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Bali nine executions: What now for Australia and Indonesia?

The fallout between the two countries has started. Following the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Indonesia has come under attack from the UN, and especially Australia.  Australia has retaliated by recalling their ambassador Paul Grigson, and it seems certain that foreign aid to Indonesia will be slashed considerably. On the internet, thousands of Australian social justice advocates have sworn to never visit Indonesia again, culminating in the boycott Indonesia campaign.

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A brief history of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

The 2013 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was announced on October 15 and won by a trio of financial economists: Eugene Fama, Robert Shiller and Lars Peter Hansen. Fama is the mastermind behind the ‘efficient-market hypothesis’, which will be familiar to all who have taken at least a first-year finance subject, whilst Shiller is a primary critic of the hypothesis and instead espouses the idea of ‘irrational exuberance’ in markets (read: stock markets are generally overvalued as investors underestimate the risk of incurring a loss).

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The ReTurnbull Movement – the future of the Liberal Party?

Now that Kevin Rudd has regained his position at the helm of the Australian Labor Party, the soap opera that is Australian politics has almost immediately turned itself to the future of the relatively stable Liberal Party. Specifically, rumours are now flying about the unsung ambitions of shadow communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull to topple Tony Abbott before the election, and ride on a wave of popular admiration to the Prime Ministership. At least, that’s what the media seems to think.

Questions now arise however – who is this man, and what does he want? And, possibly more importantly, what impact would his return to the leadership of the Liberal Party (if it ever occurred) have on its policies, prospects and the public?

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Are We Pure or Impure Altruists?

In economics, altruism is traditionally taught as an exception to the rational traits of the Economic Man, homo economicus. And while altruism rarely receives a tribute in the textbooks because of its apparent non-belonging in classic economics, it has strikingly important implications for public economic policy.

I have previously discussed the topic of nonprofits and the effects of changes in fundraising on charitable individuals. This week, I want to delve into a discussion of the phenomenon of ‘crowding-out’, community diversity, and touch on the differentiation of altruism between ‘pure’ and ‘impure’.

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Planning for a Soft Landing

Like most debates that enter the political sphere, the discussion around the demise of the Australian car manufacturing industry is plagued by emotionally charged falsehoods, meaningless rhetoric and ideological blinkers. A more impartial analysis suggests that while there is a case to be made for the free market to take its course, the human cost of the broader structural shift demands attention.

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Has inflation targeting become a sporting event?

At the time of writing, available odds for this Tuesday’s RBA meeting are $1.40 for rates to remain unchanged, $2.20 for a decrease of up to 25 basis points and then a respectable $19 for a cut between 25 and 50 basis points. Any increase in the cash rate pays $34 but putting money on that would surely be the equivalent of backing a horse with a broken leg – unless it is called Black Caviar perhaps.

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Labor’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The Coalition’s conditional support for the Labor proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has sparked media frenzy and has dominated domestic news headlines this past week due to the wide and deep affects this will have on the community at large. The scheme, funded in part by revenue raised through an increase in the Medicare levy, represents a tax hike of 0.5% to the average taxpayer. However, for the 410,000 Australians and their families suffering from a congenital or acquired permanent disability, the NDIS embodies the much-needed lifeline that will assist in alleviating the financial burden imposed by their disability.

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