Australia was heading towards an "economic Armageddon" - a scenario Mr Adams has warned about since 2016.
"Across the world, evidence is mounting that the world is drenched in debt and that more and more people, companies and governments are struggling to service these debts given slowing economic growth," he said.
"The IMF rang the alarm bells last week when it stated that Australia faced significant macrofinancial risks resulting from high property prices and household debt levels. These risks make Australia extremely vulnerable to a catastrophic economic crisis.
"The economy will no doubt continue to worsen in 2019 and 2020. Many Australians will see their so-called wealth evaporate and many will suffer significant financial losses. The day of reckoning resulting from the biggest debt bubble in Australian history is fast approaching."
But AMP Capital's Shane Oliver told news.com.au while "tough times" were undoubtably looming, we should keep "meandering along" without being hit by a major crisis.
"I don't see us going into recession but I think we are going through another transition in the economy … and a period of constrained growth," he said.
Mr Oliver said there were similar "gloom and doom" predictions made when the mining boom ended, but that Australia had bounced back.
And he said while the housing downturn would be "painful" for recent buyers, and that he expected further falls from "top to bottom" in Sydney and Melbourne to reach 25 per cent, it would only affect less than half of Australia's overall population who live in our two biggest cities.
"Unless unemployment goes up dramatically, it's not going to turn into a generalised crash," Mr Oliver said.
He said the current infrastructure boom was "providing support" to the economy and that business investment was also looking "healthier" in recent years.
And he expected the Chinese economy to pick up in the second half of the year, and predicted an end to the Chinese-US trade war as President Donald Trump seeks re-election in 2020.
He said the Australian dollar - which tended to drop during troubled times in the global economy - also acted as a "shock absorber" which protects the local economy and make exports more competitive.