The Reserve Bank has recently given the very broadest of hints that increasing official interest rates is on its agenda but those that bet on such things do not yet think it will be done at the Board's October meeting where the Crikey Interest Rate Indicator still has no change as the most likely outcome.
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
The day of increased interest rates must have moved considerably closer this morning when the economic pundits were again surprised by the strength of the Australian economy. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that retail sales in August, seasonally adjusted, grew by 0.9% following declines of 0.9% in July and 0.8% in June 2009. The median of the economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted a much smaller sales increase of 0.5%
Posted by Richard Farmer at 21:25
Barack Obama delivers himself again to the fate of the ballot box on Friday when he fronts the International Olympic Committee meeting in Copenhagen to support his home town's bid to conduct the 2016 Olympic Games. The Crikey Olympics Indicator thinks he can win again with Chicago the firm favourite.
Posted by Richard Farmer at 21:12
Monday, 28 September 2009
St Kilda players are not punters. We know that from the atrocious way they behaved after the final siren. Just imagine the anguish of a Sainter in those final seconds. There’s the devastation of defeat but at least the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve got the money from TAB Sportsbet because of the 9 1/2 points start. But no! The backmen in black, red and white have walked away from the goal square like zombies. No one stayed behind to stop that final, after the siren, punt from dribbling through. A Geelong winning margin of 12 points and thousands of Saints fans deprived of the consolation of being able to say we might have been robbed of the game but at least we won the money.
Posted by Richard Farmer at 21:40
This morning’s Newspoll will encourage Barnaby Joyce to keep on with is campaign of separating the National Party was far as possible from the Liberal Party. The analysis showing that, on the Newspoll figures over the past three months, the Coalition vote is holding up in rural areas while declining in the cities is clearly what the good Senator thought was happening. If his lot is not to go down the gurgler with the Libs then showing you are not the same is the best way of doing it.
Posted by Richard Farmer at 21:39
Malcolm Turnbull was quick to dismiss, during one of those interminable Sunday morning television interviews, the views of Treasury secretary Ken Henry that Australia’s economic stimulus package should not yet be wound back. The Turnbull view can be summarised as being — the head of Treasury would say that wouldn’t he — he’s a servant of the government. The leader of the Opposition clearly has no notion of the way that an independent and impartial public servant actually does serve the government of the day without becoming a liar on the government’s behalf. When Henry is asked to give a view, and does so, the opinion is most certainly what he believes. The great skill of the man, and many other decent and responsible senior public servants like him, is to find ways of not answering questions when to do so would involve engaging in criticism of his political masters. That is a long way different from being the unprincipled lackey that Turnbull describes. He clearly has spent too much time with the Godwin Grechs of Canberra and not enough with those who actually make the country work.
Posted by Richard Farmer at 21:37
The Adelaide Sunday Mail is another newspaper that reckons surveys make good news. At the weekend it carried a report based on work by that noted sampler of public opinion the Cartoon Network. The seventh annual New Generations survey of 1952 children conducted by the network earlier this year apparently found that — not the global-warming crisis this time but children worrying about their job prospects before they even finish primary school as a result of the global financial crisis. If they would only watch more cartoons and fewer news bulletins …
Posted by Richard Farmer at 21:33
Posted by Richard Farmer at 21:26
Friday, 25 September 2009
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Former President Bill Clinton really might have a high regard for our Prime Minister but somehow the glowing endorsement would have meant more if it had not been for the disclosure earlier this year that the Australian government is a donor to the Clinton Foundation, which put on the conference where the plug was given.
Posted by Richard Farmer at 22:12
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Monday, 21 September 2009
Friday, 18 September 2009
Posted by Richard Farmer at 23:21
German chancellor Angela Merkel took to a train for her campaigning this week but it was a far cry from one of those whistle-stop tours so beloved of 1950s American politicians. Ms Merkel’s was apparently a very leisurely affair with Radio Deutsche Welle describing it as a lethargic trundle. In a nostalgic touch, the glass-topped Rheingold Express was the same train used during Konrad Adenauer’s election as the first chancellor of the Federal Republic exactly 60 years previously. Ms Merkel will not be too concerned as being described as a little boring. The CrikeyElection Indicator has her a 95% chance of being returned as chancellor.
Posted by Richard Farmer at 23:19
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Perhaps today would be a good time to make the switch to concentrating during question time on hospitals as I suggested earlier this week. On most days there is a perfect demonstration of how the public system is not coping adequately and today is no exception. Over in Perth the St John Ambulance has reported that ambulances spent almost 2000 hours ramped outside Perth’s public hospitals over winter because emergency departments were too busy to deal with the extra patients. The West Australian reported that ramping is the term for when ambulances are queued outside emergency departments over and above the usual turnaround time to transfer patients. Instead of going on to the next call-out, ambulance officers are forced to continue caring for patients until they can hand them over to hospital staff.
Posted by Richard Farmer at 23:57