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Bugger innovation, buy a house instead!

By Leith van Onselen It’s an upside down economy that we live in, that’s for sure. Yesterday evening, The AFR reported that tax breaks for companies conducting research and development (R&D) had risen by more than anticipated, and the Government is now being urged to reign them in: The R&D tax incentive scheme was worth


Work for the dole a dud

By Leith van Onselen A new 90-page review into the Government’s $1 billion work-for-the-dole program has found that it has had barely improved the probability of the unemployed finding work. From The Canberra Times: “It is estimated that in the short-term [work for the dole] resulted in an additional 2 percentage point increase in the


Links 12 February 2016

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: This is a global stock market rout worth celebrating – The Telegraph Negative Interest Rate Policies May Be Part of the Problem – PIMCO The world can’t afford another financial crash – it could destroy capitalism as we know it – The Telegraph Some Hedge Funds Want to Make


APRA ignores offshore funding elephant

By Leith van Onselen APRA chair, Wayne Byres, appeared before Senate Estimates today and gave the Australian financial system a clean bill of health, stating it remains “fundamentally sound”. From Business Spectator: Appearing before a senate committee this morning, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) chair Wayne Byres said nothing that had occurred in the last


US oil producer dumps stock

From Reuters: U.S. refiner Phillips 66 dumped crude for immediate delivery in Cushing, Oklahoma on Wednesday, sparking speculation that the move reflected advance warning of looming output cuts amid sluggish winter demand and record inventories. The unusual sales of excess oil added pressure to the March/April WTI futures spread, with the front-month discount widening to


Modernising Medicare good in theory

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The Australian government is investigating the possibility of privatising the payment services associated with Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, aged care services and veteran affairs. Health Minister Susan Ley says payment systems associated with these services have not kept up with the times and are not delivering the types of user-friendly,


Suncorp’s dividend omen

Suncorp released its results this morning which included a 21% cut to the dividend: Suncorp Group Limited (Suncorp) today reported net profit after tax (NPAT) of $530 million (HY15: $631 million) for the six months to 31 December 2015. Profit after tax from business lines was $544 million (HY15: $681 million). Chairman Ziggy Switkowski said Suncorp