Both small and large business members of a Chamber will take away pertinent ideas to help them innovate through local and global economic changes that are occurring and will continue to occur in the short and long terms. We were very pleased with the results. His General Session presentation detailed the competitive need and urgency to innovate.
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, by bill One of the defining features of the neo-liberal era has been the buildup of private debt, particularly household debt. The banks and policy makers all assured us that this was fine because wealth was being built with the debt until, of course, it came tumbling down for many as a result of the GFC.
The fact is that the problem emerged in the s as neo-liberalism took hold of the policy process. We have to understand that period to fully appreciate the household debt problem now.
The following graph shows household debt as a per cent of disposable income for blue bars and red triangles using OECD data. It is ranked low to high as at Every nation shown bar Germany and Japan have increased this ratio over the two decade period — and the increase has been sizeable in each case see next graph The next graph shows the percentage change in the household debt ratio between and for the same nations.
Struggling Eurozone nations feature among the largest shifts. A recent report highlighted in the ABC report January 9, — Wealthiest suburbs among most vulnerable to mortgage stress — showed that an increasing number of Australian households are entering a state of financial stress as a result of carrying huge mortgage debt.
The stress is being borne across the income spectrum with another report February 15, — Are Australian households on the edge of a debt crisis? There was a huge surge in the demand for iron ore and coal, something Australia happens to be very good at producing.
Which is now a convenient story being peddled by financial commentators but one which is fundamentally incorrect. Steel production in Australiafell sharply in and — from 7, metric tons in to 7, inand 5, in see Steel Statistical Yearbook, Total exports as a share of national output fell from Between November and MayMining employment fell from The reason Australia did not record a technical recession during the GFC was due largely to the timely and substantial fiscal stimulus that the Australian government introduced in late and early Fiscal policy settings also have a lot to do with the rise in household debt as I will discuss next.
The ABC report then notes that: Fast-forward to Julyand the price of iron ore was in the middle of a worldwide sell-off. It was idiocy no doubt. And since then the Australian economy has stalled and the labour market gone backwards.
Commodity prices peaked in January and then started falling sharply. Between October and the time commodity prices started falling in Februarythe RBA had already cut the policy rate 11 times down to 2. It has cut the rate further to 1. All they wanted to intone was that more deregulation was necessary to achieve even better outcomes.
Since then real GDP growth has been on average lower and income inequalities have risen. The ABC report gives the impression that the household debt escalation was a price issue — lower interest rates. In fact, history tells a different story. The ABC report and many that have preceded it on the same topic — the debt vulnerability across Australian households — miss the basic point that the massive build up of private debt and the pursuit of fiscal surpluses are intrinsically related.
They are part of the neo-liberal dream — which is, as history has shown us — in fact, a nightmare.
Here are some facts. Australian households are currently carrying record levels of debt mostly mortgage related — The following graph shows total household debt as a percentage of disposable income since to September-quarter latest data. The blue line is total and the red housing mortgage debt.
The shaded area is the 10 out of 11 years of fiscal surpluses that the last conservative government recorded — driven, initially, by the growth that followed the unsustainable private credit binge. Financial deregulation in Australia began in the early s while the exchange rate was still fixed despite the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system in August Only modest changes occurred in this period changes to controls on interest rates for trading banks, for example.
It was not until the exchange rate was floated in that the pace of change accelerated. Foreign banks entered the local economy and a host of controls on domestic banking was abandoned.
This was the beginning of the neo-liberal period. It was also the start of the process of real wage suppression and a massive redistribution of national income towards profits. Like all these changes, unintended consequences soon appeared.
As real wages growth began to lack behind GDP per hour worked labour productivity as the result of specific policies introduced by the then Labour government in Australia but following the global neo-liberal trendit was claimed the redistribution of national income back to profits would lead to a boom in private capital formation investment.ROBERT’S RULES OF INNOVATION: A STEP PROGRAM FOR CORPORATE SURVIVAL 3.
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