Category Archives: Economy

JOHN MENADUE. As PM, Bill Shorten could help offer cheaper cars without any cost to the budget

The Australian Motor Industry Federation and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries have successfully lobbied the Australian government to continue restrictions on the imports of second-hand vehicles. We are paying a large price for protecting an industry that no longer … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 4 Comments

MAX HAYTON. The New Zealand Government considers capital gains tax.

The New Zealand Coalition Government promised to create a fairer tax system.  With growing inequality and a tax regime that leaves critical areas untaxed, the burden could be shared more fairly.  The first step has been taken but hazards lie … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Banks and the housing bubble

Providing housing finance has always been a major part of banks’ business. But how did we allow them to make housing into speculators’ playthings?

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KEATING. Labor’s policy of disallowing franking credit rebates: who will be affected, and by how much?

This article examines the claims that people with relatively modest incomes will be hard hit by Labor’s proposal to stop cash rebates of dividend franking credits to people whose taxable income is insufficient to make full use of those franking … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

JOSEPH E STIGLITZ. How Can We Tax Footloose Multinationals? (Project Syndicate)

Apple, Google, Starbucks, and companies like them all claim to be socially responsible, but the first element of social responsibility should be paying your fair share of tax. Instead, globalization has enabled multinationals to encourage a race to the bottom, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 1 Comment

KIM WINGEREI The Banking Royal Commission – The work has only just begun!

Even if all the 76 recommendations of Kenneth Hayne’s Banking Royal Commission were to be implemented, not much would change. There is a reason bank stock rallied after its release, bank board members and executives have little to fear.

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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.  

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

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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. 

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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