Business

Federal Budget 2017 Lacks the Silver Bullet Needed to slay Australia's Housing Vampire

Ahead of the budget, and in his speech, Scott Morrison was keen to emphasise that there are no silver bullets to improve housing affordability.He has delivered on this.The Treasurer sells it as "a comprehensive approach" that "can make a difference", but it comes across as more of a scattergun approach.If it does make a difference, it may take a microscope to see it.There is a desperatel ....

Reserve Bank warns one-third of Australian Borrowers Have Little to no Mortgage Buffer

Despite interest rates sitting at record low levels, one-third of Australian borrowers have not built up a repayment buffer, or are less than one month ahead on their home loan repayments, leaving them very exposed to an economic downturn or rise in interest rates. In its latest Financial Stability Review, the Reserve Bank has today explicitly set out how vulnerable many Australian fami ....

Donald Trump's Policies Harming US Business Events Industry, Providing Opportunity for Australia

In Donald Trump's America not everybody is welcome. Even the prospect of him landing in the White House was enough to make large numbers of prospective US visitors change their plans. "What we saw before the presidential election was a 4 per cent drop of people into the US coming from the UK and Japan, 5 per cent drop from people coming from Italy, 7 per cent from France and 10 per cen ....

Why Our Regulators are Losing Sleep Over Housing

There's nothing like the threat of impending disaster to focus the mind. Suddenly, everyone is in furious agreement about the state of the Australian housing market or, more particularly, the Sydney and Melbourne markets. It's a bubble. The problem, as is usually the case with bubbles, is that no-one really wants it to deflate, let alone allow it to burst. The consequences are unthinka ....

Cyclone Debbie: What will Happen to Grocery Prices?

Cyclone Debbie has left a trail of destruction. And it's not looking good for farmers and consumers. While farmers count the cost, here's a look at what it could mean for Australian shoppers. Prices could go up Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said while it was early days, he expected the impact would be felt by Australian consumers. "I ....

Casual Workers Paying for 'junk' Superannuation life Insurance they don't Know they Have

There is a great insurance rip-off in Australians' superannuation funds that most people do not even know is happening, and it discriminates against casual workers Around a quarter of the Australian workforce is casual, and 40 per cent of those casuals are under the age of 25. Most casual workers are found in reasonably low-skilled occupations. According to research by Federal Parliame ....

Trade Surplus Slumps to $1.3b in Shock Result

Australia's trade surplus has dramatically shrunk by almost two-thirds, just a day after surging exports helped keep the nation out of recession. Bureau of Statistics figures show Australia exported around $1.3 billion worth of goods and services more than it imported in January. Ordinarily, that would be an excellent performance, with Australia having generally been in the business of ....

House Prices: Ideas and Solutions Range from Dangerous to Disastrous

Addicts sometimes come up with all kinds of weird excuses and solutions for their life problems without acknowledging the core issue of their addiction. Australia's national addiction is real estate and it's no surprise that policy-makers and politicians are coming up with whacky excuses and solutions around housing affordability that range from the dangerous to disastrous. First to so ....

Donald Trump's First Press Conference Sends Aussie Dollar Soaring

Last night Donald Trump put a rocket under the Australian dollar as he delivered his first press conference as President-elect of the United States. The dollar rose a full US cent against the greenback as traders pared back their hopes the incoming President would make good on his plans to turbo-charge the nation's economic growth. Westpac Bank's senior currency strategist Sean Callow ....

Interest Rates May Fall Below US Rates in 2017 — will the AUD Slump?

NAB analysts say 2017 may be the year the Reserve Bank cash rate falls below US interest rates, and the last time this occurred the Australian dollar slumped as low as 48 US cents. There has only been one period in the last 25 years when the RBA has been lower than the US Fed — during the period 1997-2001 when the Australian dollar was buying between 48 and 74 US cents. But, NAB said ....

Woolworths Sells Fuel Business to BP for Nearly $1.8b

Woolworths will sell its fuel business to BP for nearly $1.8 billion, months after the company said it had received indicative proposals from several parties. The deal includes its 527 fuel convenience sites and 16 development sites. Woolworths had been mulling over a potential sale of its fuel business for some time as the company has been under pressure to preserve capital after its failed ....

Why Australia's AAA Credit Rating is Doomed

The white flag has gone up at Parliament House.When Treasurer Scott Morrison unveils his second Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook this morning, replete with the now traditional Yuletide blow-out in deficit projections, it will be in the knowledge that the "coveted" AAA credit rating is doomed.While the credit rating agencies could wait until the budget next May before issuing a downgr ....

Australian credit rating: 'Reasonably high' chance AAA will be lost pre-Christmas

Australia has almost a one-in-two chance of being downgraded next week, following the Federal Government's mid-year economic update, which could see borrowing costs rise.Angus Coote, the co-founder of Jamieson Coote Bonds, said with a slowing economy and widening budget deficit he sees a "reasonably high" 30 to 40 per cent chance of Australia being downgraded by at least one of the wor ....

Multinationals Launch 50 Lawsuits Worth $31b Against Asian Nations

A new report has found that corporations have launched 50 lawsuits, worth at least $US31 billion, using secret international arbitration tribunals against 11 countries in the Asian region. The countries affected are currently negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. RCEP is being negotiated between 16 countries in the Asian region, including China, Au ....

The Recession we Won't Have to Have

Had the great Greek philosopher Aristotle been an economic pundit in 2016 he may well have said something pithy like, "One swallow does not a summer make; similarly, one quarter of negative GDP does not make an economy recessionary". Certainly the September quarter's -0.5 per cent reverse makes for glum reading, but it is hardly a harbinger of recession and an economic winter setting in. L ....

Australian Economy Shrinks 0.5pc in September Quarter, Worst Fall Since Global Financial cCisis

Australia's economy shrank 0.5 per cent in the September quarter, well below already pessimistic analyst forecasts and its steepest decline since the global financial crisis of late-2008. The annual rate of growth came in at an anaemic 1.8 per cent, according to the Bureau of Statistics data, also below expectations. Economists were generally expecting a slight fall in gross domestic pro ....

Bellamy's Shares Tumble 40 Per Cent as Chinese Rules Sour Business

Investors in the boom baby formula business Bellamy's Australia have had a massive dummy spit, sending shares plunging on news new Chinese regulations were crimping sales and depressing prices. Shares initially tumbled by more than 40 per cent on Bellamy's trading update which noted it was experiencing a "temporary volume dislocation until regulatory registrations are completed in China ....

Bob Dylan asked these Questions Decades ago, and 'Populism' is not the Answer

"Because you know something is happening. But you don't know what it is. Do you, Mr Jones?" Little wonder Bob Dylan cannot be bothered turning up to collect his Nobel Prize. Four decades after he wrote Ballad of a Thin Man, an excoriating account of a society that could not grasp the changes afoot or the seething discontent driving them, the troubadour must marvel that so little has chan ....