Plain English Blog

The sixth wave of innovation

Posted by Andrew Pegler on May 04, 2011 There’s a brave new world coming and it wants your leftover pizza. We live in a wasteful world. But imagine if all this waste was not only useful but a driver of the global economy. Well you’ve just glimpsed the future, according to the writings of James Bradfield Moody and Bianca Nogrady in The Sixth Wave. Since the Industrial Revolution, the economy… Continue reading →

They were the daze my friends…

Andrew Pegler – 21 January 2011 Sorry folks, the pre-GFC halcyon days of low interest rates are gonski. Wayne and crew may be getting on their high horse and making it easy to transfer your business between banks, but they won’t have a significant effect on the cost of borrowing. Cost of borrowing? Our banks have to pay interest rates on the money THEY borrow, from the big banks overseas…. Continue reading →

The Year That Was

Andrew Pegler – 7 January 2011 Within a decade we’ll be sentimental for the days when the U.S. was economic superpower and global stabiliser. The peace and prosperity we’ve enjoyed since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 (and arguably since the end of WWII) is unparalleled. But like air, you’ll only notice when it’s gone. Having world-leading powers – Germany, Japan and the U.S. – all bonded by the mutual… Continue reading →

What the hell are the banks’ funding costs?

Andrew Pegler – 26 November 2010 Are the banks just gouging scoundrels or is there something to this “funding costs” malarkey? As we all know the big four banks shared a $22 billion dollars profit this year, which is pretty good work if you can get it. The Super funds were happy and shareholders were grinning, but then they went and wrecked it all by saying something like let’s hike… Continue reading →

Interest rate basics

With so much talk about interest rates I thought it apt to take a look at some of the basics of the whole shebang. What’s a central bank? This is a country’s primary monetary authority. Ours is called the Reserve Bank of Australia, known as the RBA. Other examples include the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve in the US. Central banks are busy bees…. Continue reading →

This is in your interest

Andrew Pegler – 26 March 2010 THE GFC has changed how banks raise money. While this isn’t great for borrowers it’s boon time for savers. Ever wondered how banks get their money? It’s a mix of your deposits with what they can borrow from other financial institutions on the capital markets. (Capital markets are where governments and companies go to raise money.) This funding mix was pretty stable leading up… Continue reading →

The ads and disads of immigration

Posted by Andrew Pegler on February 26, 2010 Hello UBankers (don’t read that aloud too fast as it may sound like an insult). This week I will continue this blog’s firm political stance on not having a firm political stance and take a gander at the ads and disads of the political football that is immigration. Tony kicks to Kev, Kev kicks to Tony… Advantages of immigration: 1. We get… Continue reading →

To fix or not to fix?

Posted August 2009 To fix or not to fix? That is the question. Do you punt on interest rates going up and fix in your rate now or bet the house on rates staying low and stick with a variable loan? While I am not in the position to give advice, I have put together some background information to help you make up your own mind. First, some definitions. A… Continue reading →

What has inflation got to do with the price of fish?

Well quite a lot actually but more on that later. As some of you may already have read, Australia just recorded its lowest annual inflation rate since the end of 1999 and it’s the first time it’s gone below 2% annually since 2007. By way of background, inflation is measured by the Consumer Price Index, which measures the quarterly changes in the price of things – if prices inflate, go… Continue reading →

What is a technical recession?

Recession? Moi? You wouldn’t usually think of Poland and South Korea when you think of classic Aussie bed fellow but think again. The recent release of the national figures that measure these sorts of thing has our economy growing by a faster-than-expected 0.4 per cent in the first three months of this year. This pulls us out of the jaws of technical recession and as such we join our new… Continue reading →