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Treasurer vs. Shadow Treasurer: Fight!

Date: 27 May 2016

While watching the debate between the Treasurer Scott Morrison and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen today at the National Press Club one would not find much in the way of new information, compared to what has been outlined during the budget and debated in the course of the subsequent election campaign.

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A Lesson on Competition in Aged Care Services

Date: 27 May 2016

More competition in the delivery of human services, as recommended by the Harper Inquiry, is likely to increase the variety of services available, reduce the price of services and may encourage innovation. However, when it comes to aged care sector, competition may not necessarily result in better care, due to market failures.

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You Can Win an Election, and Still Lose

Date: 27 May 2016

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his policies are set to get a boost this week after voters elected a parliament that favors reform.  While Rouhani’s reformists didn’t win a majority of seats, it appears likely that the “moderate” independents also elected will side with his faction, giving the reformists an effective majority in the parliament for the first time since 2004.

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Tax 'Super Changes' are Taxing

Date: 26 May 2016

Any change in taxation invariably raises questions about distribution. Who loses, who wins – and who loses most – will always be an issue. However, such analysis should be applied with care, lest it miss the bigger picture.

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The Ties that Get You a Job

Date: 26 May 2016

More than half of jobs are found with the help of a social tie, whether a friend, relative or distant acquaintance. For example, a friend may tell you about a job opening at her firm or a parent may offer you an internship at his company.

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Hitting the (Pay) Wall

Date: 25 May 2016

Despite the shift to digital newsrooms, it is fair to say that Australian newspapers are still reliant on print for their advertising revenue.

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Fitting that the G7 Meets in Japan

Date: 25 May 2016

The big economic issue on the agenda at the G7 is the continued sluggish growth of the global economy. While the group of seven major advanced countries does not include rising powers such as India and China, it still accounts for more than a third of the world’s GDP. In addition, its limited membership of “like-minded countries” means it may be one of few meetings that can actually make a difference.

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South Africa's Finance Minister Needs Your Support

Date: 25 May 2016

Advocate Shaun Abrahams, South Africa’s National Director of Public Prosecutions, has stepped into some torrid waters.  At a recent media briefing, he dealt with two issues: the first was his announcement that the National Prosecuting Authority will seek leave to appeal a High Court judgment that the matter of the reinstatement of corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma should be reconsidered.

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Iceland Bounces Back

Date: 25 May 2016

Disgruntled Icelanders recently forced their prime minister to quit, and are threatening to hand power to self-styled pirates at an early election. However, whereas other European voters are culling traditional parties out of weakness, Reykjavik’s are rebelling out of strength. In contrast to Eurozone countries (core as well as periphery) that remain deeply constrained by excessive external debt, Iceland has just paid down its foreign obligations by a cool US$61 billion, returning them to the safe 2006 level.

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Meanwhile, in Australian Television News

Date: 24 May 2016

The Ten Network is signing a five-year regional television affiliation agreement with WIN, ending long-standing speculation.  While WIN needs Ten’s big name programs, this move looks forced and results in WIN sacrificing its affiliation with a higher ranking network, whereas Ten gains additional markets from WIN, the largest of the regional broadcasters.

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Turning to Businesses to Close the Pay Gap

Date: 24 May 2016

In recent months, debates about global economic inequality have reached boiling point. In Britain, voters will soon decide whether to exit the European Union against the backdrop of a growing Brexit movement fuelled by perceptions of an unfair European trading system.

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What's Really Going On in Africa's Middle Class?

Date: 24 May 2016

Since the turn of the century, the middle classes of the global South have taken centre stage in economic policy circles. Animated by diversification of some countries’ economies, a handful of economists from international agencies and think-tanks began a discourse that then entered African and development studies.

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Spin Class with the Microfinance 'Credit Bicycle'

Date: 24 May 2016

Microfinance has been celebrated as a way to get money into the hands of poor people, and most famously women, so they can jump-start small businesses. These tiny loans with minimal requirements to borrow have become a global phenomenon.

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The Brexit and Vector Autoregressive Analysis...What?

Date: 23 May 2016

Over 90 pages, the British Treasury’s latest referendum attempts to identify the short-term economic effects of a vote to leave on June 23 – aka Brexit. When the Treasury tweeted the publication late on the morning of May 23 it was billed a “detailed and rigorous analysis on the immediate impact of leaving the EU”. So how does it stack up?

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Waiting on Japanese Data, the Yen is Up for Now

Date: 23 May 2016

The yen is the strongest of the major currencies.  It has gained about 0.65% against the dollar.  It has been grinding lower throughout the Asian and European session and has remained in narrow ranges near its highs in the US morning.

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