Category Archives: Economy

ROSS GITTINS. Stagnation spanner in the works? The tradesman you need to call is Keynes. (SMH 16.2.2019)

Every so often the economies of the developed world malfunction, behaving in ways the economists’ theory says they shouldn’t. Economists fall to arguing among themselves about the causes of the breakdown and what should be done. We’re in such a … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

IAN McAULEY. The rot set in when they privatized the Commonwealth Bank

The banking and finance commission’s focus was on specific poor behaviours. It avoided broad policy issues, including the general failure of competition to improve consumer outcomes.  

Posted in Economy | Leave a comment

SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

Posted in Economy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MICHAEL KEATING. Housing Affordability and Labor’s Tax Proposals (Revised)

Home ownership has become much less affordable. It is a major source of inequality both between generations and within generations. Housing cannot become more affordable without bringing down house prices relative to incomes. Labor’s tax proposals are intended to do … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Housing | 3 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Who could have predicted that Kenneth Hayne would turn out to be such an old softie?

For months the stern, uncompromising judicial figure has presided over his royal commission with imperial authority,  a veritable Judge Dredd inspiring fear and trepidation among scores of witnesses ever wary that at any moment he could reach for the black … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 6 Comments

ROSS GITTINS. Never fear, Hayne is a new start – and not just for the banks. (SMH 5.2.2019)

If you think the banking royal commission’s damning report means you’ll never again be overcharged or otherwise mistreated by a bank, you’re being a bit naive. If you’re hoping to witness leading bankers being dragged off to chokey, you’ll be … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

MAX HAYTON. The New Zealand coalition says wellness makes economic sense.

The New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made a strong impact on the world stage with her vision of liberal progressive politics that promote wellness and kindness. Doubters and opponents say economic realities could defeat her. 

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | Leave a comment

EVAN JONES. The gaping hole in the Royal Commission’s final report.

The Banking Royal Commission’s Final Report has generated much froth and bubble in the media. Hayne has chosen to emphasise the sins of the finance sector in the ‘wealth management’ arena (financial advice, insurance, super – the last superficially). Media … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL PASCOE. Australia’s ‘pussycat’ superannuation regulators aren’t doing their jobs.( A repost from August 25 2018)

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

RICHARD DENNISS. Our regulators fail to protect the vulnerable from the greedy. Let’s find out why. ( A repost from 19 September 2018)

Neoliberalism’s best trick was convincing us that ‘empowering’ citizens to shop around would deliver better services at a lower cost. 

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 4 Comments

STEPHEN LONG. Hayne’s findings shouldn’t be a shock; the banking scandals were decades in the making (ABC News 4 Feb.2019).

How did it come to this? How did we arrive at a situation where banks and financial houses slugged dead people with fees?

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

ADELE FERGUSON. The regulators failed bank customers but they are now being trusted to fix this mess. (SMH 5.2.2019)

After a year of shame and grovelling apologies, the day of reckoning finally arrived. For those Australians hoping for structural separation of the banks, an overhaul of the regulators or heads on sticks, royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s verdict would have been … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

KAREN COX. Now Hayne has reported, the lobbyists will get to work (SMH 5.2.2019)

After a year of front pages filled with the evidence of scandalous wrong doing, rip-offs and greed in our banking and financial services institutions, we finally have a roadmap from Commissioner Kenneth Hayne on how to solve the finance sector’s … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

ANDREW LINDEN, WARREN STAPLES. Hayne’s failure to tackle bank structure. (The Conversation 5.2.2019)

Hayne’s failure to tackle bank structure means that in a decade or so another treasurer will have to call another royal commission.  Every 10 to 15 years it’s the same. Ever since financial deregulation in the 1980s we’ve had a finance industry scandal … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

STEPHEN LONG. This letter from the big banks helped shape the royal commission. ABC News 5 February 2019

It is a revelation that underscores the close relationship between the major banks and the Government.

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

ROSS GITTINS. Hey pollies: weak wage growth won’t fix itself. (SMH 4.2.2019)

The economy’s prospects are threatened by various risks from overseas – about which we can do little – and by continuing weakness in wage growth – about which the two sides contesting the May federal election have little desire to … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

JOCELYN PIXLEY. Trying to revive Howard-Costello market slogans.

The Coalition’s strategies for 2019’s election include reiterating Howard-Costello slogans. Australia’s 1996-2007 racist divisiveness is a factor while its economic policies copied decades of attacks (UK and USA) on social justice. But the sainted banks delivered the GFC just as … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

JOSH GORDON. Will Labor’s dividend imputation policy overwhelmingly affect the low paid? (ABC News)

For months the Morrison Government has argued Labor’s controversial plan to raise more than $5 billion a year by scrapping refundable franking credits on dividends from shares is “not fair”.

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. The Prime Minister’s Economic Plan

This week the Prime Minister promised to return the Budget to surplus, massively reduce net government debt, and create 1.25 million jobs over the next five years. However, there was no attempt to substantiate these promises, nor to argue that … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. Equality: What is it and Why is it important?

Inequality has risen in most of the advanced economies, including Australia. It is damaging both the fabric of our society and economic growth. The Government appears to acknowledge that it should pursue equality of opportunity, but not outcomes. However, the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Corporate failure in Australia. They just don’t get it.

There is a growing and unfortunate litany of corporate failures in Australia – and not just the banks and energy suppliers. There is wage theft on a large scale. Instead of addressing their own obvious failures the BCA accuses its … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Economy, Industrial relations | 2 Comments

JOHN HEWSON. She won’t be right: the economic storm our leaders ignore. (SMH 18.1.2019)

It’s the economy, stupid” – a slogan and a focus that largely won the US presidency for Bill Clinton in 1992. He then went on to reap the benefits of Bush senior’s economic management, not yet evident at the time … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN QUIGGIN. Socialist utopia 2050: what could life in Australia be like after the failure of capitalism?

From four-day weeks to unconditional basic income to free education, it’s possible to imagine a future where society’s focus has moved from consumption to quality of life.

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

JOHN KERIN.  Free Trade (sic), Current ‘Negotiations’ (Part 3)

The world is agog with the constantly changing state of play between the US and China on trade issues and also the possible outcomes of Brexit. Both have the high probability of affecting our economy.

Posted in Economy, Politics | Comments Off on JOHN KERIN.  Free Trade (sic), Current ‘Negotiations’ (Part 3)

JOHN KERIN. ‘Free Trade’ (sic), Theory and Experience (Part 2)

As with most economic theories about the optimal way to proceed, there is a difference between theory and results. For example, do company tax cuts necessarily mean that companies will invest in new production? If demand is suppressed will they … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | Comments Off on JOHN KERIN. ‘Free Trade’ (sic), Theory and Experience (Part 2)

JOHN KERIN. ‘Free Trade’ (sic), Some Fundamentals (Part 1).

Australian trade policy has dramatically changed over the last fifty years. What we now face is nothing like the situation we have been used to. The general public has little idea of the complexity and importance of trade negotiations, the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. We are paying to protect an industry that no longer exists.

We see it almost every day in the media; rent-seekers extracting benefits for themselves through political influence and lobbying at the expense of the broader community. It has very little to do with markets. It is about political favours for … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 7 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The myth that Liberals are better economic managers. A repost from 25 July 2018

Malcolm Turnbull has made it clear that his mantra of ‘Jobs-and-Growth’ will be at the forefront of his campaign in the next election. This week he will be talking about the growth of a million jobs in 5 years, but … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Comments Off on JOHN MENADUE. The myth that Liberals are better economic managers. A repost from 25 July 2018

LAURIE PATTON. The NBN’s year of reckoning

2019 is shaping up as the year we’ll be forced to face the fact we are building a National Broadband Network that simply isn’t good enough. It’s also the year our major telcos will start rolling out their capital-intensive 5G … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments