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The emphasis on the lump sum in superannuation unfairly moves risk to individuals. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Superannuation: make income the outcome

Having led the world in the 1990s in embracing defined contribution retirement plans, Australia now is rightly reviewing whether the design of its retirement income system is meeting the needs of Australians…
Less than welcoming… policies that prevent asylum seekers working are dehumanising. AAP Image/Newzulu/Zebedee Parkes

Asylum seekers and the dignity of work

My interview with Mr Syed did not get off to a great start. We’d arranged to meet at the Dandenong library – part of the city council building, a huge, bright orange edifice in the redeveloped heart of…
We must address patchy data collection to get an accurate picture of foreign property investment. ABS

Little hard data in the hard area of foreign investment

A large portion of commentary on foreign investment in Australia is based on scant data, as recent submissions to the inquiry into foreign investment in residential property show. At the moment it seems…
Australia is unlikely to gain the support needed from other G20 countries to block Russia attending the G20. AAP Image/NewZulu/Hugh Peterswald

Who in the G20 is (not) afraid of the big bad Russian wolf?

The downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has considerably increased the strain on the relationship between Russia and the European Union and United States on the other side. Following the escalation…
Whoa there, little lady: women in the workforce face a financial penalty for simply being female. Flickr/ Boston Public Library

Not missing in action: the enduring penalty of ‘being female’

While many aspects of working life have changed in recent decades, the inequality of outcomes experienced by male and female employees has been remarkably resistant. Within corporate Australia the proportion…
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey is facing the prospect of a budget blowout, thanks largely to a hostile Senate. Lukas Coch/AAP

INFOGRAPHIC: Hockey’s mounting budget black hole

The Conversation has undertaken a stocktake of the major budget savings measures opposed, at risk, or yet to be legislated. According to our analysis, which has been verified by Grattan Institute chief…
Australia has improved its global innovation ranking - but future budget could put this progress at risk. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Australia ranks on innovation – but indolence could cost us

This year’s news on Australia’s global innovation ranking could be a lot worse, and probably will be in the future if the Federal Government gets its way with proposed budget cuts to our already inadequate…
Hollow answers: waiting for legislative reform to improve financial advice is likely to prove futile. Shutterstock

Explainer: the new future of financial advice

It is not difficult to establish the case for the importance of financial advice. With an ageing population, increasing longevity, higher expectations of post retirement living standards, the complexity…
News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch joined Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and Business Council of Australia President Catherine Livingstone at the B20 summit this week. Jason Reed/AAP/Reuters

The B20 summit: where cashed-up lobbyists meet to write trade rules?

The Business 20 (B20) summit typically attracts the global corporate glitterati, as the usual suspects assemble in alpine retreats like Davos; cinema-infused beach towns like Cannes; or sunny Mexican resorts…
Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Time Warner has been rebuffed for now. AAP/Jason Reed

Time Warner would bolster News Corp – but internet giants lurk

While Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation US$80 billion takeover bid for fellow US media giant Time Warner has been rejected - for now - there is no doubt the future ownership of this historic company is…
The government is hoping asset recycling will lead to major infrastructure investments, but its success could lie elsewhere. Stefan Postles/AAP

Asset recycling no dream for Hockey, but efficiency boost likely

UPDATE: This piece originally said the Asset Recycling Initiative had been passed by the Senate. Subsequent to publication, the amended legislation was rejected by the House of Representatives. The piece…
The focus is shifting to how Australians access their super to fund retirement. Wendy House/Flickr

Turning super into income: inquiry opens retirement funding debate

A good proportion of the Financial System Inquiry’s 460-page interim report is dedicated to a discussion of superannuation and, in particular, to making the financial system better at facilitating the…
The B20 and G20 agendas are both focused on economic growth, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to avoid linking climate policy to the agenda. Aman Sharma/AAP

Abbott stands alone on climate policy and economic growth

In a speech delivered at ANU in April last year, then shadow environment minister Greg Hunt looked toward Australia’s host role for the G20 during 2014. Regarding climate policy he said Australia should…
The big four banks have a well-entrenched sales culture. deepwarren/Flickr

The future of financial advice is set to remain conflicted

Reading between the lines it appears the panel behind Australia’s wide-reaching Financial System Inquiry believes all is not well in the financial advice industry, despite last year’s implementation of…
Business leaders would prefer to align job skills with labour shortages. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

The B20, job creation and the importance of being human

The B20 business leaders meeting this week in advance of November’s G20 summit play an important role in advising on what to do about those intractable global issues of economic growth and job creation…
Indonesia needs a leader that can unclog bottlenecks in its economy. Jerry Adiguna/Flickr

Investors wait to see a clear Jokowi victory

Indonesians are holding their breath while the Election Commission tally their votes in the presidential election. At the same time, investors too are in a “wait-and-see” mode. Most market players privately…
Financial System Inquiry chair David Murray delivered the 460 page interim report at the National Press Club today. Lukas Coch/AAP

Infographic: the financial system inquiry at a glance

The last financial system inquiry held in Australia happened in 1997. More than a decade and a global financial crisis later, the sector is under scrutiny again. The inquiry delivered its interim report…
Australia’s massive superannuation sector is costly compared with its global counterparts. Joel Carrett/AAP

Financial system inquiry sets sights on super: experts react

Australia’s financial system is competitive and well regulated, but more work is required to boost superannuation competition, according to the interim report of the Financial System Inquiry, led by former…
The Palmer United Party, including new Senator Jacqui Lambie, is unlikely to support unpopular but necessary tax reform. Lukas Coch/AAP

The new Senate looms as a disaster for tax reform

It’s unlikely “The Political Sayings of Malcolm Fraser” is a well-thumbed volume in Tony Abbott’s library. Yet this week, in the wake of the Senate throwing his government’s budget plans into disarray…
Conflicts abound in Australia’s financial system. Dan Peled/AAP

Three financial system flaws David Murray can’t ignore

At the current frequency of financial system inquiries (Campbell 1982, Wallis 1997, Murray 2014) there will not be another until 2030. That makes this week’s interim report from David Murray all the more…
With more private sector involvement in aged care, health and education, competitive neutrality will become more important than ever. Julian Smith/AAP

Government Inc: time to revisit competitive neutrality

A month after receiving the first round of submissions, the Harper review of competition policy is knuckling down to work. With around 300 submissions received to date, the range of issues raised is diverse…
Public anger over the recent federal budget blindsided big business who advised government on its key measures. AAP/Courtney Fry

Policy clout or fading power: can B20 really deliver?

Many who study or comment on contemporary business and politics equate corporate leadership with the ability to influence events in a coherent or knowledgeable way. The usual narrative is that CEOs of…