The Kouk's top 40 hits and misses

more Over the summer break, while fiddling through data bases, reading and just being interested in things, I unearthed a few quirky bits and pieces about the Australian economy, people, sport

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more Stephen Koukoulas has a rare and specialised professional experience over more than 25 years as an economist in Treasury, as Global Head of economic and market research, a Chief Economist
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What the Turnbull government must do now

Sun, 17 Jul 2016

This article first appeared on the Yahoo 7 Finance at this link; 


What the Turnbull government must do now

The Coalition won the election. Labor lost.

Politics, like sporting events, are pretty simple – you are a winner whether the margin is a point or 50, whether you win by a nose or 20 lengths. The prize is the same regardless of the margin. The Melbourne Cup, Olympic gold or government.

Prime Minister Turnbull and his team will set the agenda on economic and budget policy for the next three years. Whatever policies it took to the election, the economic change unfolding domestically and around the world means that the issues confronting the government are different today than even a few months ago and future risks, both positive and negative, cannot be fully anticipated.

All that should matter for the Turnbull government is having the nous, pragmatism and common sense to adjust policy as these unforecastable events unfold. The Coalition government must do all that it can to promote economic growth, repair the budget and lower the unemployment rate.

The Abbott and Turnbull governments failed on all these three fronts in its prior term, so it is to be hoped it has learned from these shortcomings and over the next three years delivers on its commitments on these vital benchmarks. It needs to stop spending money in low priority areas and look to the tax base to restore the budget balance.

Labor's Chris Bowen – most valuable player of the 2016 election

Wed, 06 Jul 2016

This article first appeared on The Guardian website at this link: 


Labor's Chris Bowen – most valuable player of the 2016 election

The champions of the 2016 election are the shadow treasurer, Chris Bowen, and his economic team. They treated the electorate with respect by releasing detailed policy choices on difficult issues. These choices set the scene for Labor’s overall campaign which has been remarkably successful given how far Labor were behind the Coalition at the end of 2015.

Bowen prosecuted the case for Labor’s economic policy framework during the campaign, even when it meant the proposed tax changes drew howls of indignation from parts of the electorate and allowed the Liberal party to launch scare campaigns about collapsing house prices and budget deficits.

Without the policy proposals and details outlined by Bowen, Labor would not have stood a chance.