NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

On this site are most of the important things I have written for Fairfax and the ABC over the past few decades. I recommend the Search function. The site is a record for you, as well as me.

I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

$700US billion - not too far short of Australia's entire GDP!

The world's biggest-ever financial bailout

CNN on the facts, as of Sunday:

"President Bush asked Congress on Saturday for the authority to spend as much as $700 billion to purchase troubled mortgage assets and contain the financial crisis. The legislative proposal - the centerpiece of what would be the most sweeping economic intervention by the government since the Great Depression - was sent by the White House overnight to lawmakers."

Paul Krugman on the lead up:

"On Sunday, Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary, tried to draw a line in the sand against further bailouts of failing financial institutions; four days later, faced with a crisis spinning out of control, much of Washington appears to have decided that government isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. The unthinkable — a government buyout of much of the private sector’s bad debt — has become the inevitable."

Alan Koher on Australia's part in swift moving developments today:

"Australia’s stunning ban on all short-selling is a revolution that will likely flow around the world in a series of dominoes from tomorrow. The global hedge fund industry will effectively be shut down overnight. The business of securities lending will also shut down."