21 February 2020
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Abbott's budget reply: is he really trapped?

When the Treasurer let us know that the promised surplus of $1.5 billion ended up being a $19.4 billion deficit, and this will be followed up by an $18 billion deficit next year, you couldn’t help but think, why would I take seriously any other number this guy will utter? Sure, forecasting is difficult but […]

Abbott deserves a Tony Award for that speech!

The Abbott reply to the Budget has cut the ribbon on a four month election campaign but if the Opposition leader can maintain the strong, “I look like a grown up” image he delivered in Parliament last night, then Labor’s worst nightmares of a complete rout on September 14 could actually happen. On Wall Street […]

Blame Obama

The fiscal cliff keeps pushing share prices down and the arrival of some disappointing economic data didn’t help the cause of those hoping for a small pullback. But let’s face it, stocks will trend down until President Barack Obama and the Republicans in the Congress are close to unity on key issues, so get used […]

State of the states

State & territory economic performance report How are Australia’s states and territories performing? Each quarter CommSec attempts to find out by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment; unemployment, construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements. Just as the Reserve Bank uses decade averages to determine the level of […]

In 2009 Swan said it was "absurd and wrong" to link fiscal policy to RBA's cash rate

The Australian has been (justifiably) on the warpath highlighting the inconsistencies in the Gillard Government's attempts to jawbone the RBA into lower rates on the back of promises of tighter fiscal policy: What was once labelled 'absurd' is now government policy in Wayne Swan's world The Australian April 22, 2012 12:19PM WAYNE Swan has been […]

How one of world's biggest banks took PM Gillard's comments on RBA

While one rabid ALP economist tries to argue that when the PM publicly seeks easier monetary policy she is not looking for lower interest rates, and conveniently ignores the fact that this was precisely the briefing given by the PM's office to none other than the AFR's Laura Tingle, here is the objective assessment of […]

Australian Prime Minister politicises central bank - again

In a not surprising (for readers of this column) attempt to politically pressure Australia's central bank, a major media outlet reports today that the Prime Minister has broken with historical convention – for an incumbent government – and called on the RBA to lower interest rates given the government's mooted fiscal promises. This is after […]

Brussels, banks and bastards

The big wait is on and we should know by week’s end whether it was worth it with the banks considering their interest rate play and the EU member countries deciding their fate in Brussels. Oh yes, there’s another big issue to be decided and that’s whether the ECB will cut interest rates overnight. This […]

Post WWII capitalism starts to crumble

The deterioration of political relations between Western states, and between governments and their central banks, is taking place with disturbing rapidity. It is quite amazing that in 2011 the US Secretary of the Treasury can so openly discuss how European governments are at war with the ECB. A few years ago this would have been […]

Why Australia's future is hitched to 'developing countries' not North Atlantic

Two great charts from UBS which show, as I have argued here for a while now, that Australia's growth pulse is being driven by the developing, rather than the developed, world. Some time ago I also put up a CBA chart that illustrated that 30 per cent of global growth over the last 10 years […]

Turnbull to run Gillard's $10-billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation?

Now, to be clear, I have not spoken to the Government. And I have not spoken to Malcolm Turnbull. These are my own views, and not the views of others. Having said that, it is an incredibly interesting idea: Turnbull is apparently dissatisfied with his Liberal Party lot in life. Turnbull is one of Australia's […]

What's Malcolm Turnbull up to?

It's an interesting question, isn't it? On Friday, I gave a speech to the CEO's Forum, and when chatting with The Australian's Greg Sheridan afterwards outlined my own thesis. Greg said he liked it, so I thought I would quickly rehash it here. Let me say upfront that I have not spoken to Malcolm or […]

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