ECONOMICS


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Banksters' deadly game of Sheldon's three-person chess

3 Comments
30 April 2013 | David James

Cartoonish version of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory pointing at a chartIn The Big Bang Theory Sheldon invents a game of chess which 'utilises a three-sided board with transitional quadrilateral-to-triangular tessellation to solve the balanced centre combat-area problem'. This gobbledegook sounds suspiciously similar to the application of mathematical models to financial securities in derivatives markets.


The truth about middle class welfare

5 Comments
08 April 2013 | David James

Yellow placard, 'The Truth About Middle Class Welfare'Commentary on the proposed changes to tax on super has created the impression that the truly needy will miss out on extra cash as politicians pander to middle class voters. This is almost entirely false. In terms of where tax dollars are allocated, Australia has definitely concentrated on lower class welfare.


Big business twists tax truth

2 Comments
26 March 2013 | David James

'Tax' spelled out in Scrabble squaresAustralia's business lobbies are fond of complaining that company tax is too high. Lower it, they argue, and the economy would become more dynamic and everyone would benefit. The reality isn't that simple. The combination of Australia's dividend imputation system and the compulsory super scheme greatly benefit Australia's big companies.


Don't bet on the Australian dollar

4 Comments
07 February 2013 | David James

Australian dollar coins

This week the Australian dollar reached its lowest point in three months. Tangible factors such as interest rates and trade with China influence its strength. But what really determines the direction of our currency is the whim of the currency traders. In that sense, the Aussie is is arguably the most 'unreal', or virtual currency in the world.


Migrants and big bank theory

8 Comments
06 February 2013 | Andrew Hamilton

There is often a natural antipathy between the financial sector and the community sector. If you give the dog a bone, say the money men, he will only rub it in dirt and bury it. If you give the bank a bone, say the community workers, it will charge you interest on the transaction. But sometimes we are nudged to reconsider our reflexive prejudices.


Best of 2012: The upside down world of global capital

1 Comment
08 January 2013 | David James

GFCMoney is not like water, that 'flows' around the world, reaching 'equilibrium', or experiencing 'volatility'. It is transactions between people, based on trust. It enables the cooperation that forms the basis of social life. Human beings should be at the centre. Yet that is the opposite of what is happening. Monday 27 August 


Gloomy forecast for Aboriginal super

6 Comments
11 December 2012 | David James

Dark-skinned hands holding piggy bankSuperannuation is not generally available before the age of 55. For most of the population of Australia this is scarcely a problem, as they are likely to live well into their 80s. But the average life span of Aboriginal Australians is much lower. Many will not live long enough to derive financial advantage from their super.


Debunking the global financial con job

12 Comments
11 November 2012 | David James

Hand hurling diceEven after the most dangerous financial crises ever seen, finance industry lobbyists still argue that the sector should not be too heavily regulated as that would be counterproductive. This is nonsense. Money is rules. It is a question of who sets the rules and what kind of rules they should should be.


Ways out of economic depression

8 Comments
17 October 2012 | Bruce Duncan

End This Depression Now! by Paul Klugman (book cover)Tony Abbott warned that Australia could go the way of Greece with excessive debt. Such claims reflect a climate of exaggerated concern about debt. Instead Australia could be taking advantage of historically low interest rates and embarking on major infrastructure projects, increasing employment and laying the basis for sustained growth in productivity.


Australia's pension fund perversion

7 Comments
02 October 2012 | David James

Golden nest eggThe demise of Gunns, Tasmania's biggest paper and pulp mill, has been greeted as a triumph of environmentalists over business. The saga encompasses much more than that. It poses some deep questions about ownership and accountability in Australia's financial system which are yet to be answered persuasively.


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