Call on CommBank Royal Commission disappointing and shallow – “The decision by the federal government to reject a bipartisan call for a royal commission into the Commonwealth Bank was always on the cards, but its reasoning was both disappointing and shallow. Its response to a landmark Senate inquiry into the performance of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, outlined in a press release on Friday, essentially says CBA’s revised compensation scheme, a so-called “open advice review”, is enough. This glib response fails to take into account the Senate’s original call for a royal commission; that it was “unable to get answers from the regulator or the bank”. “We tried and failed and decided it is important that this is cleared up,” it said. What it did was take a dissenting report by one of its own, Liberal senator David Bushy, and embrace it.”
National armies for global health? – From an editorial in The Lancet: “… the security of one nation’s citizens is inextricably linked to others through both global health and climate change. Therefore, the military seem set to play a greater part in global civilian health in the future. The question is what should this role look like in the 21st century?”
Treasury’s War on the Islamic State – “The green-eyeshades crew is taking the lead in trying to choke off the illicit millions that fund the terrorist group. But the Islamic State’s own overreach may cost it more than sanctions.”
The Zombie System: How Capitalism Has Gone Off the Rails – “Six years after the Lehman disaster, the industrialized world is suffering from Japan Syndrome. Growth is minimal, another crash may be brewing and the gulf between rich and poor continues to widen. Can the global economy reinvent itself?”
According to German officials, Merkel felt betrayed by Draghi’s speech at a central banking conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in August in which he pressed Berlin for looser fiscal policy to stimulate the economy. Her entourage is also deeply skeptical about Draghi’s plan to buy up asset-backed securities (ABS) and covered bonds in the hope of encouraging commercial banks to lend. Most of all, politicians in Berlin worry that if this scheme doesn’t work, the ECB president will be tempted to launch full-blown government bond buying, or quantitative easing. This is a taboo in Germany and a step Merkel’s allies fear would play into the hands of the country’s new anti-euro party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD).