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.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Ken Henry's devastating question to Senators

"Is 7 per cent unemployment too low?"

Crikey's Bernard Keane:

That was Ken Henry’s response to critics of stimulus spending as he fronted this morning’s hearing of the Senate Economics Committee inquiry into the Government’s stimulus spending.

Henry acknowledged that the Australian economy had performed better than forecast by Treasury, but warned that the withdrawal of stimulus spending would cost 100,000 jobs and 1.5 percentage points in GDP growth in 2010.

“Treasury’s view is that unemployment has yet to peak,” he told the committee, and suggested that the IMF’s recent forecast of a peak of 7% might be “reasonable”.

“The question for policymakers is whether 7% unemployment is too low. I think Treasury’s view is that that is not the case.”