Have any of you got any idea what this has got to do with banking? It’s a mystery to us.
Toni Collette looks like she believes it, but then again, she is a Golden Globe winner so she could be faking.
What are you believing or faking this Tuesday?
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When I was 9, I found a $20 note on the ground.
Back then, it was an astronomical amount of money for a nine year old. And as I glimpsed it, beneath a moving crowd, I stopped dead in my tracks, staring and pointing until mum yelled ‘Just pick it up!’.
Then, something even better happened. Mum said I could keep the money. Suddenly, I was rich. I clutched it in my sweaty little hand all night. I put it lovingly in a black case and checked on it every day. And then when my birthday came around, I spent it on an extravagant doll from Big W.
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Ralph Norris and the Commonwealth Bank have had a tough week.
Following the decision to raise lending rates by almost double the Reserve Bank’s own rate hike there has been stinging criticism from pretty much every sector of the economy and a bit of personal abuse thrown in for good measure.
Representatives from across the political spectrum have anointed “bank bashing” as Australia’s new national sport and the CBA and Ralph himself are a daily headline for every journalistic medium.
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As the four big banks continue to act as a law unto themselves it’s time for Wayne Swan to match the tough talk with tough action, especially in relation to our competition laws.
We have some of the weakest competition laws in the world and that’s why we’re now in this mess with the four big banks.
The simple reality is that Wayne Swan and the ACCC have allowed the four major banks to get as big as they. The ACCC and, ultimately Swan failed to stop Westpac from taking over St George and that was after years of failing to stop the four big banks from taking over the smaller banks.
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Imagine the same people who ran Australia’s big four banks ran your local Italian restaurant. It’s the little things you would notice first – the asterisk at the bottom of the bill alerting you, in six point type, to the $2 cutlery retrieval fee imposed the moment the waiter brought you a knife and fork.
Looking at the specials board would also incur a $2 charge. So would asking for a high chair.
If on one unfortunate night you had a soggy carbonara and they forgot the garlic bread, you would have to return to the restaurant to organise a meeting with the owner, explain that it was nothing personal but things weren’t really up to scratch, fill in an exit form and pay them $1000 before you’d be able to transfer your custom to the trendy new bistro which had just opened up the road.
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Two weeks ago I decided to take a public stand on behalf of ordinary Australians. Home buyers, consumers and small business are sick and tired of being taken for a ride by the banks, who time and time again increase their interest rates above and beyond the official movements of the Reserve Bank.
I’ve had my critics - but if that means I’m standing up to a guy who earns $50,000 a day, while the customers who underwrite his business earn $50,000 a year – then I’ll cop it.
A strong banking sector is vital, but at the same time banks have an obligation to give something back to the community.
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There’s an old joke about what the difference is between a dead kangaroo on the road and a dead banker. There are skid marks in front of the kangaroo.
This week I am starting to wonder or not this is really a joke or the results from an experiment actually conducted.
If the last few days have brought any good news at all, they have at least confirmed Australians’ long-held suspicion that bankers are an evil clan of blood-sucking parasites with the social conscience of Genghis Khan.
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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.
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Does anyone else have a creepy feeling about the strength of the Australian economy?
I can’t seem to shake the sensation that we’re all in some kind of 80s teen horror film: all dancing to the drum machine at summer camp with a frothing cup of beer in one arm and the entire cheerleading team in the other. This is of course moments Jason returns from the dead once more – announcing his entrance to the party by beheading the captain of the football team with an efficient slash of his machete.
If you think this overly pessimistic just remember all good things end: the record high Dow Jones Industrial Average was recorded on this date, October 11 2007, on day high 14,198.10 points. Almost exactly one year later, October 10 2008, the you have the largest intra day point swing on the Dow Jones since 1987, of 1,018.77, that day the market hits a low of 7,882.51 points.
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