Register For Our Mailing List

Register to receive our free weekly newsletter including editorials.

Home / 181

Keating: is technology capitalism's creator or destroyer?

The Hon. Paul Keating

Paul Keating served as Australia’s 24th Prime Minister, from 1991 to 1996, having been Treasurer between 1983 and 1991. His political legacy includes the deregulation of the financial, product and labour markets and the establishment of compulsory superannuation. Since leaving the Prime Ministership in 1996, Paul Keating has continued his interest in geo-political and economic affairs.

Paul Keating noted it was the largest group of fund managers he had ever spoken to, and they should be charging lower fees on the $2.3 trillion in his superannuation system.

He focussed on the global macro picture. The shattering of US prestige came in 2008 with the GFC. Before then, the world believed Americans had the black box on how to manage the world economy, but China is now bigger than the US if you include the unofficial economy.

Population and GDP will grow together due to technology and capital mobility. The Chinese have about 20% of US income per capita, and we should expect it to reach 50% over next 20 years. Four times as many people earning half as much will give China a GDP size of double the US. Demographics will drive future domination.

The Chinese are now building their own institutions and the IMF has no influence, and the renminbi will become a reserve currency. We are seeing a break from a world previously managed out of Washington.

It matters how the world is managed. Keating thought Trump was weak during his campaign, but he tapped into the “We will not take it anymore” of millions of Americans. Maybe he will be better than we expect, and he’s already said three encouraging things: we need a better relationship with Russia, we need to reach out to China (“Although Trump is slightly wild, the Chinese do not do wild well.”) and he wants to spend on infrastructure.

We are heading into a different world of great power rivalries, not multinationals. It might even work better than pretending we like each other.

The tools used for inflation do not work in a low growth, deflationary world. We used to think markets knew how to allocate funds, and we have lost the great dynamic growth engines of the past such as road building, railways, plastics, etc.

Main reason interest rates are low is because there is no use for savings in the west, not QE. Companies already have too much capacity and excess capital and central banks cannot stimulate activity in such a market. We have capital-light industries like Facebook which don’t need many staff or equipment, unlike the great car companies or manufacturers of the past. It has been a mistake to impose budget restrictions in US which has led to crumbling infrastructure.

But networks and the interconnected economy are the major changes in our lifetime. The entire world is connected, but information erodes value in many companies, and most information is now free. End result? The world’s population will become a big global factory and the price of goods and services will continue to fall.

Can capitalism cope with this change?

Intuitive technologies and artificial intelligence will be massive changes which can take us anywhere. They will change the way the world works. P2P relationships will grow in importance, and the distinction between leisure and work will become more blurred.

Keating left us with this question. Is the digital economy capitalism's great creator or its undertaker?

 

banner

Most viewed in recent weeks

Is it better to rent or own a home under the age pension?

With 62% of Australians aged 65 and over relying at least partially on the age pension, are they better off owning their home or renting? There is an extra pension asset allowance for those not owning a home.

Too many retirees miss out on this valuable super fund benefit

With 700 Australians retiring every day, retirement income solutions are more important than ever. Why do millions of retirees eligible for a more tax-efficient pension account hold money in accumulation?

Is the fossil fuel narrative simply too convenient?

A fund manager argues it is immoral to deny poor countries access to relatively cheap energy from fossil fuels. Wealthy countries must recognise the transition is a multi-decade challenge and continue to invest.

Reece Birtles on selecting stocks for income in retirement

Equity investing comes with volatility that makes many retirees uncomfortable. A focus on income which is less volatile than share prices, and quality companies delivering robust earnings, offers more reassurance.

Welcome to Firstlinks Election Edition 458

At around 10.30pm on Saturday night, Scott Morrison called Anthony Albanese to concede defeat in the 2022 election. As voting continued the next day, it became likely that Labor would reach the magic number of 76 seats to form a majority government.   

  • 19 May 2022

Comparing generations and the nine dimensions of our well-being

Using the nine dimensions of well-being used by the OECD, and dividing Australians into Baby Boomers, Generation Xers or Millennials, it is surprisingly easy to identify the winners and losers for most dimensions.

Latest Updates

SMSF strategies

30 years on, five charts show SMSF progress

On 1 July 1992, the Superannuation Guarantee created mandatory 3% contributions into super for employees. SMSFs were an after-thought but they are now the second-largest segment. How have they changed?

Investment strategies

Anton in 2006 v 2022, it's deja vu (all over again)

What was bothering markets in 2006? Try the end of cheap money, bond yields rising, high energy prices and record high commodity prices feeding inflation. Who says these are 'unprecedented' times? It's 2006 v 2022.

Taxation

Tips and traps: a final check for your tax return this year

The end of the 2022 financial year is fast approaching and there are choices available to ensure you pay the right amount of tax. Watch for some pandemic-related changes worth understanding.

Financial planning

Is it better to rent or own a home under the age pension?

With 62% of Australians aged 65 and over relying at least partially on the age pension, are they better off owning their home or renting? There is an extra pension asset allowance for those not owning a home.

Infrastructure

Listed infrastructure: finding a port in a storm of rising prices

Given the current environment it’s easy to wonder if there are any safe ports in the investment storm. Investments in infrastructure assets show their worth in such times.

Financial planning

Power of attorney: six things you need to know

Whether you are appointing an attorney or have been appointed as an attorney, the full extent of this legal framework should be understood as more people will need to act in this capacity in future.

Interest rates

Rising interest rates and the impact on banks

One of the major questions confronting investors is the portfolio weighting towards Australian banks in an environment of rising rates. Do the recent price falls represent value or are too many bad debts coming?

Sponsors

Alliances

© 2022 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer
The data, research and opinions provided here are for information purposes; are not an offer to buy or sell a security; and are not warranted to be correct, complete or accurate. Morningstar, its affiliates, and third-party content providers are not responsible for any investment decisions, damages or losses resulting from, or related to, the data and analyses or their use. Any general advice or ‘regulated financial advice’ under New Zealand law has been prepared by Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892) and/or Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc, without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. For more information refer to our Financial Services Guide (AU) and Financial Advice Provider Disclosure Statement (NZ). You should consider the advice in light of these matters and if applicable, the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision to invest. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product’s future performance. To obtain advice tailored to your situation, contact a professional financial adviser. Articles are current as at date of publication.
This website contains information and opinions provided by third parties. Inclusion of this information does not necessarily represent Morningstar’s positions, strategies or opinions and should not be considered an endorsement by Morningstar.

Website Development by Master Publisher.