What a bunch of bankers
This time yesterday Australians were merrily preparing for the Race that Stops the Nation, confident in the economists’ predictions the RBA would avoid the un-sportsmanlike act of hiking interest rates on Cup Day.
Just 24-hours later all hell has broken loose.
The RBA might have turned on the rates tap with its 25 basis points rise in official interest rates announced at 2.30 yesterday afternoon, but the Commonwealth Bank forced open the flood gates with an immediate move to put its own rates up 45 basis points.
Commbank boss Ralph Norris is not talking this morning, instead letting the Australian Bankers Association make the running.
Association chief executive Stephen Munchenberg said: “What the Commonwealth Bank is saying is that that marginal effect has built up 2 basis points or 0.2 per cent each month, and that’s now built up over nearly a year since the banks last moved interest rates, so there’s a cumulative effect there.”
Westpac just announced its profits have risen 84 per cent in the last 12 months. Yes, that wasn’t a typo - 84 per cent. In the 12 months to September 30 the Gail Kelly-steered Westpac made a net profit of $6.346 billion.
Apparently Kelly is due to make an announcement later today. Wonder what on earth that could be.
After spending a good chunk of last week accusing the Opposition of “economic Hansonism” the Government is now said to be considering adopting parts of Joe Hockey’s nine point plan on banking regulation.
In the space of a week Hockey has gone from zero to hero, with commentators all over the media hailing his populist foresight last week.
And The United Retail Federation have called for a boycott of banks that raise their rates ahead of the official cash rate.
At the other end of the spectrum, Terry McCrann in the Herald Sun has given RBA boss Glen Stevens, and Commbank boss Ralph Norris a pat on the back for being responsible.
It’s quite the cool bucket of water on this morning’s rates fire - but it’s unlikely many mortgage holders will be in the mood to listen today.
We’ll wait with interest to see what Westpac, the National and ANZ have to say about their plans.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…