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Keywords: Western Literature

  • ECONOMICS

    Rising interest rates points to a larger problem

    • David James
    • 28 June 2022

    The question that should be posed is how effective has the Reserve Bank been at ‘managing’ the economy and financial system? ‘Not very’, has to be the answer. Not that the RBA is alone. The same pattern has been seen across the developed world. Central banks have one weapon at their disposal, the cost of money (the interest rate), and there is not much evidence they have used this tool to make their systems sustainable. Mostly, they have made matters worse. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    On remembering the forgotten

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 June 2022
    1 Comment

    In his initial speech as leader of the Liberal Party Peter Dutton committed himself to care for the forgotten voters, echoing a foundation document of the Liberal Party: Robert Menzies’ speech after an electoral defeat in 1942 refers to forgotten people to point the way forward for the new party. The phrase was central to a re-imagining of Australian society. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    Can financial fictions survive reality?

    • David James
    • 31 May 2022
    2 Comments

    As commodity prices and inflation soar in the ‘real’ world we may be witnessing a prelude to another 2008-style crisis triggered by the foreign exchange markets. The risks certainly look similar and can be described with a simple question. Can the fictions produced by out-of-control financial actors survive reality? 

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  • ECONOMICS

    How will Russia sanctions impact the global economy?

    • David James
    • 22 March 2022
    1 Comment

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to severe financial sanctions being imposed on the country that are likely to have lasting consequences. Problem is, they may not be the ones the sanctioners are expecting. They may even come to regret what they have done.

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  • ECONOMICS

    What will rising interest rates mean for wealth inequality?

    • David James
    • 01 March 2022
    3 Comments

    Australia’s Reserve Bank mainly concentrates on keeping inflation within an acceptable range and maintaining a high level of employment. Social equity has never been considered to be part of its mandate. It should be. Interest rates have been the biggest cause of economic and social division in Australia, not just between rich and poor, but also between older and younger generations. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    The rise of the machines

    • David James
    • 31 January 2022
    5 Comments

    There is a great deal of commentary about the growing importance of artificial intelligence, or AI, especially in business circles. To some extent this is a self-fulfilling prophecy — if people think something will have a seminal effect then it probably will. But if the supposed commercial benefits are significant, the dangers are potentially enormous.

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  • RELIGION

    Seats at the table: Incorporating diverse identities in a global church

    • Michael Furtado
    • 11 November 2021
    63 Comments

    Every Australian diocese and parish already has its particular subcultural identity that inflects its liturgy. Celebration, being the authentic hallmark of a liturgy that reflects identity, must keep pace with a theology that also incorporates the diverse cultural space that the young inhabit. 

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  • RELIGION

    Handing on a tradition

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 October 2021
    26 Comments

    One of the challenges facing churches today has to do with tradition. Tradition is a sometimes charged word, but it refers to an everyday social need. It has to do with how a community passes on its way of life and its understanding of authoritative writings that shape it. The word itself can refer both to what is passed on and to the process of passing it on. The challenge of passing on a tradition is perennial. Both ways of living and writings reflect the culture of their own time and so need to be translated into the changing languages of later cultures.

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  • ECONOMICS

    A strange financial circus

    • David James
    • 12 October 2021
    3 Comments

    Over the last two years, money printing has created the illusion of strength in savings. But when reality resurfaces, and actual returns are required from actual economic and business activity, the global financial system will come under extreme stress. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    The battle for the future of money

    • David James
    • 07 September 2021
    4 Comments

    There is a three-way battle looming over the future of money and the stakes could scarcely be higher. Conventional money, mainly debt created by banks — the ‘folding stuff’ is only a tiny proportion of the total — is in trouble. Total global debt is now so large relative to the world economy it cannot be serviced, which is why monetary authorities have resorted to dropping interest rates. When they almost hit zero, the next step was quantitative easing (QE): printing money by getting the central bank to buy back government and corporate bonds and putting them on its ‘balance sheet’. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    Why inflation isn't higher

    • David James
    • 12 August 2021
    4 Comments

    The biggest mystery of the financial markets is why, when the monetary authorities have been printing money with their ears pinned back, is inflation for the most part not a problem? What happens with inflation is crucial to the short-term survival of the whole system. Global debt, which is running at well over 300 per cent of global GDP, is only sustainable because interest rates are exceptionally low (the base rate in Australia is only 0.1 per cent). And interest rates are low because inflation is not a problem.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Teetering on the financial brink

    • David James
    • 08 June 2021
    4 Comments

    An often overlooked fact about the financial system is that it entirely depends on trust. When trust starts to evaporate, especially between the big players such as banks and insurance companies, the whole artifice is put into peril. Trust in the system is now at an extreme low and that points to extreme danger.

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