The Economy


No evidence of suspicious behaviour before RBA rate announcements, $A moves: RBA

Gareth Hutchens 5:34 PM   Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens says authorities have found no evidence of suspicious behaviour that could have contributed to sharp movements in Australia's dollar just seconds before the RBA's interest rate decisions in February and March.

The RBA must cut the cash rate, insists BT

The RBA has expressed concern that Sydney house prices "look rather exuberant".

Stephen Cauchi 3:26 PM   The central bank is too focused on Sydney's exuberant housing market and not on the need of the wider Australian economy for the official cash rate to be slashed, says BT.

Extraordinary world conditions could spark 'abrupt' sell-off

In an address to the American Australian Association, Glenn Stevens said sovereign bond holders are not getting much compensation for risk.

Vesna Poljak 2:48 PM   RBA governor Glenn Stevens says financial markets are at risk of a major shock linked to a capital flight from emerging markets that could take off just as assumptions about global liquidity are tested.


Rich investors get lion's share of tax breaks

Loophole: The richest 20 per cent of households get $8.3 billion in franking credits while the poorest 20 per cent of households receive just $164 million.

Tom Allard 1:17 PM   Australia's $29 billion system of franking credits for investors is skewed heavily to the rich and is ripping a hole in the Budget, a new analysis has found.

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Sydney house prices continued to weigh on RBA rates decision

Rapid house price rises in Sydney weren't necessarily seen in other part of the country, the RBA said.

Mark Mulligan 12:52 PM   Sydney's overheated property market continued to weigh on the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to hold interest rates steady at the April policy meeting.

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RBA governor says Sydney house prices are 'exuberant' but more rate cuts may come

 Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens said governments around the world were putting 'too much weight' on monetary policy.

Gareth Hutchens 12:21 PM   Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens says it is hard to escape the conclusion that Sydney house prices "look rather exuberant" at the moment with "very easy" credit conditions, after prices have jumped by a third since 2012.

Surprise burst in growth seen - but unlikely to last

The surprise boost in the economy is unlikely to last.

Jens Meyer 11:06 AM   The economy appears to have shot out of the blocks at the start of the year, Capital Economics says, but adds the burst won't last.

Central banks blamed for riskier investment

Monetary easing around the world has been slow to feed through to real economies, says US-based Janus Capital.

Mark Mulligan 5:30 AM   Monetary easing around the world has forced marginal investors into riskier assets, US-based Janus Capital says.

Name and shame the 'worst offenders' dodging tax: Greens

Greens leader Christine Milne said Treasurer Joe Hockey's plan to set up a working group with the British government is just talk.

Nassim Khadem 12:00 AM   Companies would be forced to reveal any arrangements used to avoid tax, and those not paying their fair share would be named and shamed on a "worst offenders" list, under a plan by the Greens

'Google tax' just a slogan, experts say

Wishful thinking?: Treasurer Joe Hockey is determined to get more tax out of multinationals engaged in profit-sharing.

Nassim Khadem   Treasurer Joe Hockey's plan to get more tax out of multinationals based on lessons from the UK's "Google tax" is just a political slogan tax experts say.

ACT economy shrouded by uncertainty

Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the Prime Minister's assurances at the COAG meeting underpin an optimistic outlook for Canberra.

Ross Peake   The ACT's economy is shrouded by uncertainty, with with some people deciding to "hit the Hume" to leave Canberra and the retail sector flagging, according to an economic report released on Monday.

The one question you shouldn't ask in a job interview

Of all the questions future employees hate, this one is perhaps the most dreaded.

Entire corners of the internet are devoted to helping people tiptoe through this minefield of a topic.

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Housing roulette: are you feeling lucky?

Michael Pascoe dinkus Dinkus

Michael Pascoe   How you perceive the state of the Sydney rental market depends on who you are. Sydney tenants might think rents are steady or rising, but they're falling for Sydney landlords.

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NZ inflation slows, prompting rates debate

Some traders bet Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Graeme Wheeler will cut borrowing costs before the end of the year.

Gyles Beckford   New Zealand's annual inflation rate hit its lowest level in 15 years in the first quarter as cheap oil prices fed through to petrol pumps, leaving analysts at odds over whether the central bank will keep rates on hold into next year.

$1m not enough to retire in comfort

$1 million doesn't buy much of a lifetime income according to Challenger's Jeremy Cooper.

Ruth Liew   Australians who believe that $1 million is enough for a comfortable retirement are in for a rude shock.

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Time to merge Australia and New Zealand

Harold Mitchell

Harold Mitchell   I've always argued that the best leaders are those who plan a long way ahead.

Why Australia's still the world's most expensive place to live

The most expensive country in the world: Australia.

Patrick Begley, Luke Malpass   Australia - the football champion of Asia, recent victor of the Cricket World Cup - has just taken out a less-coveted gong: most expensive country. Again.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott rules out changes to negative gearing

"The thing that worries me about so many of the contributions to our national conversation is that in the end they're all about increasing taxes": Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Nassim Khadem   Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ruled out changes to negative gearing, saying the government does not want to kick off the tax reform debate with increasing taxes.

Public concern over Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal mounts

Trade Minister Andrew Robb is negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Esther Han   Aid group Médecins Sans Frontières says a soon-to-be-sealed trade deal will not only push up local medicine costs, but place life-saving ones out of reach for millions of patients in developing countries.

Is the ABS unemployment data finally believable?

Economists still expect the unemployment rate will rise again.

Gareth Hutchens   Economists have been surprised by today's decline in the unemployment rate to 6.1 per cent, but their surprise hasn't been accompanied by the usual head-scratching.

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Richest people, companies targeted by ATO

To help the rich understand their tax obligations, the ATO has released an online publication detailing behaviours that attracts its attention.

Nassim Khadem   One in three wealthy people who may be dodging tax will get a call or personal visit by the Australian Taxation Office as it moves to ensure the richest Australians and private companies pay their fair share of tax.

Stop obsessing about iron ore: ANZ's Smith

Michael "Mike" Smith, chief executive officer of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ), pauses as he speaks during the Commonwealth Games Business Conference in Glasgow, U.K., on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. With less than two months to go before the Sept. 18 referendum on independence, the pound remains a key area of contention along with Scotland's membership of the European Union, pensions and social security spending. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Michael Smith

Clancy Yeates   ANZ chief executive Mike Smith says the price of iron ore should not be equated with the broader economy's health.

Jobless rate falls in March, taking pressure off Reserve Bank to cut rates

The drop in the unemployment rate will take pressure off Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens.

Gareth Hutchens   Australia's unemployment rate has fallen to 6.1 per cent in March, taking pressure off the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates next month.

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Stop rich from using negative gearing to offset wages, save $1b: ACOSS


Nassim Khadem   Australians would no longer be able to claim losses on their investment properties against their wages, saving over $1 billion a year, under an ACOSS plan.

Uber's arrival may be grounds for compensating taxi industry: Harper

Uber vs taxis: the fight steps up in Victoria.

Nassim Khadem   The man who headed the Abbott government’s review of competition laws says there may be a case for compensating taxi drivers and pharmacy owners if laws are changed to allow new entrants.

We’re spending bigger on the biggest things to spend on

Auction clearance rates are at record levels.

Michael Pascoe   You know the story – woe is Australia, unemployment is rising, business and consumer confidence are both down, we’re all going to hell. Strange thing though is that we’re spending with our ears pinned back on the most expensive things we ever buy.

Consumer confidence slips ahead of budget

Wednesday's survey of 1,200 people by the Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank showed its index of consumer sentiment slipped a seasonally adjusted 3.2 per cent in April.

Larissa Nicholson   A measure of Australian consumer sentiment fell in April as people fretted about the economic outlook even as they felt better about splashing out on big-ticket household items.

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IMF warns RBA may have to keep cutting rates

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens.

Gareth Hutchens   The Reserve Bank has been warned it may have to keep cutting already historically low interest rates to prevent Australians from becoming fearful of falling wages and weaker employment prospects.

Rising food prices to stall: report

Despite sustained cuts to items such as milk, prices for food and liquor across the board have been rising for more than a year.

Marc Moncrief   Prices at Coles may be billed as 'down, down', and at Woolies as 'cheap, cheap', but a new report suggests they have further yet to fall.

Government should lean on private sector for social services: US scholar

House being built - construction

Timna Jacks   The Australian government should outsource social services to the private sector by providing tax breaks to companies involved in projects that help the vulnerable, author and senior fellow at Harvard University, Mark Kramer, has said. 

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