Category Archives: Economy

FRANK BRENNAN. Newstart needs a new start,

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be hearing a lot about company and personal income tax cuts. The Turnbull government holds the view that tax relief for companies and middle-income earners is necessary to improve the economic prosperity of … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS. Cause and effect.

Royal Commissions are often diverted into by-ways that are interesting and entertaining but have little relevance to the terms of reference and do nothing to solve the problem that required the inquiry to be established in the first place. 

Posted in Economy, Politics | 5 Comments

ROSS GITTINS. The boot is on the other foot and big business is on the nose

The misbehaviour by banks and other big financial players revealed by the royal commission is so extensive and so shocking it’s likely to do lasting damage to the public credibility and political influence of the whole of big business and … Continue reading

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IAN VERRENDER. The banks, the Government and the half-trillion-dollar super grab.

So close, but no cigar. Just when they appeared on the cusp of victory, the major banks and AMP have had their ambitions to grab control of a lucrative section of the superannuation industry crushed.

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JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Revealed: Australia’s richest professionals and the suburbs they live in.

If you’re a surgeon living in one of the opulent suburbs on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, then congratulations: you are a member of the highest paid group in Australia. This will come as no surprise for people who … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Government by the bankers, for the bankers, and, in Turnbull’s case, of the bankers.

As Malcolm Turnbull returns, no doubt reluctantly, from the photo-ops of Europe to the harsh world of Australian politics, he is inevitably turning his mind to the oncoming conflict and the need to vaporize Bill Shorten.  

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DAVID JAMES. Governments have stopped governing and financiers have become our de facto rulers.

Perhaps the biggest surprise about the reaction to the Royal Commission into the banks is that anyone is surprised. Banks are by their nature parasitic, and the discovery that they are treating their customers as prey to be exploited whenever … Continue reading

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PETER MARTIN. How the Coalition ran interference for the banks.

The Coalition wasn’t merely asleep at the wheel when it came to the practices being exposed at the banking royal commission: it pulled out all stops to allow some of them to continue, including attempting to circumvent the will of … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. It’s confession time and there’s much for the government to confess

If confession is good for the soul, key government figures should be mightily uplifted by the admissions now pouring out of them, however obliquely.

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JOHN MENADUE. The bank’s PR gloss and descent from heaven.

The banks project their image  by employing a large number of   business  economists  that we see and hear regularly in our media. A few do but seldom do  these economists venture into any comment that would politically embarrass their employers … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. A Royal Commission for the finance sector? What about VET?

The stories of vulnerable people being deceived through corrupt practices in the financial services sector are currently part of a Royal Commission. But surely of no less concern are those stories that continue to be highlighted around students being left … Continue reading

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TIM COLEBATCH. Why is unemployment still so high?

In the first three months of this year, the official jobs figures tell us, 400,000 more people were in work in Australia than a ear earlier. And roughly 300,000 of them were in full-time work.

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PETER MARTIN. We need to stop spending billions on things we don’t really need.

I am going to say it. We are spending too much on infrastructure – on roads, railways, bridges and the like. We don’t try the cheap things first. And we are spending too much on the NBN. You probably disagree, … Continue reading

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JIM COOMBS. Crime and Punishment: Who do we do first, the Banks (and “financial advisers”) or “dole bludgers”?

I was horrified today to hear that the coalition government this week wants to step up its pursuit of “welfare cheats”, a few millions of dollars chasing the poor, disabled and ignorant. Then Treasurer Scott Morrison is impelled to say, … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Strong employment growth, until you look behind the figures.

The ABS monthly employment data released last Thursday shows that since the Coalition was elected five years ago the Australian economy has generated one million additional jobs. Does this indicate success of the Coalition’s policies?

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GARRY EVERETT. Importance of seeing the ‘big picture’.

Failing to see or accept the big picture is a condition that is currently affecting many organisations in our world, says Garry Everett, and four particular organisations stand out as having significant problems in this regard.

Posted in Economy, Human Rights, Politics, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. Why Australia Needs A Stronger Revenue Base

Earlier this week the Australia Institute released an open letter signed by 48 eminent Australians calling for an increase in taxation. As we might have expected, the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, without any reflection, dismissed this call for higher taxes as … Continue reading

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MICHAEL LAMBERT. We know about the Grants Commission but what is this thing called HFE?

You may have noticed recent press reports of some angry Premiers or Treasurers bemoaning the loss of revenue in the triannual carve up of the GST pie among the States and Territories while the winners kept their pleasure to themselves. … Continue reading

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JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Cheap mortgages for everyone! Greens’ call for ‘People’s Bank’ unpicked

The Greens have unveiled a radical plan to give Australians access to much cheaper home loans than are currently on offer, in an unabashed attack on the big four banks’ stranglehold on the mortgage market.

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JOHN MENADUE. Media catch-up on Newcastle Port.

Drawing on a report from Deloitte yesterday, Matt Wade in several Fairfax newspapers breathlessly told us that restrictions on privatised ports was adding to Sydney’s gridlock.  He added that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is now investigating the secret … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | 2 Comments

TIM SOUTPHOMMASANE. Australian business and other organisations persistently fall short on cultural diversity.

Australia is widely celebrated as a multicultural triumph, but any such success remains incomplete. There remains significant under-representation of cultural diversity in the senior leadership of Australian organisations. Our society does not yet appear to be making the most of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Education, Human Rights | 3 Comments

STEPHANIE DOWRICK. Taxing questions

The duty of any government to keep its citizens safe is apparently taken very seriously in this nation of ours. It justifies the existence of the largest department over which this government presides and gives Peter Dutton, the Minister for … Continue reading

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GIOVANNI DI LIETO. Move over Canada and EU, Australia is best placed to benefit in the US-China trade tug-of-war

Australian firms are in a sweet spot between the bickering United States and China, where they can sell more and buy more cheaply because of weaker competition in both markets. Essentially, the mutual tariffs are a double blessing for Australia.

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MIKE WALLER. The real problem with our banks- “it’s leverage, stupid”

“When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.” Warren Buffett “There is no evidence that the growth in the scale and complexity of the financial system in the rich developed world over the last twenty to … Continue reading

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JIM COOMBS: Lets have some real banking competition.

The banks still haven’t got it. They charge $6 a month for doing nothing, theft or fraud, both crimes. But government and their appointed (neoliberal economics graduates) regulators, do nothing about it. Make the Reserve Bank of Australia the Peoples … Continue reading

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IAN CHUBB. Longing For Leadership -Part 2 of 2

Australia today faces multiple challenges. They include the fact that we are unlike any other continent with species and ecosystems that are found nowhere else. If we don’t look after ourselves, who will? There is global warming and climate change, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

MAX HAYTON. Kiwibank – lessons for Australia.

It’s not unusual for big banks to be accused of greed, unfairness, poor service and corruption. The answer often proposed is to create a government owned bank. This has been suggested as a solution in Australia. New Zealand has already … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Turnbull howls at the moon

Malcolm Turnbull spent the last week of the current parliament howling at the moon – baying about just how wonderful his corporate tax cuts would be, the remorseless logic of the laws of supply and demand, the purity of Economics … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

NICHOLAS GRUEN. Some real banking competition – central banking for all.

As the great economic journalist Martin Wolf puts it, there’s a “giant hole” at the centre of modern economies. Although the money in our economy is a classic public good, like the air we breathe or the radio spectrum over … Continue reading

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IAN CHUBB. Longing For Leadership Part 1 of 2

Australia today faces multiple challenges. They include the fact that we are unlike any other continent with species and ecosystems that are found nowhere else. If we don’t look after ourselves, who will? There is global warming and climate change, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments