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Category: Economics

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Five industries profoundly changed by COVID-19

Even when the virus is finally contained, the business landscape will look very different. A critical issue is the ability of consumers to find product substitutes. Many people like what they find.

The populations of key countries are shrinking

Population decline is a new, yet largely ignored, trend with underrated economic and social costs. Much of the growth that drives economies, especially in Australia, comes from population increases.

Why are recessions usually good for share prices?

It seems counterintuitive, but share prices rose during 17 (85%) of the 20 economic recessions in Australia in the past 150 years as markets tend to anticipate the bad times and recover early.

What will stop the market returning to its highs?

Despite signs of optimism, market valuations are stretched and recovery is fuelled by government support. Some companies are doing well but stimulus cannot continue to prop up consumers for too long.

Depression or recovery? The risk of time

It is always easier to see the challenges and risks while underestimating ingenuity and positive possibilities. It's likely to be the case this time, too, as long as we move quickly to open economies.

Baseline outlook for economic recovery is too optimistic

We cannot throw our hands up in the air and say 'this time around, it's simply too hard'. Having no macro view is unhelpful, but many of the baseline scenarios are overly optimistic, says the former CEO of Westpac and now Chairman of Chi-X Australia.

The uncertainties of using debt in a time of crisis

The ability of countries to support their economies today turns on fiscal practices set well before this crisis. Increasing levels of debt escalate overall risk, and tie our hands in the future.

Which market comes out first in a recovery?

Downside risks remain and we expect another leg down, but active managers should take advantage of market dislocations. In the current context, humility and risk management are key.

Four ethical challenges in exiting Covid-19 rules

As Australia prepares to relax Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, crucial questions of lives versus livelihoods are being asked. At its most pointed, it's also a matter of lives versus lives.

Together in isolation, four steps in a strange new world

Free spending by governments risks unsustainably higher debt levels, as deficits matter and must be paid for. Here are four steps investors should consider as previous techniques may not work.

Oil and the storm before the really big storm

The oil market is as much about geopolitics as it is demand and supply, with regimes controlling much of the global production. Are negative oil prices part of a bigger plan by someone?

Four steps to resurrecting Australia

As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, there is a small window where everyone is on the same team, fighting a war against a common, invisible enemy. It's an opportunity to make some big decisions.

Most viewed in recent weeks

11 lessons from my lousy $50K profit on Afterpay

Afterpay listed at $1 in 2016 and traded recently at $70. How should an investor treat a small holding in a 70-bagger when each new level defies the experts? Should true believers let the profits run?

How much bigger can the virus bubble get?

Stocks have rallied hard creating a virus bubble, but will this run for years or collapse in a matter of months? The market is giving a second chance to leave so head for the exit before there's a rush.

Share trading is the new addiction

The ability to buy and sell cheaply and quickly in small parcels is both the biggest drawback and benefit of shares. But it encourages people who should not go near the market to use it as a casino.

What is happening with SMSFs? Part 1

Taking a realistic view of the median ‘operating expense’ of an SMSF shows they cost less to run than previously claimed. Look at this granular breakdown and see how the costs of running your SMSF compare.

New ways for listed funds to fix their price discounts

Running a fund should not become a gravy train for boards and investment managers. It is time to address the persistent discounts to NTA on LICs, and there is one especially exciting new structure.

Howard Marks' anatomy of an unexpected rally

Markets can swing quickly from optimism to pessimism, and while there are more positives now than in the bleak early days in March, the market is ignoring many negatives. Risk is not rewarded at these levels.

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