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Analysis and Comment (16)

Janet Yellen will make waves next year. International Monetary Fund

What will happen when the US Fed starts hiking rates?

As the US economy emerges from recession, the prospect of the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates grabs the attention of the financial markets more and more. US rates have been close to zero for…
Former Gunns chairman John Gay is the most senior executive to have been convicted of insider trading in Australia. He received a fine of $50,000. David Beniuk/AAP

Insider trading gets more scrutiny, but convictions may not flow

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is moving to “real-time” monitoring of share trading as another weapon in the ongoing fight against insider trading. But will the use of this form of…
There’s no evidence to back up the claim the Australian Government has become too large. nicsuzor/Flickr

The Commission of Audit’s first job should be to kill itself off

A supposition behind the Commonwealth’s Commission of Audit is that government has become “too large”. The first paragraph of the Commission’s terms of reference sets the context, stating: During this…
Trades on the ‘grey markets’ are becoming increasingly common in Australia. flickr/zdenadel

Explainer: black markets, grey markets, and dark pools

There are a range of markets available to buyers and sellers that allow them to exchange goods and services. But whereas some markets are highly regulated, others are not regulated at all. The sale of…
University textbooks are expensive for a reason. Textbook image from www.shuttestock.com

Required reading: here’s why textbooks are so expensive

Although student life at university is generally enjoyable, one aspect that blemishes the experience is the astronomical cost of textbooks. As many students head back to university this year, they can…
It’s time we looked at the idea of for-profit education in Australia. EPA/Guillaume Horcajuleo

Do we want for-profit schools in Australia?

For-profit education is something that really doesn’t exist in Australia… yet. But in many other countries around the world it has become a normal part of education and there are now many companies providing…
Can ethical markets solve the problems of persistent poverty and global income inequality? Michelle Brea

Challenge 7: The market, morals, ethics, and poverty

In part seven of our multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, Adrian Walsh argues that a humane market asks something of us that we may not want to give. Global challenge 7: How can ethical market…
Can we afford to be laissez faire about amoral economic behaviour? Carrie Sloan

Oh, the morality: why ethics matters in economics

“Morally bankrupt” is how a recently departing Goldman Sachs executive described the culture of the investment bank. As noted in Business Day, this view “is common among the bank’s critics, many of whom…
Does the finance industry rely too heavily on contestable economic data? AAP

The problem with our economic data addiction

People who work in business and finance are obsessed with economic data releases – GDP growth figures, unemployment rates, trade statistics, and so on. Business journalists, investors, financial analysts…
Kevin Rudd used to manage his brand well, but was toppled after an advertising campaign against him. AAP/YouTube

Democracy is dead, long live political marketing

MEDIA & DEMOCRACY: Today, Andrew Hughes looks at how voters have become consumers of political marketing, as part of The Conversation’s week-long series on how the media influences the way our representatives…
Foster’s chairman David Crawford is under pressure from a hostile bid from SABMiller. AAP

It’s hard to see why shareholders won’t ditch Foster’s

If I were a shareholder in Foster’s, which is facing a hostile takeover bid from global brewer SABMiller, there are three questions that I would ask myself before deciding whether to sell my stake. First…
Uncertainty about the US economy is driving investors back to the safe-haven metal. AAP

Explainer: Why gold is still precious for investors

The price of gold reached a record high of $US1607.01 an ounce on Tuesday as investors turn to the precious metal amid uncertain global economic conditions. University of Western Australian Professor of…
OPEC president Mohammad Aliabadi believes speculation in futures is inflating oil prices. He is wrong. AAP

Why it’s wrong to blame speculation for pushing up oil prices

OPEC Conference president Mohammad Aliabadi recently joined a chorus of international observers to blame speculation as the source of ongoing volatility in the global oil market. Speaking at an OPEC Conference…