Latest Finance Stories

Do the grandchildren really pay the debt? The problem with Scott Morrison’s plan for recovery, and MMT

Do the grandchildren really pay the debt? The problem with Scott Morrison’s plan for recovery, and MMT

The Government’s plan for economic recovery is wrong. Michael West investigates Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and the false assumption that the national Budget is like the household budget, or a business. They are already creating new money while denying the proposition that creating new money will expand the economy; preferring to punish casual workers and Arts students, and pursue austerity instead.

Westpac’s pursuit of profit “placed children directly at risk of harm”

Westpac’s pursuit of profit “placed children directly at risk of harm”

In 2018, when Westpac executives skimped on embedding proper controls to track financial crimes, they earned significant bonuses after reporting an operating profit of A$8 billion but they put children at risk of sexual abuse. The bank is now facing a $1 billion penalty, but only $A20 million has been clawed back from those 38 individuals. Nathan Lynch reports.

Government debt deepening rapidly – well before COVID-19

Government debt deepening rapidly – well before COVID-19

The Coalition won the 2013 federal election beating their chest about Labor’s “debt and deficit”. Thanks to COVID-19, we’re unlikely to see a surplus in our lifetime or our children’s. But, let’s not forget that the current debt blow-out occurred well before the coronavirus impacted the economy. Alan Austin checks how Australia shapes up against other OECD countries.

Emergency piggy-bank: superannuation’s Achilles heel exposed by virus

Emergency piggy-bank: superannuation’s Achilles heel exposed by virus

If this was the first time Australia’s cosseted superannuation sector found itself in a crisis-induced crunch, you could forgive the industry its current consternation. This is however starting to look like a replay of the Global Financial Crisis, little more than a decade ago. Worryingly, unless there is genuine reform, the next crisis will likely produce the same outcome. Harry Chemay reports.

Virgin Australia: buy the business, don’t bail out the shareholders

Virgin Australia: buy the business, don’t bail out the shareholders

Virgin Australia is pleading for a bail-out twice what its shares a worth. Its wealthy foreign shareholders can afford to pay. They’ve scampered. What is the answer? The answer lies in an Act of British Parliament, that is Section 51 of Australia’s Constitution. Michael West reports on a neat solution to a very untidy problem, the looming wave of defaults by large corporations.

GFC v Corona Crash: why it’s different this time

GFC v Corona Crash: why it’s different this time

Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg can kiss their cherished budget surplus goodbye. They never quite got there. Now we await their stimulus package, surely a more decisive affair than the bushfire response.Markets cratered around the world overnight on a 30 per cent...

Super Void: what super funds are telling regulators is not what they are telling customers

Super Void: what super funds are telling regulators is not what they are telling customers

Compare the pair. Thulasisi Sivapalan is Australia’s most prolific super fund investor. The PhD researcher from UTS tried to join 41 super funds just to get their financial statements. It was a tough journey; navigating mystified admin people, unhelpful regulators at APRA, even an abattoir. On a mission to find out how much tax super funds pay, Thulasisi discovered hundreds of millions of dollars in discrepancies between what Australia’s super funds were telling their investors and what they were reporting to APRA. Callum Foote reports on a peculiar road-trip.

Swerving SWIFT: the story behind Westpac’s money-laundering calamity

Swerving SWIFT: the story behind Westpac’s money-laundering calamity

Bankrolling pedophiles, facilitating massive money-laundering schemes and terrorist-financing have branded Westpac, deservingly, an instant pariah of the banking world. As regulatory intelligence expert Nathan Lynch reveals here however, Westpac is unlikely to be alone. The story behind the story is industrial scale tax avoidance, the concealing of enormous cross-border payments

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