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Treasurer Joe Hockey has picked up the pace on tax information sharing, in response to a push by the OECD. Dave Hunt/AAP

What’s needed for Australia to seriously tackle tax avoidance

Despite Treasurer Joe Hockey’s continued statements that the government is doing “everything we can … to ensure that companies that earn profits in Australia pay tax in Australia”, the federal government…
As Hong Kong’s position as China’s economic enabler fades, the island must embrace what it shares. AAP/EPA/Alex Hofford/

Beyond the fog of tear gas, Hong Kong’s future remains with China

“Nothing lasts forever – even the longest, most glittering reign must come to an end someday.” And so it was that Britain’s celebrated fictional Machiavellian mastermind Francis Urqhuart greeted viewers…
Some financial advisers are greedy, but others simply have a bias problem. Shutterstock

What behavioural economics tells us about financial adviser greed

There’s no doubt incentives matter for financial advisers. If an employer pays a higher commission to an adviser for selling one product instead of another, it’s likely the commission-linked product will…
Animal spirits: the Reserve Bank will be asked to explain itself on what is means by macroprudential tools. AAP/Dan Peled

It’s too simple to argue lack of supply pushes up house prices

Is there a national housing supply problem? No, but there is a problem of access to affordable housing in certain regions. Last month, Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens commented on the need for “animal…
Treasurer Joe Hockey joins a long line of leaders unable to close the gap between promise and reality. Dave Hunt/AAP

Joe Hockey and the G20 headed for promise fatigue

Governments are notorious for missing targets. Look no further than France or Spain’s recent fiscal calumny, despite the European Union’s excessive deficit procedure. Closer to home, the Association of…
Hawthorn fans watched the players train this week - everyone is a winner when it comes to the AFL grand final. AAP/Julian Smith

Why AFL grand final is the most successful event in Australia

When the Sydney Swans take on Hawthorn at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday, it won’t just be AFL fans cheering. As Australia’s dominant sport competition, the AFL generates more revenue than any…
Should housing policy and tax reform be driven by pricey Sydney housing? Aaron Jacobs/Flickr

Housing bubble or not, negative gearing should stay

The perennial debate about negative gearing of residential property investments has been reignited yet again, by two reports in the past week. The International Monetary Fund has nominated taxes on housing…
Australia’s highest paid CEO Nicholas Moore saw his salary grow to $13.1 million this year. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

CEO pay study shows how much Australians tolerate inequality

Almost everyone in a study soon to be published in Perspectives on Psychological Science thinks chief executive officers are paid significantly too much - almost everyone it suggests, except Australians…
A review of federalism and taxation should begin with recognising the value of what we have created as a nation. Flickr/Ross Thomson

Why we should consider ourselves a nation first, a federation second

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review. So far in our special series, leading Australian academics have discussed the future of the federation when it comes to taxation, education and health…
Dealing with housing bubbles can get messy for central banks. Shutterstock

Home loan limits and buffers won’t stop a housing bubble

Australia’s central bank has formally flagged the use of macroprudential tools to address what it called “unbalanced” lending in its most recent Financial Stability Review. Loan-to-valuation ratio (LVR…
Australia’s employee fraud problem needs a new approach. Shutterstock

Making companies pay for failing to prevent employee fraud

The high cost of organisational fraud in both private and public sectors in Australia continues to haunt organisations, particularly fraud committed by “trusted” employees. Cases prosecuted this month…
Australia is pushing for the creation of a G20 infrastructure hub. www.shutterstock.com

Building big: does Australia need a global infrastructure hub?

Infrastructure investment is failing to attract the funding it needs to support global growth. As of June 2014, the managed funds industry in Australia had just over $2.4 trillion dollars under management…
Trades deals, such as the one between Australia and Singapore, may require extensive cooperation between the Commonwealth and states. AAP/EPA/Wallace Woon

Federalism reform and trade policy must go hand in hand

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review. In this special series, we ask leading Australian academics to begin a debate on renewing federalism, from tax reform to the broader issues of democracy…
Sustainability reporting still lacks consistency and comparability. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Style over substance: sustainability reporting falling short

Once on the fringe of institutional investors’ considerations, reporting on environmental, social and governance related issues is now common practice among major listed companies. But the quality and…
In Indonesia, motorists quickly line up in the petrol station before subsidised fuel price go up. EPA/BIMO SATRIO

Priming for Indonesia’s fuel subsidy cut

Discounts for fuel in Indonesia have been hurting Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Set to inherit an account deficit when he takes office in late October, newly elected president Joko Widodo has pushed…
When big business misuses its market power, proving it can prove a challenge. Riccardo Cuppini/Flickr

Big business, market power and why we need more test cases

In advocating greater competition, less regulation and reduced red tape, the Harper Committee’s 300 page draft review of competition policy largely colours between the lines of its extremely broad terms…
Some price signalling can help consumers. Aaron Amat/Shutterstock

Why it’s time to scrap price signalling laws

Among the 52 recommendations contained in the draft report on Competition Policy from economist Ian Harper, is a suggestion price signalling laws established in 2011 be repealed. These laws currently make…
Australia is striving to lead the G20 growth target - but the truth is the reform needed is hard and painful. Dave Hunt/AAP

Little appetite for painful reform needed to hit G20 growth target

In 2000 in Lisbon the European Union countries met and agreed on the “Lisbon Agenda”. Europe was already lagging in terms of growth and jobs, and it was hoped that the Agenda would “deliver stronger, lasting…
Professor Ian Harper, chair of the competition review, has surprised some with the review panel’s recommendations. Julian Smith/AAP

Harper competition review seeks widespread change: experts react

Restrictions on retail trading hours, taxis, pharmacies and parallel imports should be lifted according to a far-reaching draft report by the Competition Policy Review. Professor Ian Harper’s new report…
With banks pulling back on lending to small business, the sector has had to look elsewhere for funding. Shutterstock

Small business feeling the lending crunch – and three ways to help

Since the global financial crisis, credit growth in Australia has returned. But while growth in home lending between 2008 and 2014 was relatively strong (0.49% per month), it was actually negative for…
Consumers are faced with myriad choices when they come to buy a car. Shutterstock

Small, not big data key to working out what consumers want

Corporations everywhere are hoovering up petabytes of data in a bid to understand and predict consumer preferences. But what if they’re missing the point, and should instead focus on “small data”? In a…