Plain English Blog

He’s got an axe and he’s rather keen to use it

Andrew Pegler – 02 July 2010 Is it a bird, is it a plane? No it’s a President, he spells of BO and he’s taking an axe to Wall Street! Ya thoughts? While our national interest may have been Wayneing at the recent G20 conference (a gab fest for the world’s largest 20 economies), Barack O went with a stated purpose – a need to quash greed. After an all-nighter… Continue reading →

Are you ready to work until you’re 100?

Andrew Pegler – 25 June 2010 By 2050 25% of Australians will be over 65 and we’ll have twice as many 80-year-olds. Are you ready to work until you’re 100? Well are ya? According to a guy called John Beard, director of the World Health Organisation’s Department of Ageing, we could have 100-year-old Australians still clocking on within 20 years. This comes on the back of research that shows more… Continue reading →

The contagion thingy

Andrew Pegler – 18 June 2010 Europe going belly up affects us in many ways, some obvious, some not, but all form part of what’s called contagion. Europe is copping a belting at the moment as the clutch of nations known as P.I.G.S. (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) struggle to pay their debts. Ratings agency Moody’s just cut Greece’s credit standing by four notches to junk status from A3 to… Continue reading →

The AUD goes down under

Andrew Pegler – 28 May 2010 What happened?! One minute we’re charging towards parity, next minute we’re down like shot ducks. Well there’s a string of reasons and they go something like this. The success of our economy in resisting the worst the GFC could chuck at us and our dependence on resources and hence direct link to the global recovery have seen the little Aussie dollar become a barometer… Continue reading →

What the hell is a futures contract?

Andrew Pegler – 21 May 2010 Right now Barrack Obama is turning his steely gaze to Wall Street. Specifically how to rein in the use of what are called derivatives and today I want to take a plain English gander at one derivative called a futures contract. Very simply, a derivative is a financial instrument (not always in tune) designed to reduce risk. The most common types are futures, which… Continue reading →

Both sides of the Resource Super Profits Tax argument

Andrew Pegler – 14 May 2010 The RSPT has split the electorate and there are good arguments on both sides. Read on for the plain English version. How does it work? Once the RSPT kicks off on 1 July 2012 mining companies won’t get taxed on the first 6% of their profits and for the first five years will be allowed to depreciate assets a lot faster than normal. The… Continue reading →

NAB Business Survey

Andrew Pegler – 30 April 2010 This week I thought we’d check out the latest quarterly NAB Business Confidence Survey to see how the patient is faring. While business confidence eased a tad over the quarter it remains pretty upbeat. And it should come as no surprise that the happiest campers are our diggers and drillers who look like getting better contract prices for our dirt than they expected. Nice… Continue reading →

What the hell is a credit default swap?

Andrew Pegler – 23 April 2010 They were pivotal in bringing on the GFC and have surfaced as a powerful, mysterious force behind the European default jitters. But does anyone out there actually know what a credit default swap is? Read on for the plain English version. Credit default swaps (CDSs) were invented in the late 1990s by Wall Street pointy heads. Since 2000, their market has grown from $900… Continue reading →

Our two-speed economy

Andrew Pegler – 16 April 2010 Right now our economy needs antipsychotics. It’s a babbling mess, unsure if it’s Arthur or Martha. Back in 2006 Secretary Treasury Ken Henry pointed out a rather odd phenomenon: our economy had a split personality. Some parts were rocking along while others were contracting. There was no uniform prosperity – it was all over the shop. Manufacturing and consumption were down, employment was wobbly… Continue reading →

Home Erectus

Andrew Pegler – 09 April 2010 What’s the best way to deal with the current house price surge? Frankly I dunno but here are some cave drawings I prepared earlier. When homo erectus moved out of Africa during the Early Pleistocene, he probably never imagined having to fork out $1mill for a three-bedroom unit in inner western Sydney or $1.3mil for a wrecking ball candidate in inner Melbourne. After all… Continue reading →