Editorial Judgement

The ‘Certainty’ Myth

A sub-narrative amid the media thumbsucking about the future of the Australian Labor Party after the leadership spill has been the ritual calls from business leaders for the removal of "uncertainty" - the idea being that the economy has ground to a standstill as the egos exchange handbags in Canberra. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

A Fistful of Donuts

Which party is best at cutting the red tape that stifles Aussie entrepreneurship, promotes small business initiative, checks lazy government waste and puts downward pressure on interest rates for working people? Me sir! Me sir! Just bend me over the desk for a moment and flash me your fiscal rectitude. Isn't the state of economic journalism clear by now? After the earnest and profound economic policy debates of the 1980s, we seem have devolved into  a pale imitation of that in our modern political discourse - one in which one side and then the other stage a predictable pantomime that bears little resemblance to our lived reality. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

A Show About Nothing

Where else but Australia would the media work itself  into a frenzy over a 'MYEFO'? Perhaps if you told the Brits it stood for My Youthful Exotic French Odyssey, they might bite. But Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Outlook? Hold the front page. In Australia, journos scribble millions of words every year about data that has little or no bearing on the lives of most of us - like monthly forecasts of volatile unemployment data (a throw of the dice by the statistical gods) or, worst of all, whether the federal budget ends the financial year in a small surplus or a tiny deficit. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Financial journalism

The Forecast Deficit

A few years back an economic forecaster was asked to explain why his predictions of a 10 per cent return on the Australian equity market that year hadn't come to pass. (The market ended down nearly 40 per cent in 2008). "It's not my fault," he complained. "No-one predicted Lehman." To which the response is well, isn't that the point? Forecasts are subject to considerable error, due to the tendency for events to screw around with one's cherished assumptions. A plane flies into a building, an investment bank goes belly up, a country defaults, a government changes etc; (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Financial News

The Money Go Round

Hi, I'm Ricky Retire-Safe and welcome to Your Money or Your Life - the program where we reveal what today's market movements mean for you, your children and your children's children. And if we scare the shit out of you in the process even better. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Editorial Judgement

Locked Up

The Federal Budget is 'The Big Day Out' for the political and financial media in Australia. Busloads of hacks (only the lucky ones go by plane these days) make the long journey to late autumn Canberra to join their full-time press gallery brethren in what is a media and political ritual - a six-hour lock-up, a frenzy of writing and then off to The Holy Grail (these days the Kennedy Room, I'm told) to get stonkered till 3am. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

Noise Vs Signal

First it was the nightly weather, then the finance report and now it's politics. There is a creeping conspiracy in television news of people standing in front of charts, taking the daily temperature - of meteorology, of markets and of members of parliament - and trying to persuade us that it all means something. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago