May 2010

Handicap banks to level out the field

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

The big banks now dominate the Australian financial system in the same way that the Melbourne Storm dominated the rugby league. They take the profits they made last year and they use them to fend off new competitors next year. They take the profits they earn in one part of their business and cross subsidise

April 2010

Time for a breath of fresh air

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

Back before the CPRS took the wind out of the community it was common sense to believe that early action was cheaper than delayed action. And back before anyone had heard of ’emission intensive trade exposed industries’ it was patriotic to believe that Australia should lead the world, not lag it. If we are to

March 2010

Redressing the balance for members

by Josh Fear in The Australian Financial Review

A lot of people in the superannuation industry are very worried at the moment. This is not because they see another market crash on the horizon; things are generally back on track in that sense. They’re worried because things are about to get much better for millions of ordinary working Australians at the expense of

February 2010

Taking from the Banks to Give to the Worthy

by Jo-anne Schofield in The Age

Originally printed in The Age.  Nearly 800 years after celebrated rogue Robin Hood and his entourage of bandits launched raids from their Sherwood Forest hide-out – redistributing wealth from a greedy and corrupt aristocracy to the starving peasantry – he has been recruited to a new campaign. This month, 350 prominent economists, including Nobel Prize-winner

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

What will Wong’s CPRS actually do?

by Richard Denniss in Crikey

The CPRS is increasingly looking like the answer to a question that nobody asked, namely, what would be the best way to introduce a complex and expensive national scheme that sounds like a solution to climate change without really changing anything? But as the Senate vote gets closer the first question that the Climate Change

Super slick

by Josh Fear in ABC The Drum

Most of us like to complain about the banks from time to time, but compared to some parts of the superannuation industry the banks seem like the good guys. That’s because many commercial super funds are profiting enormously through excessive fees on the savings of ordinary workers.

The climate science sceptics

by Richard Denniss in Crikey

The science says that we need to reduce emissions by around 40 per cent by 2020 if we want even a fifty per cent chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. The Government has ignored that advice both in setting the targets for their so called Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and in developing Australia’s negotiating

September 2009

July 2009

Peoples bank deja vu: a spotted history of competition in the banking sector

by David Richardson in On Line Opinion

The global financial crisis has meant Australia’s top four banks have moved into the world’s top 10 banks in terms of financial soundness. While that says a lot about Australia’s regulators and regulatory environment, the global financial crisis has also meant much of their competition has been wiped out as customers consolidate around ‘sound and

Selfless winds of change

by Josh Fear in Sydney Ideas Quarterly

the ‘cap-and-slice’ proposal actually resembles the public’s perception of how emissions trading works more closely than the CPRS. Three-quarters of respondents to a recent Australia Institute survey said that Australia’s total emissions would go down if every household reduced its electricity use. Only 13 per cent gave the answer that corresponds to the CPRS: that

Need and social goals

by Richard Denniss in Dissent Magazine

Australia is a wealthy country. Although the current slowdown in the rate of economic growth has had a substantial impact on the government’s finances, the fact is that much of the ‘boom’ preceding this downturn was squandered through round after round of tax cuts. This occurred to such an extent that, despite the fact that

June 2009

The CPRS–Where to from here?

by Richard Denniss

The CPRS has fundamental flaws that need to be addressed. A mechanism to ensure that the efforts of individuals and state governments to reduce emissions result in lower emissions, not extra permits for other polluters, needs to be introduced. Similarly, the decision to insulate the petrol price from the introduction of a carbon price needs

May 2009

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