Home Management Matters Swan foresees surplus, Aussie banks mull rate hikes and the latest in...

Swan foresees surplus, Aussie banks mull rate hikes and the latest in business


Talking Business is a podcast review of the Australian economy, presented by seasoned business journalists Leon Gettler and Garry Barker, produced in association with the RMIT College of Business. It features interviews with prominent business leaders and expert analysis from RMIT academics.

Swan foresees surplus, Aussie banks mull rate hikes and the latest in business

In this podcast:

  • Leon and Garry talk about Treasurer Wayne Swan’s announcement that the government is headed for a larger-than-expected surplus. They look at speculation that Australia’s biggest banks could be forced to raise interest rates independently of the Reserve Bank decision. But they won’t do it until after the federal election.
  • Home approvals are up 1.9%, driven largely by investors.
  • Australian businesses are likely to face higher lending costs with the burden falling on SMEs.
  • Meanwhile the Dun and Bradstreet Consumer Credit Expectations Survey says one in five households expect to increase their debt levels over the next few months.
  • Consumer confidence is up but the OECD has questioned whether Australia’s labor market is in good a shape as we think with more being forced to work part time.
  • Unions are pushing for a 7% wage increase at companies like Telstra, Qantas, Commonwealth Bank and Cochlear.
  • The head of the National Broadband Network company, Mike Quigley, warns that the cost of the NBN could balloon.
  • Private surveys suggest that the business recovery has hit its peak and might be trending down.
  • Wheat farmers expect to deliver a record yielding crop this year because of good rains after a decade of droughts and heartbreak.
  • Sigma indicates it is willing to keep working with suitor Aspen to hit on a good price but it’s negotiating hard.
  • ASIC has announced a crackdown on the derivative instruments of contracts-for-difference (CFDs).
  • Virgin Blue has delayed the relaunch of its airline because of a dispute with its biggest shareholder Sir Richard Branson over the use of the Virgin name.
  • The gym industry is fighting a decision by the Copyright Council to increase license fees for music while people exercise, claiming it will send small gyms broke.
  • Transurban has an 8.4% increases in toll revenue.
  • Former Macquarie senior equities trader Newton Chan is jailed for four months for manipulating the market with trades in collapsed electronics payments company Bill Express.
  • Bendigo Bank and Suncorp Metway strike a deal that gives customers access to respective ATMs free of charge, signaling a trend in the industry.
  • Communication Minister Steve Conroy’s plan to delay the ISP filter not only removes an election issue but splits the ISPs and anti-filtering camp.
  • American clothing giant Gap will open its first store in the Melbourne shopping centre of Chadstone in August followed by another one in Westfield Sydney in October.

Press play to listen.


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Garry Barker and Leon Gettler both have established careers with ‘The Age’ newspaper, where Garry Barker is its Technology Editor, and Leon Gettler is a Senior Business Journalist. Gettler also works freelance on a number of other publications.