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Category: Economics

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Will the RBA cut rates before the Fed?

Market consensus is that the US Federal Reserve will cut interest rates well ahead of the RBA. The latest data has cast doubt on this, raising the prospect of an earlier RBA cut to prop up a faltering economy.

Is a large Chinese renminbi devaluation coming?

The Chinese economic model needs an overhaul and a currency devaluation is one way for the country to restructure. If a devaluation happens, it will have significant ramifications for Australia and the world.

CPI lowballs the true cost of living

The consumer price index is supposed to reflect the cost of living but no longer does. The ABS publishes other estimates that provide a more accurate picture of our living expenses, and how much they've recently risen.

The Aussie dollar was floated 40 years ago

On December 9, 1983, the Hawke Labor Government made the momentous decision to float the Australian dollar. This looks back at the history behind the decision and how it's served the country well since. 

Why Asia remains one of the world's best growth stories

China’s economic slowdown and the resilience of the US dollar have dimmed the lustre of many Asian economies’ strong growth momentum in the past year. But heading into 2024, Asia's growth story should reignite.

Former RBA Governor on why interest rates won't come down soon

Former RBA Governor Ian Macfarlane says our economy has held up well given the sharp spike in interest rates. He thinks that economic strength plus high inflation mean rates are more likely to go higher than lower in 2024.

The RBA’s QE losses

Accounting losses from a pandemic inspired bond buying spree have wiped out the RBA's equity and more, pushing its balance sheet into negative equity territory. How did it happen and what lessons can be learned?

ASX tool for interest rates bets needs an overhaul

News outlets and RBA watchers use a handy tool from the ASX to gauge market predictions for the RBA cash rate. Yet the tool has an obvious flaw that needs to be fixed to better reflect current monetary policy.

Rising rates are transferring wealth to older people

Young people hold the majority of home loans while older people have the vast majority of deposits. It's not hard to see why rising interest rates are hurting the young and resulting in increased intergenerational tension.

It’s dismal: good news is bad news … and vice versa

Almost every economic data point or announcement can be interpreted as good news or bad news, which is confusing for investors looking for guidance. 'On the other hand' is a catchphrase of the dismal science.

China in advanced stage of demographic collapse

New data shows China's demographic issues are much worse than most realise. This is going to be the final decade that China can exist as a modern nation-state because it simply isn't going to have the people to even try.

Clime time: the RBA isn't independent nor should it be

Australia should break away from the dogmatic belief that the RBA must be independent of Government. How can it be, when the RBA is the country's largest single creditor, owning around 40% of government debt?

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2024/25 super thresholds – key changes and implications

The ATO has released all the superannuation rates and thresholds that will apply from 1 July 2024. Here's what’s changing and what’s not, and some key considerations and opportunities in the lead up to 30 June and beyond.

The greatest investor you’ve never heard of

Jim Simons has achieved breathtaking returns of 62% p.a. over 33 years, a track record like no other, yet he remains little known to the public. Here’s how he’s done it, and the lessons that can be applied to our own investing.

Five months on from cancer diagnosis

Life has radically shifted with my brain cancer, and I don’t know if it will ever be the same again. After decades of writing and a dozen years with Firstlinks, I still want to contribute, but exactly how and when I do that is unclear.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 552 with weekend update

Being rich is having a high-paying job and accumulating fancy houses and cars, while being wealthy is owning assets that provide passive income, as well as freedom and flexibility. Knowing the difference can reframe your life.

  • 21 March 2024

Is Australia ready for its population growth over the next decade?

Australia will have 3.7 million more people in a decade's time, though the growth won't be evenly distributed. Over 85s will see the fastest growth, while the number of younger people will barely rise. 

Why LICs may be close to bottoming

Investor disgust, consolidation, de-listings, price discounts, activist investors entering - it’s what typically happens at business cycle troughs, and it’s happening to LICs now. That may present a potential opportunity.

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