The banks have recently announced large profit gains, the latest being Westpac with an 85% profit lift to $6.35 billion. Following the Reserve Bank’s announcement of a 25 basis point increase in the official cash rate the CBA lifted its variable home loan rate by 45 basis points, a move that was met by howls of protest from postulating politicians and media commentators.
A common question posed by Hewison clients every seven or so years. You see, historically gold is seen as a defensive investment play and a hedge against inflation. In times of despair the fear factor takes hold as investors search for a safe haven. A bit like property, people can feel safer owning an asset they can see and touch. That makes sense does it not? Well no, it doesn’t actually.
Interest rates in the United States are currently at an all time low of 0.25%. Aggressive rate cutting by the US Federal Reserve has been aimed at stimulating consumer expenditure and economic growth. Thus far, this strategy has not had the desired effect and has led the US Federal Reserve to “Quantitative Easing”.
There has been much debate about the NBN, its usefulness, its total cost and cost efficiency and its long term viability. I must admit I have been a sceptic and concerned about the lack of cost / benefit analysis and business plan as raised by Malcolm Turnbull. At our corporate break out conference last week we had Peter Blasina (TVs gadget-man) as one of our guest speakers talking about the future for technology.