Links October 9

What Reynard was reading overnight…

Global Macro

  • Richard Branson’s plan B to save capitalism. The Economist
  • There will be gain after the economic pain. Bloomberg
  • But in the meantime, growth is ‘on the ropes’ according to Brookings. Financial Times
  • No wonder investors are heading to emerging markets beyond the BRICS. NY Times
  • But in Libya, PM Shagur is dismissed. BBC
  • In Venezuela, President Chavez is re-elected. Guardian
  • And in Argentina, Fernandez-Kirchner uses Falklands to mask domestic failings. Telegraph

North America


  • Can Europe really ‘pivot’ to Asia? Asia Times
  • Strauss-Kohn’s consulting firm a dilemma for businesswomen. BusinessWeek.
  • What America’s 47% was to Romney is Scotland’s 90% to the Tories. Telegraph
  • Is the Swiss military preparing for a real Eurozone crisis? Climateer Investing



  • The Australia China Business Council’s FDI report. ACBC
  • Glenn Stevens admits to insufficient Securency scrutiny. Financial Review
  • Productivity Commission to tackle super default fund settings. Adele Ferguson
  • What Gangnam says about Australia’s soft diplomacy. Sydney Morning Herald
  • Flight Centre in court over price-fixing. The Australian
  • Sedgman seeks to wind-up three Nathan Tinkler companies. Financial Review
  • Lay-offs fail to ease squeeze on Toyota’s Australian operations. The Australian
  • Prime Minister joins Alan Jones in the ranks of the cyber-bullied. The Age



  1. Lower starter wages in New Zealand.“… a starting out wage that will be set at 80 per cent of the $13.50 an hour adult minimum wage….Under that regime the $10.40 an hour rate can be paid for three months or 200 hours, whichever comes first.” As the bottom tier starts to under-cut the existing base-wage, that should ease all the wage tiers above.

  2. Interesting podcast

    Robert Skidelsky, noted biographer of John Maynard Keynes and author (with his son Edward) of the recently published How Much is Enough, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about materialism, growth, insatiability, and the good life. Skidelsky argues that we work too hard and too long. He argues that the good life has more leisure than we currently consume and that public policy should be structured to discourage work in wealthy countries where work can still be uninspiring. Skidelsky criticizes the discipline of economics and economists for contributing to an obsession with growth to the detriment of what he says are more meaningful and life-enhancing policy goals.

    • I listened to this on my ride last weekend. It was quite interesting and some good points were made.

      Fortunately I have a job I enjoy, and spend a non-trivial amount of it doing things I would also probably pursue in my leisure time as well (ie: there is a large overlap between my work and one of my hobbies).

      On problem with trying to pursue more leisure time can simply be one’s employer – I’d (probably) be prepared to take a proportional decrease in income for an additional month of holidays in a year (eg: in the form of a 9-day fortnight), but negotiating that with an employer can be quite difficult even in a job like mine which has a relatively low need to be in the office every day.

      • I have a suggestion.
        Instead of just having bigger Govt and more expensive lawyers supposedly adding to GDP, how about (some bloody how!)we make Aus a good place to do some manufacturing or downstream minerals processing? If you have production you tend to get a decentralised economy. If you just have consumption you tend to get a cetralised economy.

        So if we became production oriented we’d have less or no need for any new complex infrastructure into central cities.
        We’d also stop going into more and more debt…be it Govt private or foreign.

        • Downstream minerals processing is a good move, IMHO (im biased, though….chemical/minerals processing engineer here!)

          But seriously, great idea; tack it onto a number of existing CHPPs/concentrators, where utilities and transport are practical…

          Mind you, cheap labour and lax evironmental standards in Asian countries make competition very tough, so we would really need to be top notch, targeted and specialised in what was produced.

          eg. rare earths

          My 2c!

        • Steel making is one of the “downstream minerals processing” or value-added manufacturing, if you like.

          I got berated by 3d1k for even suggesting this – he mumbled something about “globalisation” “comparative advantage” and Aussie manufacturing being on a long-term “structural” decline and how we should shut up and keep digging dirt.

          • Not berated Mav, reminded. We are never going to match steel production costs with the likes of China. Globalisation.

            There may be some other form of production although Flawse has written here before of the hurdles facing establishing Australian manufacturing /production base.

          • Well, Bluescope and OneSteel were doing alright with all the hurdles, until they were hit with the high AUD (brought in part by the mining boom, thank you very much).

  3. Comments closed. Mav/3d1k etc et al I dont think we need to see what our “leaders” had to say this arvo in Question Time.

    I’d rather watch Playschool.

    So leave it at that ok?