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economic issues


This thing called sovereign risk

This thing called sovereign risk

I find the concept of a country going bankrupt difficult to get my head around. The world’s newspapers are full of stories of the risk of Greece, Ireland, and then Portugal, even Spain and Italy, all taking the knock because their governments cannot repay outstanding loans. But the stories generally stop well short of explaining […]

Telstra move shows value of strong divestiture provisions

Telstra move shows value of strong divestiture provisions

The federal government’s decision to push for the structural separation of Telstra has generally be welcomed by those who feel it will enhance competition / reduce monopolisation in the telecommunications sector, whilst receiving a less than positive response from some large Telstra investors who fear it will harm the value of their assets. Debates around […]

Language, literacy and leadership

Language, literacy and leadership

The Age reports that the Business Alliance for Asia Literacy – a coalition of sixty business groups, unions and corporations – is calling for a greater educational focus on Asia, with the leader Australian Industry Group, Heather Ridout, saying “understanding Asia, knowing the languages, cultures and traditions and teaching our children about our near neighbours […]

National Broadband Network

National Broadband Network

The federal government’s announcement that they will fund the building a National Broadband Network at an estimated cost of $43 billion is the sort of story guaranteed to get internet sites and net nerds buzzing with comment. A lot of the comments from bloggers and twitterers that I have seen thus far seem to be […]

Whither Europe?

Whither Europe?

Among all the discussion of the possible flow-on consequences of the global financial crisis, one which may have very significant long ramifications is the impact on the long-term future of Europe as a political and economic entity. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman questions whether European governments were wrong to let themselves become so tightly […]

Senate debate starts on workplace law changes

Senate debate starts on workplace law changes

Given public statements made by both the Coalition and the Greens, it is very hard to see a majority of the Senate insisting on any amendments it makes, should the government reject them in the House of Representatives. This means Labor will make the eventual decision on what type of amendments, if any, they are willing to wear and the Senate debate will serve mainly as a vehicle for the various parties to do some positioning on what is still a politically significant issue.

European instability grows

European instability grows

A little over a week ago I pondered which country would be next to follow Iceland and Latvia on the list of national governments which have fallen as a result of the global economic turmoil. Reports suggest Ukraine is heading into some major instability, with daily queues outside banks and some cities “going days without heat […]

Latvia follows Iceland. Who's next?

Latvia follows Iceland. Who's next?

The Global Financial Crisis* led directly to the collapse of Iceland’s government last month. Now Lativa is following suit, with their Prime Minister handing in his resignation. As with Iceland, it looks like this will lead a new Coalition government being negoitated, rather than an immediate election. Just a few years ago, Latvia’s economic growth […]

Increasing Indigenous employment during an economic downturn

Increasing Indigenous employment during an economic downturn

Given the enormous under-representation of Indigenous Australians in full-time employment, it is hard not to be sympathetic or supportive of any efforts aimed at increasing employment opportunities, even if one has doubts about the prospects of success. So the announcement last year by mining magnate “Twiggy” Forrest that he was working with the federal government […]

Big drop in skilled migrant applications, as higher costs for employers and migrants proposed

Big drop in skilled migrant applications, as higher costs for employers and migrants proposed

Last week, the federal Immigration Minster released a draft of new regulations affecting temporary skilled workers in Australia – often known as 457 visa holders. These changes flow on from a review conducted last year by Barabara Deegan, who has a background in industrial relations.  Her final report is available at this link. This visa class has […]