For most people uncertainty is an uncomfortable feeling. Yet we are forced to live with it every day. The farmer wonders if rain will arrive in time to save his crop. Many a cancer sufferer lives with the uncertainty of cure or recurrence. The self-funded retiree endu... Read More
Barack Obama began his acceptance speech “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.” &... Read More
If a politician or bureaucrat wants to gain some publicity for a rumour, some gossip, or a little dirt on an opponent, or wants to make a damaging leak or insert an uncomfortable wedge, to whom would he or she go? High on the list would be Glenn Milne, the mischievous maestro of scuttlebutt ... Read More
Now that the long-awaited Treasury modelling for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme has arrived, it is a salutary exercise to check how well the predicted reactions of the players match their actual response.
Predictably the Government has used the modelling to reinforce its determination... Read More
Ever since the Rudd Government announced its guarantee for deposits in banks, credit unions and building societies there has been a running commentary from the Opposition and the media about that move. After a brief flirtation with bipartisanship, following Tony Abbott’s dictum that op... Read More
When Kevin Rudd likened the effect of the global financial crisis on Australians to a rolling national security crisis, he was ridiculed by Malcolm Turnbull and the media, and cartoons of Rudd in fire-fighting gear soon appeared. But Rudd was right. The calamity facing us already has h... Read More
That so many investors seem to be making unreasoned decisions and dumping stock as share prices fall is understandable if they are, as has been described, in a state of blind panic, occasioned by unremitting fear. But that state of unreason should not infect journalists, who ought to be able... Read More
To understand what parliamentarians are talking about in Question Time on the current financial upheaval, what the finance experts are saying in the business media, or even what the news bulletins mean, a working knowledge of financial terms is handy. So this a compilation of terms that un... Read More
UPDATED 23 October
So the latest saga has come and almost gone. The Coalition, which began with a much-vaunted promise of bipartisanship, has now reverted to form. It has accused the Government of bungling the most important financial move it has made, the Bank Deposit Guarantee;... Read More
Ever since he became Leader of the Opposition, the relationship between the media and Kevin Rudd has been patchy. While he, with Joe Hockey, once enjoyed a convivial regular association with Channel Seven, a connection that still exists, and while his appearances on Channel Ten’s Rove ... Read More
Nobody really knows how we got into the financial mess we’re in, or how to get out of it. Nobody knows what the stock market will do this week, next week, next month. No less a figure than Warren Buffett said in an Op Ed piece in the New York Times last week “I can&rsq... Read More
‘Melancholy’ is an old fashioned word derived from medieval medicine; it literally means ‘black bile’, an excess of which was believed to cause depression. ‘Depressed’, which now carries a specific taxonomic meaning, seems to be an inappropriate word to ch... Read More
It was just last Tuesday, 14 October, when Malcolm Turnbull announced the Coalition’s willing bipartisan support for the Government’s $10.4 billion package to stimulate Australia’s slowing economy. In a doorstop, he and his deputy added that the Coalition would not quibble ... Read More
After months of hearing and reading the “all talk no action” mantra, it would be too much to now expect the reverse after the announcement yesterday of the $10 billion ‘boost to the economy’. Some journalists got close. In today’s issue of The Australian P... Read More
In several pieces on The Political Sword it has been argued that Malcolm Turnbull is at his best when he’s advocating ideas and actions in which he believes, but when he’s required to promote that in which he does not have his heart, he flounders and is unconvincing. Over the las... Read More
This piece is prompted by two recent episodes where the PM was interviewed in a manner that could only be described as aggressive, if not downright rude.
We know that politicians enjoy lowly status in the respectability stakes. Broken promises, speaking with a forked tongue and partisa... Read More
Watching Andrew Bolt on ABC TV’s Insiders yesterday, I wondered when last he was subjected to the same critical judgment to which he so eagerly subjects others. This prompted the idea for a series on The Political Sword on how we perceive our political journalists, with Bolt as first under t... Read More
Spin doctors love slogans. Their focus groups test them for efficacy. They launch them, repeat them incessantly until their use-by date, then go onto the next. They know the corrosive effect the negative ones can have on those to whom they’re applied. The media too lo... Read More
Isn’t it curious that the conservative side of politics, the free-marketeers, are now at loggerheads with the banks. All the more so with a leader who is an ex-merchant banker.
It was the previous Treasurer who defended so fiercely the independence of the Reserve Bank, and indeed... Read More
It’s almost a year since John Howard parted the scene, but his mantra “Interest rates will always be lower under the Coalition” still rings in our ears. It was powerful, memorable and effective, except at the last election, when so many of the people stopped believing it, o... Read More