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Opinion & Commentary

opinion

Opinion and Commentary contains media articles written by CIS researchers.

  • Australia mustn't jump the gun on macro-prudential policy

    25 Jul 2014 | Business Spectator

    There are good reasons for Australia not to follow other countries in making greater use of macro-prudential policy instruments. Read More

  • Scapegoating investors won’t slow up house prices

    10 Jul 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    Unless global real interest rates rise significantly in the future, the gains in house prices are unlikely to be unwound. Read More

  • Europe holds its breath for ECB action

    11 Apr 2014 | Business Spectator

    There have long been flashing warning signs that monetary policy in the eurozone has been too tight. Read More

  • States heading for a debt problem

    27 Mar 2014 | Open Forum

    If the states want to be able to spend on infrastructure, they have to keep a tight rein on operating expenses for years to come as the debt of state governments has risen dramatically in the last years. Read More

  • States on a slippery debt slope

    20 Mar 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    The weakening of states' balance sheets will limit their future capacity to meet expectations in a range of services, including public infrastructure. Read More

  • We must fortify fiscal rules

    16 Dec 2013 | The Canberra Times

    The Commission of Audit should build on the Charter of Budget Honesty by recommending the adoption of new fiscal rules. Read More

  • $haria Law

    15 Nov 2013 | Quadrant Online

    If sukuk bonds go mainstream, as is poised to happen in Britain with David Cameron's blessing, the way will be open for the wider introduction of Islamic principles. Is the likely erosion of Common Law... Read More

  • Credit controls won’t fix housing

    03 Oct 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The danger is not a house price bubble, but that policy makers will attempt to suppress demand rather than stimulate supply. Read More

  • A dollar of super is not a dollar saved

    25 Sep 2013 | Business Spectator

    Does compulsory superannuation increase saving? The answer is less obvious than many people suppose. Read More

  • Why tax-free imports are a retail red herring

    24 Jun 2013 | Business Spectator

    Retailers would be better served lobbying government for policies other than raising inefficient taxes on low value imports. Read More

  • Increasing the super contribution rate is a second-rate solution

    08 Jan 2013 | The Conversation

    It is timely to re-examine the economic case for compulsory superannuation. Read More

  • Better ideas than raising super guarantee

    28 Nov 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Is compulsory super improving retirement incomes and reducing future demands on the budget from an ageing population? Read More

  • Fairness is not equality

    26 Nov 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Income equality is not achievable, it is not desirable and it is not fair. Read More

  • Self-sustaining leviathan

    23 Oct 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    How does Australia compare in the welfare dependency stakes? Read More

  • Australia’s long-term fiscal future

    28 Sep 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    One of Australia’s strengths going into the global financial crisis was the condition of its public finances. We are now in danger of frittering away that strength. Read More

  • Why the euro project must end

    22 May 2012 | Business Spectator

    The most important lesson to emerge from the crisis in the eurozone has very little to do with fiscal policy. Read More

  • Independent body needed to preserve integrity of fiscal forecasts

    21 May 2012 | The Conversation

    Treasury has not gone wrong in its forecast for recovery, but in its expectations for the preceding downturn. Read More

  • There are better ways to ensure State's future

    21 May 2012 | The West Australian

    The WA Future Fund announced in the State Budget last week is based on two related but fundamentally flawed ideas. Read More

  • Murray's Future Fund brace is broken

    23 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    David Murray's defence of the Future Fund can only inspire doubt about the ability of sovereign wealth funds to enhance Australia's prosperity. Read More

  • The hypocrisy of Europe's bankers

    08 Mar 2012 | The Business Spectator

    As the eurozone crisis has now seemingly calmed down and my friend’s updates become more ecstatic by the week, I am afraid that we are edging ever closer towards his dream scenario. To most Europeans,... Read More

  • Work act flaw threat to growth

    07 Mar 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Job security is a major bone of contention between unions and employers under the Fair Work Act. Read More

  • Why a sovereign wealth fund won't work

    21 Feb 2012 | Business Spectator

    Many of the desirable objectives of a sovereign wealth fund could be achieved through greater use of enforceable fiscal policy rules that would enable politicians to make long-term commitments to responsible... Read More

  • Give austerity a chance

    08 Feb 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Fiscal policy should focus on micro-economic issues such as promoting incentives to save, work and invest, as well as ensuring the long-term sustainability of public finances. Read More

  • Budget heat in a revenue drought

    08 Dec 2011 | Business Spectator

    Governments in other countries are in deeper fiscal distress than ours, but governments at the federal and state levels in Australia are struggling with the consequences of a revenue drought after years... Read More

  • Countdown to a US debt debacle

    21 Nov 2011 | The Business Spectator

    It says something about the depths of Europe’s economic malaise that America’s economic managers are attending international meetings and lecturing others about the need to get their fiscal houses... Read More

  • Italy defaults on debt and sends lenders broke? So be it

    15 Nov 2011 | Crikey

    The federal government will need to cut spending to ensure a surplus in 2012-13. Read More

  • Budget surplus fetish means more harsh spending cuts

    09 Nov 2011 | Crikey

    The federal government will need to cut spending to ensure a surplus in 2012-13. Read More

  • Should super contributions be raised to 12 per cent?

    05 Nov 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Four experts debate the topic in The Question.  Here is Adam Creighton's contribution. Some compulsory saving is sensible. People will rationally save too little when they know taxpayers will help support... Read More

  • Going long on European deja vu

    03 Nov 2011 | The Business Spectator

    Markets were euphoric, political leaders relieved. “Europe has taken a step forward. Europe and Greece will emerge stronger from this crisis,” Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou boasted to reporters.... Read More

  • Stepping stones to an EU inferno

    05 Oct 2011 | Business Spectator

    Don’t read too much into last week’s vote in the German parliament to extend the European Financial Stability Facility bailout fund. Read More

  • RBA pay: why Glenn Stevens is not Elizabeth Taylor

    20 Sep 2011 | Crikey

    Notwithstanding the Reserve Bank’s excellent record and deft management of Australia’s economy, especially during the GFC, its decision to jack up the pay of its most senior management by 30% during... Read More

  • Sighs of relief heard from the bankers' bunkers

    16 Sep 2011 | The Age

    Alas, the GFC showed that it is impossible for democratic governments to let large financial institutions fail, however much they should. It is a government's job to free taxpayers from unwittingly providing... Read More

  • Wet ink on a euro death notice

    13 Sep 2011 | Business Spectator

    The euro has been a moribund currency for years. The remaining options to buy it more time have been blocked by the German constitutional court. To end this farcical tragedy someone needs to put the final... Read More

  • Same cracks, just a new coat of paint

    07 Sep 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Analysis of the NSW Budget Read More

  • Time to revisit RBA board

    07 Sep 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Union leaders would have you believe that the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia is beholden to the big end of town, but the current unnecessarily tight monetary policy indicates that this is not the... Read More

  • NSW budget: time to cut and shed Mick Dundee image

    06 Sep 2011 | Crikey

    With a public service head count just shy of 390,000, NSW puts the Commonwealth government, with a mere 270,000 staff, to shame. Macquarie Street employs 10% of the NSW workforce. Read More

  • Don't get starry-eyed about housing

    05 Sep 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    In textbook markets there is no need for price forecasts. Prices are determined by the interaction of supply and demand. If you fed a supercomputer with all the relevant information about buyer preferences,... Read More

  • Don't get starry-eyed about housing

    05 Sep 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    In textbook markets there is no need for price forecasts. Prices are determined by the interaction of supply and demand. If you fed a supercomputer with all the relevant information about buyer preferences,... Read More

  • A miracle that masks a mirage

    01 Sep 2011 | The Australian

    As it turns out, there is not much in the German manufacturing example that Australia should copy. We would be much better advised to make the best of our own comparative advantages of being a resource-rich... Read More

  • There's no such thing as a free healthcare system

    27 Aug 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    But when it comes to health, Australians spurn pragmatism and tear up the laws of economics. We shackle ourselves with a government-funded and managed health system with all the hallmarks of the former... Read More

  • A poisoned chalice of EU power

    25 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    Eurobonds had not even been on the agenda (officially, that is), and an EU-wide tax on financial transactions almost certainly will die aborning. In another way, however, the Merkel and Sarkozy show was... Read More

  • Who needs credit ratings? They should be optional

    23 Aug 2011 | Crikey

    Banks and investors should thrive or die by the quality of their own assessments of credit risk. They have the most incentive to get it right, writes Adam Creighton, a research fellow at The Centre For... Read More

  • A euro power play that backfired

    17 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    As it turns out, the euro is not only an unworkable currency. It actually started as a French insurance policy against German power. But even as an insurance policy it has failed. Against their will, it... Read More

  • Value cut adrift in a sea of paper money

    16 Aug 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Abolishing the gold standard was meant to free up gold but central banks still hold about one fifth of the world’s 166,000 tonnes of gold and have bought even more since the financial crisis. Private... Read More

  • Setting a European time bomb

    10 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    The announcement by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade US government debt may have been historic but largely inconsequential Read More

  • US Congress swapped a crisis yesterday for a bigger crisis tomorrow

    09 Aug 2011 | Crikey

    I provoked a tirade of abuse from Crikey readers in the past fortnight when I suggested it would be preferable that the $14.3 trillion United States debt ceiling not be raised. Read More

  • Dollars must flow if numbers to grow

    29 Jul 2011 | The Age

    Debate about Australia's population is framed with national aggregates and ignores how local governments deal with increased population. Part of the reason Australians are averse to more people is because... Read More

  • What our economists really think about politics

    26 Jul 2011 | The Conversation

    You might have expected that most economists, following Milton Friedman, view inflation as “always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” Yet only 40% of respondents agreed with the proposition that... Read More

  • No reason or evidence will cure US of its debt fetish

    26 Jul 2011 | Crikey

    The hysteria accompanying the scramble to lift the debt ceiling in the United States is misplaced and self-serving. Read More

  • Think local and give country towns the freedom to prosper or perish

    23 Jul 2011 | The Australian

    FOR politicians, and especially for town planners, letting people decide where and how they want to live has never been an acceptable idea. Administrative elites have always been convinced they know better... Read More

  • Greece bailout: prolonging pain for no real gain

    22 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Rescuing the country with another bailout would only prolong the pain. Greece squandered money on the Olympic Games, an over-sized bureaucracy and easy loans Read More

  • Paying dearly for European insanity

    21 Jul 2011 | Business Spectator

    it would be tempting to seize the moment and rehash all the arguments for why the euro will never work and cannot be saved. Read More

  • Growing anger in local government

    21 Jul 2011 | The Courier Mail

    So how well are Australian local government leaders really equipped to deal with population growth? Read More

  • Local councils deserve a better financial deal

    18 Jul 2011 | The Canberra Times

    Council rates surging to pay for new residents Read More

  • A bad time to damage our economy as the next stage of the GFC looms

    15 Jul 2011 | The Australian

    WITH the US fiscal crisis nearing a dramatic finale, downgrades of European debt ratings continuing and the euro crisis deteriorating, the global financial crisis has just moved into a new phase. Read More

  • Learning from Europe's competitive spirit

    14 Jul 2011 | Business Spectator

    One of the classic questions of economic history is how the West grew rich. Read More

  • Tax changes are just a redistribution

    14 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    The carbon pricing scheme was sold by the federal government as containing taxation reform measures, but once again we have lip service from politicians and tinkering at the edges Read More

  • Carbon tax could have united us all

    13 Jul 2011 | The Age

    More than 3 million households will be worse off come July, about a third of Australian taxpayers. Indeed, many thousands of individuals with incomes between $67,000 and $80,000 face the prospect of their... Read More

  • Has the EU's stress test failed?

    07 Jul 2011 | Business Spectator

    As the whole world worried about a potential Greek collapse, another European country experienced two actual bank failures. Read More

  • Sending profits abroad is a good thing

    04 Jul 2011 | Online Opinion

    It is amazing how easily people are convinced by this 'sending profits abroad' argument, when it is just a protectionist fallacy. Read More

  • Foreign investment will boost food security

    02 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Foreigners acquiring Australian farm land appears to unite all political parties, we shouldn’t allow commercial decisions to be overridden my populist votes. Read More

  • US will Remain the Preeminent Player in Asia

    01 Jul 2011 | China - US Focus

    In early May, I gave an interview to the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper arguing that China was probably ‘the loneliest rising great power in world history’ Read More

  • The phantom giant of Luxembourg

    30 Jun 2011 | Business Spectator

    Under the veil of its legendary diplomatic finesse, Luxembourg hides its profiteering role in the sad state of Europe’s economy and politics. Read More

  • Dwelling upon 'investment'

    23 May 2011 | The Age

    Buying a house or unit isn't the financial investment Australians believe it to be. Read More

  • Budget office helps pollies, not punters

    20 May 2011 | ABC News

    The Parliamentary Budget Office should focus analysing overall fiscal strategy and long-term fiscal sustainability rather than policy costings. Read More

  • Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae: Guaranteed to fail?

    17 May 2011 | The Conversation

    The failure of Lehman Brothers was a trivial event compared to the much bigger but largely ignored failure a week before, when Freddie and Fannie were put into ‘conservatorship’ by the US government. Read More

  • Budget cuts can be popular

    10 May 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    With an election still more than two years away the government should seize this opportunity to make the sort of cuts it should have made in 2008. Read More

  • Reform a boon to all in the money game

    05 May 2011 | The Age

    Advisers will now offer dispassionate and useful financial counsel. Read More

  • A failure of political leadership

    11 Apr 2011 | The Straits Times

    Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan's rejection of Singapore Exchange's (SGX) bid for the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) represents a failure of political leadership. Read More

  • GDP no real guide to wealth or welfare

    31 Mar 2011 | The Australian

    The confusion about what makes a country prosper arises from our fixation with GDP, which is a misleading metric of economic performance that no entity would pay to calculate itself. Read More

  • A forgotten financial failure

    16 Mar 2011 | Online Opinion

    The regulatory responses to the global financial crisis have for the most part been conditioned on a false narrative about the causes and consequences of the crisis. Read More

  • Borrowers lose as mortgage industry takes its $4bn win

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Dec 2010 | The Age (Business)

    Rather than taking a hard line, the government is a soft touch. Read More

  • The Euro monster

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 02 Dec 2010 | Business Spectator

    Under their self-chosen monetary corset the Europeans now have the choice between the mother of all banking crises, hyperinflation à la Weimar Republic, or painful and unpopular financial transfers in... Read More

  • Attacks on banks are misdirected

    Stephen Kirchner | 18 Nov 2010 | The Australian

    Australia's interest rates are high because the nation has strong growth prospects. Read More

  • Aussie banker bashing

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 Nov 2010 | The Wall Street Journal

    This time Australian bankers are being bashed for taking responsibly to manage their excess demand. Read More

  • Europe's most dangerous man

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 11 Nov 2010 | Business Spectator

    Ahead of the G20 summit in Seoul this week, the mood music between member countries is markedly different from previous conferences as the political differences between the main players are far more visible... Read More

  • The EU's win-win losers

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 04 Nov 2010 | Business Spectator

    The problems around last weekend’s summit are thus the problems of the Euro as a currency – Europe is too diverse to agree on sensible rules and too diverse to have a common currency in the first place. Read More

  • World debt crisis needs strong action, now

    Robert Carling | 14 Oct 2010 | The Age (Business)

    Australia has a vital interest in how the global debt crisis plays out. Read More

  • The failure of German banking

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 30 Sep 2010 | Business Spectator

    The involvement of German state and federal governments in banking precedes the financial crisis; in fact it has long been one of the defining features of the country’s financial sector. Read More

  • Fiscal authority the way to go

    Robert Carling | 21 Sep 2010 | The Australian (Business)

    We need a fiscal commission to strengthen the entire budget process. Read More

  • Grave euro doubts remain

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 19 Aug 2010 | Business Spectator

    Experts have now shifted their attention to the US dollar. However, this does not mean that the euro is off the hook, says Oliver Marc Hartwich in Business Spectator, 19 August 2010. Read More

  • Bond market vigilantes should also weigh the risks of continued inactivity

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Apr 2010 | Sydney Morning Herald

    Stagnation could be worse than a fiscal crisis. Read More

  • Benefits grow in monthly CPI data

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Mar 2010 | Canberra Times

    Australia should adopt a monthly consumer price index. Read More

  • Imbalances essential to global economic system

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 Jan 2010 | The Australian

    The federal Treasury’s David Gruen recently told a conference at the University of Western Australia that global imbalances were implicated in the global financial crisis and it was desirable that they... Read More

  • Economic policy must re-earn our respect

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Jan 2010 | Business Spectator

    Policymakers sacrificed a lot of their credibility due to their responses to the global financial crisis and this can be seen in the fundamental uncertainty about the inflation outlook. Read More

  • Big spending, poor results

    Stephen Kirchner | 16 Dec 2009 | The Australian

    Big government spending leads to poor results. Read More

  • End of trend is nigh for central bank sales of gold

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 Nov 2009 | The Age

    It may seem odd that simply transferring ownership of existing above-ground stocks should make a difference to the gold price. But the Reserve Bank of India's recent purchase of 200 tonnes of gold from... Read More

  • US dollar down but not out as kingpin of global finance

    Stephen Kirchner | 05 Nov 2009 | The Australian

    The broad US dollar index has been trending lower since its last major cyclical peak in 2001. This has led many observers to question whether the US dollar will retain its status as a so-called ‘reserve... Read More

  • The US deficit canary has rattled the cage in warning of dire eventualities

    Robert Carling | 27 Oct 2009 | The Age

    The US government’s finances are in such bad shape that the Congressional Budget Office sounded a public alarm about the risk of debt default, a flight of capital out of the country, an exchange rate... Read More

  • Policymakers Sold Australia Short

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Oct 2009 | The Australian Financial Review

    The government has argued that GDP growth and the unemployment rate numbers demonstrate the effectiveness of its fiscal stimulus measures. In reality, they demonstrate only that policymakers sold Australia... Read More

  • Hewson manifesto was ahead of its time

    Stephen Kirchner | 15 Sep 2009 | The Australian

    Revelations in Paul Kelly’s The March of the Patriots that then Reserve Bank Governor Bernie Fraser planned to invoke provisions of the Reserve Bank Act to frustrate a Hewson government’s reforms to... Read More

  • Plan delivers little bang for very big bucks

    Stephen Kirchner | 04 Feb 2009 | The Australian

    The government’s fiscal stimulus packages represent discretionary policy actions that add to cyclical deterioration in the budget balance.   Read More