Category Archives: Economy

IAN VERRENDER. Josh Frydenberg’s first MYEFO will be declared a triumph, but why did it take so long to fix the books?

Better late than never. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg this morning officially will unsheathe the first federal Budget surplus in more than a decade.

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MICHAEL KEATING. The Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook Statement

As widely heralded by the Government in advance, the mid-year update of the economic and fiscal outlook shows an improvement in the budget balance. A larger surplus is forecast, starting in the next financial year and increasing thereafter. Whether this … Continue reading

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MARIANA MAZZUCATO. Can the STATE deliver?

Visitors to Australia are drawn to this country’s iconic coastline. After landing in Sydney early in the morning I went straight Bondi’s famous Icebergs ocean pool to do a few laps. It was spectacular. A gorgeous pool in the depths … Continue reading

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TIM COSTELLO. World Vision Australia Chief Advocate on our ODA failing

On a recent trip to Stockholm, when Swedish politicians complained that aid had slipped from one per cent of Gross National Income to 0.8 per cent, I cringed with shame – then changed the subject.

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JACOB GREBER. Why Former Australian Leader Believes China is About to Outflank Trump on Trade (CAIXIN GLOBAL/AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW)

(AFR) — China could be preparing to spring a global compact to drive tariffs to zero, and approach Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members including Australia for access to the grouping, positioning Beijing as a champion for free trade. That’s the view … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Economy, International Affairs | 1 Comment

JENNIFER RANKIN. Group led by Thomas Piketty presents plan for ‘a fairer Europe’ (The Guardian 10.12.18)

A group of progressive Europeans led by the economist and author Thomas Piketty has drawn up a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe to address the division, disenchantment, inequality and rightwing populism sweeping the continent.

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JORGE HEINE. The BRICS, their bank and beyond (India Inc.)

A strategic expert traces the origins of what brought Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa together and what the future holds for these emerging economies of the world.

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IAN McAULEY. The National Electricity Market is a mess. Morrison wants to make it messier.

The National Electricity Market needs re-design involving re-nationalisation of networks and “retailers” because privatisation and structural separation have failed.

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ALLAN PATIENCE: Capitalism has run amok!

If the 2007/08 Global Financial Crisis wasn’t sufficient evidence that something is deeply pathological within the contemporary capitalist system, then Ken Henry’s at times truculent, at times ruminative responses to questioning before the Financial Services Royal Commission should provide food … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS. Australian banks and the global financial system.

As we consider trivial matters such as which political party will form the government of Oz can we find time to look at the serious side of life? What is important? Banking and the world financial system for starters.

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JOCELYN PIXLEY. The cosy relations between bank misconduct and LNP Governments

When Ken Henry (NAB Chair) tried to dismiss SC Rowena Orr’s questions about the NAB top management’s significant compliance breaches with “Well, we could have fired everybody, I suppose”, he was correct. Hayne did not call his bluff. Henry had … Continue reading

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GEOFF DAVIES. The myth of the robust deregulated economy.

The economic ‘reforms’ of the 1980s are supposed to have set Australia up for an unprecedented run of prosperity: 27 years, and counting, without a recession. The economy’s robustness is supposed to have saved us from the Global Financial Crisis. … Continue reading

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JOHN QUIGGIN. Public Private Partnerships. The mirage.

In the UK Budget last week, the  Chancellor, Phillip Hammond announced the end of the PF2 scheme, the Conservative government’s replacement for the discredited Public Finance Initiative originally introduced by the Conservatives under John Major, but greatly expanded  by Tony … Continue reading

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ROBERT KUTTNER. The crash that failed.

Review of “Crashed: How a decade of financial crises changed the world” by Adam Tooze, Viking. The historian G.M. Trevelyan said that the democratic revolutions of 1848, all of which were quickly crushed, represented “a turning point at which modern … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. The Future Agenda for Economic Reform

Given the lack of agreement about what are our key problems we shouldn’t be surprised that ‘economic reform’ is presently in the doldrums. But progress would be easier if the business community recognised that the old agenda to improve the … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. Economic Strategy for the 21st Century

Traditionally economists have tended to ignore distributional issues. These issues were considered to rest on value judgements, and to therefore be outside the purview of orthodox neo-classical economics. To the extent that distribution did enter the economist’s model, it was … Continue reading

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TED TRAINER. The case for de-growth will continue to be ignored.

A de-growth movement has emerged, mainly in Europe, in response to the fact that global levels of production and consumption are now grossly unsustainable. A vast literature documenting this has accumulated over almost fifty years.  But the official world of … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY.  How Peter Dutton and Kelly O’Dwyer set themselves up to look ridiculous.

A year ago, when the Turnbull Government had been dragged into setting up a commission on the finance sector, Peter Dutton and Kelly O’Dwyer relished the thought of exposing bad behaviour in the union-dominated industry superannuation funds, even though it … Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. It’s poor planning, not the size of the population, that’s the problem

As Christopher Pyne has pointed out, “We don’t need to put a handbrake on population growth, we need to manage our population growth sensibly in a country which quite frankly can take a lot more than 25 million people”. Pyne … Continue reading

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ERIC SIDOTI. Let the Privatisation Games Begin

Privatisation has been the source of ongoing debate in this country since at least the 1980s. For much of the intervening years though to question the virtues of privatisation – and the accompanying sanctification of competition and choice- has been … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Frydenberg will pick up the election bill (Canberra Times 16.11.2018)

If I were a Labor warrior, thinking cautiously ahead about political warfare from mid-2019 – after Labor had taken government – I might be judging that no present preparation could repay the investment more than a very strong focus on … Continue reading

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JOHN KERIN.   Trump Economics.

Not being aware of what is being written in economic journals by the profession I find it difficult to understand why more of our commentating economists and academic economists are not publicly calling out Trump’s economic policies. Are we to believe … Continue reading

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MARC STEARS. Don’t give up on politics. It’s where the fight for the fair go must be won (The Conversation).

This article is the third in the Reclaiming the Fair Go series, a collaboration between The Conversation, the Sydney Democracy Network and the Sydney Peace Foundation to mark the awarding of the 2018 Sydney Peace Prize to Nobel laureate and … Continue reading

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PAUL O’CALLAGHAN. For Caritas Australia, bankrolling the Pacific misses the mark.

At Caritas Australia we have long been in the business of supporting the grassroots development of our Pacific neighbours.

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IAN McAULEY. Watch for Morrison’s next round of economic impression management.

Before Christmas the Government will produce the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. It’s a fair bet that it will reveal a small cash surplus for this year, giving Morrison an opportunity to brag about the Coalition’s economic expertise. But this … Continue reading

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CHRIS MILLS. Australians’ Choice: A Wasted Hourglass or Golden Egg Economy?

These simplifying images of Australia’s future Federal, State and Territory economies have been deliberately chosen to be evocative and provocative.  Our stark choice is to continue to pursue the Neoliberalism ideology that is failing so many ordinary Australians, of take … Continue reading

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ROSS GITTINS. Our oldies have never had it so good (SMH 5.11.2018)

Don’t let anyone tell you Scott Morrison is out of touch. When he says that, if he had the money, he’d increase the age pension rather than the dole, he’s reflecting the views of most older Australians. Everyone knows it’s … Continue reading

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EVAN JONES. Systemically corrupt capitalism.

Capitalism has been analysed to death in academia and elsewhere. Thus we know that capitalism is structurally conducive to exploitation, to the production and reproduction of class-based inequality, to the degradation of nature, and so on. Such analysis is of … Continue reading

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BRENDAN COATES, JOHN DALEY, TONY CHEN. Abolish stamp duty. The ACT shows the rest of us how to tax property.

This week we’re exploring the state of nine different policy areas across Australia’s states, as detailed in Grattan Institute’s State Orange Book 2018. Read the other articles in the series here. This article was published by The Conversation on the … Continue reading

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LATIKA BOURKE. Forget Barnaby Joyce’s affair – this is why he should not return to the leadership

Although Barnaby Joyce’s name is not mentioned, it is his legacy that informs Philip Moss’ damning report into the Department of Agriculture’s performance as the regulator of the live exports industry. 

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