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Reserve Bank worried about collapse in apartment prices

14 March 2017 | The Age

The Reserve Bank is considering tighter bank lending standards amid concern about how the financial system would handle a collapse in housing prices, beginning with Brisbane apartments.

The Bank's assistant governor (financial system) Michele Bullock told a business event in Sydney that the Reserve Bank was particularly uneasy about the "looming oversupply of apartments in Brisbane in particular, and possibly in some parts of Melbourne".


South Australia announces $550m energy plan

14 March 2017 | AFR

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill's $550 million energy plan has enraged the federal government which has labelled it confusing and "nonsense" as it seeks legal advice about whether it breaches the rules of the national electricity market.



A Girl Stands Firm on Wall Street

08 March 2017 | The New York Times

There’s currently a bronze statue of a little girl standing in front of the charging bull on Wall Street.

It really does have a great look — all the laws of mass and motion aside, you feel pretty confident the bull is going to wind up backing down. And it reminds you that while marching is important, sometimes you can make a difference by standing still.


Energy crisis: Wholesale power prices have doubled since the carbon tax was axed

08 March 2017 | The Age

A growing crisis in the electricity market has led to wholesale power prices more than doubling in a year - and rising to at least twice what they were under the much-maligned carbon price.

An analysis by the University of Melbourne's Climate and Energy College, produced for the Greens, found the average wholesale electricity price soared to $134 a megawatt hour in the summer just finished, compared with $65-$67 in the two summers the carbon price was in place.


WikiLeaks documents describe CIA spying through Samsung phones and TV sets

07 March 2017 | AFR

WikiLeaks has released thousands of documents that it said described sophisticated software tools used by the CIA to break into smartphones, computers and even Internet-connected televisions.

If the documents are authentic, as appeared likely at first review, the release would be the latest coup for the anti-secrecy organisation and a serious blow to the CIA, which maintains its own hacking capabilities to be used for espionage.





When will China's speculative iron ore bubble pop?

06 March 2017 | AFR

If you believe the conventional wisdom, investors in Australian resource giants such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto should be able to rest easy this year, confident in the knowledge that Beijing will do whatever it takes to maintain robust Chinese economic growth in this highly sensitive political year.



Federal budget to include housing package: Treasurer Scott Morrison

05 March 2017 | Business Day

"We're working on a package for the budget. It will deal with the challenges in housing affordability from those who are reliant on social housing in our community, all the way through to those who are trying to break in to the first home ownership market," he told Sky News on Sunday.

"We've got to remember that over 30 per cent of Australians actually live in homes that are rented.


Vacant property tax expected to raise $80m in push to increase housing affordability

05 March 2017 | The Age

Owners who leave properties vacant will be slugged with a new tax under a Victorian government push to free up more housing for sale and reduce rents.

The new vacant residential property tax is expected to raise about $80 million over four years, coming into force on January 1.


Australian banks: Time is right for a royal commission

05 March 2017 | The Age

There is a wealth of wisdom in the notion the first thing to do when seeking to exit a hellish hole is stop digging.

However, the custodians of much of the nation's wealth seem intent on unwisely digging themselves ever deeper into a pit of public and parliamentary opprobrium, to the ironic extent that they risk helping bring on the very royal commission they've been seeking to avoid.


Trump’s Legislative Agenda Faces Headwind

02 March 2017 | WSJ

WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump, whose modulated tone in addressing Congress Tuesday drew praise mostly from the GOP, now faces the daunting task of lining up votes for a tax overhaul, a replacement for the Affordable Care Act and other agenda items that have splintered his fellow Republicans.


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