7 August 2020
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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 […]

More proposals to politicise central banks

Paul Krugman wants to increase inflation targets to allow for higher inflation. Correction: Krugman actually does not think we should allow central banks to target either headline or core inflation. Why? Because they are not telling the story he wants them to tell in the US right now. His latest epiphany is to have them […]

Devastating UBS critique of Howard/Costello fiscal policy

In one of its latest reports, UBS's team of economists has cast into sharp relief the fiscal complacency of the Howard/Costello years. And the analysis is remarkable. Spending measures under Howard/Costello summed to 4.5 per cent of GDP, which was more than the Rudd Government's fiscal response to the GFC. Check out the chart immediately […]

Is it me or is the world getting more volatile?

I've written about volatility a lot in the past. How I think it has risen in a networked, increasingly globalised world where vast quantities of information are transmitted at light speed in mostly uncensored form to billions. How I think Australia is likely to face especially volatile conditions given the change in our trading partner […]

Will Gillard/Swan politicise the RBA and undermine its credibility?

The problem with not reappointing current RBA Board member Professor Warwick McKibbin, who is the nation's most respected macro-economist (and a noted inflation hawk), because of his outspoken remarks on economic policy, and replacing him with an appointee who is viewed as more sympathetic to the government's prescriptions (such as Ross Garnaut), is that Gillard […]

Why Wayne Swan should appoint a female academic to the RBA Board

Okay, it is not easy to keep on top of this stuff from Hawaii (where I’m vacationing at the moment), but a few comments on the question of whether Treasurer Wayne Swan should reappoint Professor Warwick McKibbin to the Board of the RBA. First, McKibbin is far and away Australia's best and most respected academic […]

Summary analysis of the Gillard Government's new banking reforms

On Sunday, Treasurer Wayne Swan announced a series of reforms to promote a “competitive and sustainable banking system” following an intense debate initiated by the Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey. The package has significant strengths and weaknesses, and is somewhat undermined by much superficial padding (that is, allowing building societies to change their name, getting taxpayers […]

Half-time in the main game

With mid-term elections just around the corner here in the United States, we’re coming up half to the half time hooter in the main game. Let’s look at the scoreboard. The healthcare bill still confusing small (and large) business The small businesses stimulus package not so stimulating to many The banks still holding on to […]

Vale Kevin

I had been waiting for some news to update my column on this site. Last month I said it was too hard to call the market without more clarity on the RSPT (resource tax). Well, we got that yesterday morning in spades. Kevin was shown the red card and Julia scored in injury time only […]

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