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Keywords: Global Debt

  • ECONOMICS

    Why debt forgiveness may be inevitable

    • David James
    • 25 July 2022
    3 Comments

    Monetary authorities are caught in an impossible situation. Inflation is rising: it is over 5 per cent in Australia and over 9 per cent in the United States. Inflation is often seen as a way out of excessive debt because it erodes the real value of money and therefore the real value of the debt. But what is increasingly being discussed are ways to cancel the debt.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Stray thoughts: A more powerful lens

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 18 July 2022

    If there is another civilisation out there peering into the skies like us, what would they see as they catch a glimpse of life on Earth in the 21st century? I wonder what they would make of our preoccupations, and what they might see through their powerful lenses that we ourselves cannot? 

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  • ECONOMICS

    Rising interest rates point to a larger problem

    • David James
    • 28 June 2022
    1 Comment

    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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  • ECONOMICS

    Supply to survive

    • Julian Butler
    • 31 March 2022

    In 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic raged globally, as Australia shut its borders and some states shut in their people, massive government income support was introduced. The government was a little slow coming to recognise the need for such measures. Once they had, they wanted the support rolled out as quickly as possible. Frydenberg, Scott Morrison and their colleagues recognised that a demand side boost was absolutely necessary to sustain economic activity. The government was uncomfortable, though, with this approach.  

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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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Our hopes and fears for 2022

    • Barry Gittins
    • 14 January 2022
    1 Comment

    We’ve been in a pressure cooker, these past two years. More than a score of historians had memorably described 2020 as the sixth-most ‘stressful year ever’. Predictions and speculations look ahead; I looked at the past trends of the past two years and make these humble observations. With the stage set for dire times, here are six trends to look for in 2022. Here’s hoping.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Why Australia’s rural sector is ripe for financial reform

    • David James
    • 06 December 2021
    1 Comment

    If Australia does draw back from globalisation — as opposed to trade, which will continue — then there should be more focus on our primary sector and how it could be better financed. Australia’s long history as a primary producer constitutes what economists call a ‘comparative advantage’: an economic area in which a country does best while giving up the least.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Climate change trillions

    • David James
    • 08 November 2021
    1 Comment

    The Glasgow United Nations Climate Change Conference has been advertised as an effort to focus on sustainable environmental solutions. What got much less attention, if any, is that it is probably at least as much about having a sustainable financial system. Many noted that China, did not send its leader: Xi Jinping, president of the world’s greatest CO2 emitter. There was also another significant absence: the financiers who are hoping to profit from the trillions allocated into climate change projects.

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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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    LinkedInglese

    • Michael McGirr
    • 02 September 2021
    15 Comments

    There is a curious world called LinkedIn, a social media site for people trying to nurture their careers. The problem with it is that the participants are expected to take themselves more seriously than they might in what we used to call real life. LinkedIn has a culture of self-importance that cracks me up every time. There is nothing quite as funny as utter humourlessness. 

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