History: US credit rating downgrade

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Credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, has downgraded the long-term credit rating of the US from AAA to AA+. What does it all mean? It is a history-making event, but the longer-term implications are limited. Of the three major credit rating agencies only Standard & Poor’s has seen fit to downgrade the credit rating of […]

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Sharemarket crash trumps Reserve Bank forecasts

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The Reserve Bank has changed its interest rate assumptions, now expecting no change in rates over the next two years: “The cash rate is assumed to be unchanged over the forecast period; this compares with the technical assumption in May of a 50 basis points rise by mid 2013.” The RBA reduced near-term economic growth […]

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Reserve Bank employs a ‘jawboning’ strategy

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The Reserve Bank Board has left the cash rate at 4.75 per cent for the ninth straight month (covering eight formal meetings) – the most stable period for rates in five years. The next meeting is on September 6 2011. With that latest reading of inflation on the high side of expectations, the Reserve Bank […]

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Weekly economic and market report

Weekly economic and market report for week commencing 17 July 2011 Headline developments of the past week European debt problems took centre stage yet again over the last week. Until recently it appeared that the European Union had put a firewall around Greece, Ireland and Portugal in order to protect Spain and Italy and as […]

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State of the states – state & territory performance report

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How are Australia’s states and territories performing? Each quarter CommSec attempts to find out by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment; unemployment, construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements. Just as the Reserve Bank uses decade averages to determine the level of “normal” interest rates; we have done […]

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Stock market Bubbles

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Market Bubbles While there is a lot of evidence that stock markets are simply unpredictable, there are times when prices get a long way out of kilter with any sense of reasonable value. The term used is “bubble”.  Bubbles are harder to avoid than might appear. Herd instinct seems to be firmly embedded in the […]

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