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Edition: 197

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Edition 197

  • 7 April 2017

The recent regulator focus on macroprudential controls reminds me of when I started work in a bank treasury in the early 1980s. At the time, a 10% limit was imposed on loan growth, but banks found ways around the rules. They converted business loans to bank bill facilities which were not counted in the loan numbers, but provided the same credit for the client. They required borrowers to repay overnight loans on a Wednesday because it was the reporting day, and then lent to them again the next day. Let's hope those were the bad old days and banks don't behave like that now.

Retirement savings and age pension black holes

It’s surprising there has not been more outcry about the age pension taper test in a low rate environment, where a ‘black hole’ creates a perverse impact of less retirement income the more a retiree has saved.

Debt binge main cause of house price rises

Household borrowing, mainly for property, now far exceeds business borrowing, but it is businesses that create jobs and wealth. The crackdown on housing debt is overdue.

When directors sell, should you sell too?

The selling of shares by company directors is not necessarily a sign for other investors to follow, but research into Australian sales seems to be a stronger signal than directors' buying.

Five urban myths about super changes

When changes to regulations are as extensive and complex as the coming 1 July rules, many misconceptions about how they work arise for both advisers and their clients. Here are a few common mistakes.

Can socially responsible investing and good returns coexist?

There is gathering evidence that socially responsible investing (SRI) is not just about doing the right thing, but it does not detract from returns and investors who focus on it are likely to be rewarded.

Of Blackberrys, pineapples and trade

Free trade is more at risk than at any time in almost a century, and yet trade restrictions will increase prices for those who can least afford it, and prop up inefficient industries.

New RG97 rules will increase disclosed fees

Superannuation and managed fund providers are finding new product disclosure requirements challenging, but the standards will allow better fund comparisons for consumers.

Most viewed in recent weeks

10 reasons wealthy homeowners shouldn't receive welfare

The RBA Governor says rising house prices are due to "the design of our taxation and social security systems". The OECD says "the prolonged boom in house prices has inflated the wealth of many pensioners without impacting their pension eligibility." What's your view?

House prices surge but falls are common and coming

We tend to forget that house prices often fall. Direct lending controls are more effective than rate rises because macroprudential limits affect the volume of money for housing leaving business rates untouched.

Survey responses on pension eligibility for wealthy homeowners

The survey drew a fantastic 2,000 responses with over 1,000 comments and polar opposite views on what is good policy. Do most people believe the home should be in the age pension asset test, and what do they say?

100 Aussies: five charts on who earns, pays and owns

Any policy decision needs to recognise who is affected by a change. It pays to check the data on who pays taxes, who owns assets and who earns the income to ensure an equitable and efficient outcome.

Three good comments from the pension asset test article

With articles on the pensions assets test read about 40,000 times, 3,500 survey responses and thousands of comments, there was a lot of great reader participation. A few comments added extra insights.

The sorry saga of housing affordability and ownership

It is hard to think of any area of widespread public concern where the same policies have been pursued for so long, in the face of such incontrovertible evidence that they have failed to achieve their objectives.

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