Michael West

Michael West

Michael West comments on companies, markets and the economy. He is a former SMH business editor.

Solution to housing affordability staring politicians in the face

Michael West That an entire generation of young Australians has been shut out of the Melbourne and Sydney property markets is bad enough.

DHR International leaves bill with Australian government

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Michael West Why is the Australian government picking up the tab for a global headhunting firm?

News Corp shows it's all about how you present the numbers

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Michael West News Corp paid an average $32.6 million in income tax a year. If the government were to tighten the screws on multinational tax avoiders, it could start by looking at the way financial statements are...

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Iron ore inquiry loses out to more important matters – like a fence

Michael West After a brutal lobbying campaign by BHP and Rio, Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey knocked the idea for an inquiry into iron ore on the head. No big deal, there are far more important inquiries at hand.

Pfizer is a tax fizzer

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Michael West There were predictions the budget would save as much as $5 billion from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) over five years.

Chevron parents leave ATO an orphan

Chevron is under fire over tax.

Michael West Secretive oil major Chevron Corp has taken the art of tax avoidance to its ultimate form, thanks to a scheme so aggressive that it goes beyond merely reducing exposure to income tax.

Big pharma shuffles the tax pill

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Michael West Viagra maker Pfizer's tax structures are a "vulgar artifice", says a tax expert.

Federal Budget 2015: Time for multinationals to pay the piper

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Michael West Taxpayers can only pray Joe Hockey's latest promise to crack the whip is more than another rhetorical crackdown.

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Money laundering burden yet to hit property market

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Michael West The real estate industry has escaped compliance of the Anti-Money Laundering Act so far – but experts predict not for long.

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Chevron: A hornswoggler of the highest order

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Michael West Chevron is a past master in bamboozling its adversaries – the ATO for instance

Red ink flows from Serco's detention centres

Serco has posted a $395 million loss on $1.1 billion in revenue for the year to December 2014.

Michael West Despite its $3 billion government contract to run Christmas Island and another seven onshore detention centres, Serco Group in Australia is technically insolvent..

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Adani gilded lily is far from rolled gold

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Michael West If e'er a lily were so grandiloquently gilded, if e'er there were a mining project so deliriously conceived, it was bared for all to see in a Queensland court this week in the cross-examination of...

Adani Mining feels heat over $14b Galilee Basin coal mine gap

Indian company Adani wants to build one of the country's biggest coal mines in the Galilee Basin.

Michael West Can you trust a company to run a clean and profitable coal mine when its financial controller has a case of the vagues?

William Hill having a bob each way

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Michael West If you were running a book for the Golden Hypocrites Bookies Stakes you would have to price William Hill at onerously short odds.

Far from free, gas is becoming the 'risible' market - all the way to the bank

Michael West The business lobby is playing straight into the hands of the gas producers with its calls for a free market.

Senate banks inquiry may not fix advice malaise

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Michael West All of the country's big four banks have now been dragged into financial planning scandals after several customers took legal action against Westpac for misleading and deceptive conduct.

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Banks 'plunder' travellers with forex fees on credit card transactions

A longboat in Thailand.

Michael West The moral of the story for anyone travelling overseas is simple: if you are overseas and you are offered the opportunity to pay in Australian dollars or the foreign currency, select the foreign...

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From a famine to a feast – for the gas cartel

It is high time competition regulators turned their gaze on the gas cartel.

Michael West It is high time competition regulators turned their gaze on the gas cartel.

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Corporate tax: ex-ATO official criticises rushed settlements, 'climate of fear'

The ex-official said the ATO is giving up revenue in the rush to settle claims.

Nassim Khadem and Michael West A former Tax Office employee has told of a case against a big four bank in which a tax bill of $100 million was reduced to $30 million on settlement.

Big Four firms consistently 'unaware' before tax inquiry

Senator Christine Milne at the corporate tax avoidance inquiry.

Michael West Representatives from "Big Four" accounting firm Deloitte were up before the Senate tax inquiry on Friday morning.

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