Search Results: finance

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  • ECONOMICS

    Ukraine conflict heightens global economic split

    • David James
    • 27 April 2015
    2 Comments

    The conflict in the Ukraine has attracted a great deal of attention for its geo-strategic implications. Less noticed have been the economic implications. The sanctions placed on Russia have forced Russia to become even closer to China, and the alliance between a military superpower and an economic superpower is beginning to split the global economy in two. It may come to represent the biggest geo-economic and geo-political shift of the first half of this century, defining much of the future landscape.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Single person household' slight on working poor

    • Brian Lawrence
    • 13 April 2015
    6 Comments

    A fair minimum wage has to be fair to workers with family responsibilities, many of whom are currently working poor and living in poverty. But in its 2014 Annual Wage Review decision, the Fair Work Commission  decided that the 'appropriate reference household for the purposes of setting minimum wages is the single person household'. This was the first time in more than a century of minimum wage setting that an industrial tribunal has decided that minimum wages should exclude the needs of the low paid with families.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How super hurts the poor and middle income earners

    • Brian Toohey
    • 26 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Although the age pension will cost about $49 billion in 2017-18, it is means tested. In contrast, superannuation concessions are heavily biased in favour of high income earners. Both sides of politics pander to the wealthy and the cosseted finance sector, which want certainty that nothing will stand in the way of their super bonanza.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Emboldened Netanyahu maintains hard line against US-Iran deal

    • Tony Kevin
    • 19 March 2015
    6 Comments

    In coming days, a major US-Iran negotiation will conclude in success or failure. As long as the US and Iran remain opposed, the US is much less effective in working for peace and inter-communal harmony in Iraq and Syria. Israel is indifferent to these wider concerns and, fresh from this week's convincing election vistory, a newly invigorated Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to stress that the Iranian nuclear issue is ‘existential’ for Israel.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Joe Hockey's crystal ball

    • David James
    • 05 March 2015
    8 Comments

    The 2015 Intergenerational Report is reminiscent of a comment by that great 20th century philosopher and baseball player Yogi Berra: 'It’s tough to make predictions – especially about the future.' Many economic commentators have pointed out, rightly enough, that Treasury cannot even get its one year predictions right. Nevertheless, it is worth looking at how the 40 year forecasts are constructed to see the kind of thinking involved.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Oil and gas redraw world strategic alliance map

    • David James
    • 15 February 2015
    3 Comments

    Sanctions against Russia have pushed Russia and China much closer together. Russia is set to provide two fifths of China’s gas needs after the completion of two massive pipelines. This will easily replace what they have lost in supplying Europe and deliver what the Chinese most crave: security of supply. Meanwhile, Russia has cut off 60 per cent of its supplies of gas into Europe, re-routing it to Turkey, and saying that Europe will have to build its own infrastructure to transport it to the Continent.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The financial crisis the Government wants us to have

    • Colin Long
    • 08 February 2015
    19 Comments

    The Coalition Government falsely claims that Medicare co-payments and cuts to welfare and publicly funded institutions such as the CSIRO and the ABC are necessary to 'fix Labor's mess'. There are indeed structural problems with the economy, but essentially the plan is to strip the public sector by cutting universal access to a range of services that also includes tertiary education, to create a dominant free market that marginalises Australians on low incomes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politics of mediocrity threaten Blake religious art prize

    • Michael Mullins
    • 14 December 2014
    9 Comments

    Our fickle politics shows that the majority of Australians are prepared to gloss over serious issues such as how to answer the life and death needs of the refugees whose lives have been disrupted by the wars we wage. Politicians are driven by opinion polls, and most corporate sponsors are inclined to follow their lead. That is why Saturday's 63rd Blake religious art prize may be the last.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's woes through Pope's human values lens

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 December 2014
    23 Comments

    Pope Francis' recent reflections on Europe apply also to Australia. He points to the cult of economic growth that exists at the expense of human values and the relationships that shape our humanity. His critique suggests the challenge facing our Government is not to make its policies appear more palatable when they're not, but to offer policies that are in themselves enriching.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The things you can't get for free

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 November 2014
    7 Comments

    Thanks to Senators Jacqui Lambie and Ricky Muir, we can once again trust our financial advisers. There are some things that are worth paying for. If somebody else pays for something, it's likely that we will get what they want, not what we need.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ABC is not a business

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 20 November 2014
    25 Comments

    Governments are  tempted to use budgetary accountability as a neat cover for corporatisation of public utilities. As public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS do not inhabit the same philosophical territory as Sky News or Channel 7. The ABC's cuts are based on an efficiency report prepared by a financial officer from the commercial media. It does not seem relevant that balanced budgets do not deliver educated audiences.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Why the rich are getting richer

    • David James
    • 18 November 2014
    6 Comments

    Investing capital in the production of goods and services may create jobs, but it's not the best way to make money. It's more profitable to manipulate the financial system to create more money from money, which is why the finance sector does so well. The polarisation of wealth is less extreme in Australia, but we have our own capital-driven Ponzi scheme - the residential property market, which has become an exercise in making money out of money. 

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