Category Archives: Economy

DAVID STEPHENS. The Australian War Memorial admits receiving $1,271,473 over three years in donations from military and defence firms.

During Budget Estimates hearings, then Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon (NSW) asked Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, how much the Memorial had received in donations from military and defence firms. The answer covered the years 2015-16, 2016-17, … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy | 1 Comment

JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Ten years on, there’s just one positive legacy of the Global Financial Crisis.

“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.”

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JOHN MENADUE. Beyond the political rhetoric,hard hats and akubras what do our political ‘leaders’ really believe.

Power does reveal substance.  It tells us quite quickly about the values that drive political parties and political leaders. Scare tactics are always a sure sign that the values and policy cupboard is bare.

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | 3 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts covered in other media.

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ROSS GITTINS. How we could revive faith in democracy (SMH 6 June 2018)

How much is our disillusionment with politicians, governments and even democracy the result of our pollies’ 30-year love affair with that newly recognised mega-evil “neoliberalism”? To a considerable extent, according to Dr Richard Denniss, of the Australia Institute, in the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 7 Comments

MICHAEL PASCOE. For-profit funds take a hit off back of royal commission (11.09.18)

Never mind the fines and compensation building up, what about retail fund managers losing more than $20 billion of assets in the June quarter?

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MATT FLYN. The longevity dividend: how ageing populations could boost economic productivity.

People are generally living longer than previous generations across most parts of the world. Rising life expectancy is a result of advances in medicine as well as improving living standards and healthier lifestyles. But while this should be celebrated for … Continue reading

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DAVID JAMES. Industry superannuation, banks, competition,capitalism and socialism

The bullish speculations by Mark Carnegie (see below) about industry super funds clawing back their share of the superannuation market from the banks, and potentially capturing a quarter of Australia’s mortgage and business lending, certainly got attention. It is worth … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

JOHN QUIGGIN. Our financial system only works for the 1%. It will take another crash to fix it (The Guardian, 03.09.18)

The royal commission into banks has uncovered fraud and misconduct on a massive scale, amounting to nearly $1bn and perhaps more. The usual defences of “bad apples” and “rogue advisers” have fallen apart as it becomes evident the problems are … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

JIM COOMBS. Alternatives to the “big four.

The AFR reports Mark Carnegie of the Superannuation Trustees saying that their funds could move into  High Street banking as the Big Four retreat after being found with their hands in the cookie jar. Even Auspost could pile into the … Continue reading

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HOWARD DAVIES. Was the financial crisis wasted?

As the 10th anniversary of the start of the global financial crisis approaches, a wave of retrospective reviews is bearing down on us. Many of them will try to answer the Big Question: Has the financial system been fundamentally reformed, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

GARY P SAMPSON. BREXIT: A Pandora’s Box awaits the UK at the WTO

Whether the U.K. crashes out from the E.U. or retains some residual connections with the Customs Union it will need to negotiate ab initio  its position as an independent, free-standing member of the WTO. Indeed the U.K. is placing much … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

DEREK ABBOTT. The Way We Live Now.

In 1988, with the Hawke government successfully carrying through a program of profound economic reform while avoiding the social divisiveness that characterised Margaret Thatcher’s not dissimilar policies in Britain, and with John Howard’s toe in the water on a return to … Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI. The Legacy of the Lucky Generation

Mine is the lucky generation – our parents endured hardship, enjoyed unsurpassed economic growth and shielded us from the past. But what will be our legacy?

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Billions wasted on drought aid that’s not helping those who need it most.

Wealthy people are stuffing their kitchen cupboards with donated goods and their sheds with free hay while animal welfare is being ignored and low-paid rural workers go without favours.

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE Is money behind the Coalition’s addiction to coal?

It is clear to almost everyone that new coal fired generators will be not only very polluting but much more expensive to operate than the generation of power from renewables. But the Coalition keeps pressing the case for coal . … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 9 Comments

JOCELYN PIXLEY. The Politics of Banking.

The Hayne Royal Commission has, so far, found not just “misconduct”, but a long list of dubious activities over previous money laundering and insider trading cases. Such tactics are common to the largest finance centres, Wall Street and the City … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE & IAN McAULEY: A new “leader”, but no sight of leadership.

The Liberal Party has a new “leader”, but there is still a dearth of the leadership in the Liberal Party, which seems to be unable to deal with hard issues, such as meeting our emissions target and coping with the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE Tracking Peter Costello is not a good start for Josh Frydenberg .

 After failing with his National Energy Guarantee, Josh Frydenberg rushed to Melbourne to get some tips from Peter Costello about handling his new Treasury portfolio. In fawning style over coffee, Frydenberg described Costello as ‘the greatest living Treasurer’. It is … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL PASCOE. Australia’s ‘pussycat’ superannuation regulators aren’t doing their jobs.

The list of failures continues to grow, the list of official bodies too weak, too chummy, too lacking fire-in-the-belly to help the millions of Australians unknowingly stuck in under-performing superannuation funds.

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

ROGER SCOTT. Withering Australian Political Science

There are two explanations for the withering of Australian Political Science: the increasing shift in domestic student preferences away from studying local issues and towards International Studies, and the impact of universities maximising the economic benefits to be derived from … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The failure of the National Party on rural poverty and rural health. Repost from 23 February 2018

Country electorates have the most disadvantaged people, the poorest health and inferior health services.  But the National Party does very little about it. Does it care?  The National Party record on climate change,NBN and irrigation is appalling.I have written previously on … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health | 2 Comments

IAN McAULEY. If we can’t kill the NEG can we at least shape it into something useful?

The National Energy Guarantee can possibly be made to work – to improve the reliability of power supplies, to reduce emissions, and to reduce people’s power bills – but not in its present form.

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE- The National Party is dudding farmers.

The National Party remains highly sceptical of climate change and its effect on farmers. Yet the science is clear that global warming has contributed to the current drought. Some farmers are pointing to the failure of the National Party to … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 6 Comments

PETER SMALL. Mulesing; Have we convinced ourselves of our own rhetoric to the wool industries detriment?

It is five years since I first went to China and I heard the plea of wool processors for Australia to do something to increase the availability wool from non-mulsed sheep. I responded with the well-worn rhetoric as to why … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 4 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Don’t rush to endorse the National Energy Guarantee: There’s an election in a few months.

The best outcome for electricity consumers would be for state governments to kill the National Energy Guarantee when the COAG energy council meets on Friday. Having gone nine years without a well-grounded energy policy we can wait a few months … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 2 Comments

ALAN KOHLER. Another fine energy shambles (The Australian, 07/08/18)

Years of cat-herding by those who actually know and care about Australia’s electricity market will come to fruition this week with the meeting of COAG energy ministers to discuss the National Energy Guarantee, and possibly make a decision about it. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. Why Trump’s economic policies are doomed to fail.

President Trump’s protectionist policies have been widely criticised and rightly so. What is more surprising is the lack of analysis as to why America has a long-standing trade deficit, and the contradictory and self-defeating nature of President Trump’s overall economic … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Australia’s invisible Asians

There are three components to any spoken or written act of communication: the intended message (what was meant by the sender); the message as conveyed (what was actually said); and the message as received (how it is interpreted by the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

SALIM MAZOUZ, FRANK JOTZO, HUGH SADDLER. Could the NEG bring down power prices? It’s hard to be confident that it will.

The final design document for the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), released this week, contains a range of claims about the policy’s ability to drive down both greenhouse emissions and electricity prices. But still there is precious little detail on how … Continue reading

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