AFR goes viral as property tycoon Tim Gruner calls for “unemployment to jump 40 to 50 per cent”

AFR - Tim Gurner

Gurner previously made headlines for suggesting people should eat less brunch if they wanted a stake in the property market

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) has responded to Gurner CEO Tim Gurner after he called for “unemployment to jump 40 to 50 per cent” at the publication’s Property Summit on Tuesday.

Gurner said that the problem was that people did not want to work so much through COVID, impacting productivity, and have been “paid a lot to do not too much”.

“We need to see unemployment rise. Unemployment has to rise 40-50% in my view. We need to see pain in the economy. We need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around,” he said.

“There’s been a systematic change where employees feel the employer is extremely lucky to have them as opposed to the other way around. It’s a dynamic that has to change, we’ve got to kill that attitude, and that has to come through hurting the economy,” Gurner added.

As we write, the AFR clip has been viewed 22.4 million times on X (formerly Twitter), and has been shared by high profile people including New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

AFR reporter Mark Di Stefano has tackled the attention the clip has garnered online, reminding readers of Gurner’s privilege. He noted that Gurner previously made headlines for suggesting people should eat less brunch if they wanted a stake in the property market – yes, he is the original Avocado Toast Guy.

Di Stefano also highlighted that Gurner revealed in an interview with 60 Minutes in 2017 that he bought his first apartment in St Kilda apartment for $180k, with the help of his boss at the time.

“My first investment property was an apartment bought for $180k in St Kilda and I was fortunate enough to have my boss at the time approach me to renovate it while he fronted up the money,” he said, as reported by at the time.

Gurner then went on to explain after selling the property and making $12,000 in profit. He made a business proposal to his grandfather which got him an additional $34,000, which he then used to get a $150,000 loan to buy a gym that was renovated and later sold.

Di Stefano called out Gurner, and said: “Of course! Because it’s a tale stitched into the fabric of the Australian dream. The lump sum inheritance, or the familial guarantor. The financial backstop that’s always there in every story, though never in the headline. They are the foundational facts that are glazed over in the origin stories of Australia’s over-levered property wunderkinds.”

“Tim Gurner encapsulates all the fears that regular people have of the property industry. That when landlords and property developers go into functions and hotel ballrooms, they all privately gripe about the ungrateful serfs. But the mask didn’t slip here. Timbo ripped it off.”

Top Image: Tim Gurner

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