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Then NSW treasurer and now Premier Mike Baird, shaking hands in 2013 to mark the handover of Port Botany under a 99-year lease – the same period as has been proposed to lease state electricity assets to private operators. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

NSW can pay for the infrastructure it needs without privatisation

Privatising public assets is like a tradesperson selling her or his tools when facing a temporary income shortfall. Much better to borrow at low interest rates and productively invest those funds.
Not at loggerheads: jobs and the environment can coexist in Queensland’s north. Willem van Aken/CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Jobs versus the environment: the debate Queensland can end

Do politicians really have to choose between being pro-development or pro-environment? No, says Allan Dale, and Queensland's new government has the chance to prove it.
It’s not all blue skies ahead for the Sunshine State’s economy, with declining gross domestic income per capita and higher unemployment than three years ago. Dan Peled/AAP

Queensland’s biggest economic challenge isn’t debt – it’s growth

Queensland has a new Labor minority government, led by Annastacia Palaszczuk, after the shock defeat of the Liberal National Party. Labor’s pre-election promises were “modest”, leaving many now wondering…
Oil prices have dropped to levels not seen in years. It’s not all good news. Reuters

Oil price drop offers short-term gains but long-term pains

The recent drop in crude oil and gasoline prices in the United States is a nice stocking stuffer for consumers this holiday season, but it could turn into a lump of coal. A global oil glut has caused the…
Ready for the hard sell? Hannah McKay/PA Wire

Autumn Statement: the experts respond

The chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, has delivered the financial package he hopes will convince voters to deliver a Conservative majority in May 2015. Here, our team of academic experts responds…
The People’s Bank of China recently cut interest rates to stimulate the economy. But it probably won’t fix the real problem. Reuters

China’s interest rate cut is mixed blessing for the world economy

China’s central bank surprised most observers last month when it announced its first interest rate cut in more than two years. The move is intended to bolster growth in the world’s second-largest economy…
The collapse of Lehman Brothers was a pivotal moment in the most recent financial crisis. The next crash may feature another bank failure. Reuters

What will the next financial crisis look like – and are we ready?

The subprime crisis and the subsequent failure of Lehman Brothers came as such a shock – and the repercussions were so severe that when the time came to mount a response, policy makers were as surprised…
President Obama’s immigration plan may help some illegal migrants find higher-paying jobs, helping spur some additional economic activity. Reuters

Obama’s immigration plan may give economy a little boost

An estimated 11 million undocumented residents in the United States live in daily fear of deportation. This fear permeates nearly every aspect of their lives. President Barack Obama’s executive actions…
When it comes to housing, perspective is crucial. San Francisco. Andrew Halliday

Deconstructing our hopes for self-regulating house prices

There is a nice weather map cartoon by Matt featuring the UK characterised by the varied intensity of dinner table house price conversation. And it is not just that we are obsessed with property values…
Hajigak, one of the main routes from Kabul to Bamiyan in central Afghanistan, may contain one of the largest deposits of iron ore in the world. Hadi Zaher/Flickr via CC BY-NC-ND

Copper and lithium may be the keys to Afghanistan’s economic future

On October 27, the last international troops closed their military camp in Southern Helmand Province and left Afghanistan, officially ending their combat role after 13 years of fighting. By the end of…
Trading floors like this one – at the old American Stock Exchange in the 1980s – are at the heart of capitalism and financial speculation. David Foster/Flickr via CC BY-ND

Financial speculation: the good, the bad and the parasitic

The word “speculation” carries a connotation of negativity. And it’s probably fair to say that pretty much every financial crisis since the tulip mania of the 1630s can be attributed to some sort of mass…
The dollar’s sharp rise in recent months stands to benefit consumers but exporters will suffer. Shutterstock

King dollar is back – for now

Recent months have seen a sharp jump in the value of the greenback, with more gains expected in the months ahead. After a period of prolonged weakness, the US currency once again is walking tall. Americans…

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