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Peter Martin

Peter Martin is the Economics Editor for The Age.

Cloudy horizon but economic forecast still strong


Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT NO ONE is talking recession but financial market economists are seriously considering the next worst thing - an end to Australia's extraordinary run of economic growth.

Australia could be rent asunder by mining boom

Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT THE Treasury boss, Ken Henry, has painted the bleakest of futures for firms hurt by the sky-high dollar.

Big four banks warned of fabulous five


Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT THE Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has raised expectations of an assault on the power of the big four banks in next month's banking statement, saying he is ''determined to see a new pillar in the system'' to...

Reserve gives bank boss no margin for argument

Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT RALPH NORRIS should be careful what he wishes for. In the heat of argument about bank margins this week the Commonwealth Bank chief said he would ''tend to take the view of the Reserve Bank over the...

Rising interest rates the price of world-beating employment record

Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT AUSTRALIA'S unemployment rate, already among the world's lowest, is set to remain low well into the 2020s.

Pressure starts to build in the pay cooker

Queensland's state politicians will pocket an extra 2.5 percent in wages.

Peter Martin After remaining at or below 1 per cent per quarter since the onset of the financial crisis, Australia's long-awaited wages blowout may be on the way.

Big four return fire at analysis of cash rate data

Peter Martin and Clancy Yeates THE big banks have struck back at claims they have been fattening their margins, rejecting an analysis of official data that shows their costs climbing more slowly than the Reserve Bank cash rate,...

Banks caught out over costs


Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT THE big four banks have fattened their margins while complaining about being squeezed, new figures reveal.

Jobless fall further behind pensioners

Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT SO FAST is the unemployment benefit shrinking relative to other benefits that by the middle of the century a single unemployed person will receive just one third of the age and the disability...

GST and mining tax too low, says OECD report


Peter Martin Australia's mining tax is too low, its GST should be increased and extended to food, and its approach to building the National Broadband Network conflicts with ''multiple'' international studies.

Interest rate rules may be invalid

Interest rates are on the way back up

Peter Martin A CLAUSE of mortgage contracts may be unenforceable. A Sydney lawyer considering a class action has obtained a senior counsel's opinion that suggests the interest clause in the typical Australian...

OECD takes aim at Labor policies


Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT AUSTRALIA'S proposed mining tax is too low, the goods and services tax should be higher and extended to food, and the approach to the national broadband network conflicts with international studies.

Employment figures send mixed signals

Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT NSW has replaced Victoria as the nation's leading generator of jobs, producing an extraordinary 56,000 new jobs in the past three months - more than half the national total of 110,000, itself one of...

Tax Office will write to its new best friends

Peter Martin IF YOU take cash, expect a letter. In the next year the Tax Office plans to send out 100,000 letters - 270 a day - to small businesses whose cash takings it has previously been unable to get a handle...

Budget in 'good nick' but Treasury concerned

Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT AUSTRALIA'S unemployment rate is set to plunge to 4.5 per cent as the mining boom gears up another notch, with Treasury forecasting $55 billion of mining investment this year and a 13 per cent surge...

Banks on top of the world in charging what they like

Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT AUSTRALIAN variable rate mortgages are unusual and unconscionable and should be banned to even the balance of power between banks and their customers, says a leading finance expert.

Banks await redefinition of fee gouging

Peter Martin Economics Correspondent BANKS will be put under further pressure this week when the government releases the formal definition of the term ''gouging'' that it will use to guide prosecutions.

Cuts loom as dollar causes $10b budget hole

Peter Martin ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT SPENDING cuts of up to $10 billion will form the centrepiece of a mini-budget to be unveiled tomorrow in an attempt to regain control of government finances hit by the rising dollar.

New bank guidelines to define term 'gouging'

Peter Martin Big banks will be put under further pressure this week when the government releases the formal definition of the term ''gouging'' that it will use to guide prosecutions.

Rate rise will save you in the end


Eric Johnston and Peter Martin THE Commonwealth Bank chief, Ralph Norris, has warned that Australia is developing an international reputation as a tough place to do business as a result of government assaults on banks and the...