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.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just say it. Wayne Swan almost did.

From last night's 7.30 Report

Silly silly silly. Wasn't this government going to level with the Australian people?

PRESENTER: Let me hear in plain English, that the Budget is within a hair's breadth of going into deficit. It seems silly to me that anybody would bother to argue that proposition. Will you accept going into deficit, if you have to, to maintain appropriate stimulus of the economy under the threat of recession and high unemployment?

WAYNE SWAN: Kerry, it would be silly to speculate along the lines of your question.

PRESENTER: Why?

WAYNE SWAN: Because I've made it clear. We are projecting modest growth and modest surpluses but if the situation were to deteriorate significantly it would have an impact on our surpluses and it may well be the case that we could end up in the area that you're speculating about.

PRESENTER: Well, say it. "In deficit".

WAYNE SWAN: I am not going to say it because we're projecting modest surpluses Kerry.