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RBA governor Michele Bullock.

RBA must show independence on material inflation risk

The Treasurer’s pre-emptive insistence makes it even more important that the new governor and her board actively demonstrate the central bank’s political independence.

  • The AFR View

At this salon, services inflation is proving hard to trim

The average price of hairdressing and personal grooming services increased by 6.7 per cent last year. At one Sydney salon, it means a shampoo, cut and blow dry will cost $200 from next week.

  • Ronald Mizen
Brad Banducci says mortgage holders are under pressure, but the pain is spreading to renters, too.

What 680,000 toy cars tell you about interest rate pain

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci says mortgagees and renters are hurting. But Wednesday’s inflation surprise leaves the RBA facing the prospect of lifting rates several times.  

  • Updated
  • James Thomson
Jim Chalmers.

Chalmers resists RBA rates risks

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has resisted predictions from economists that strong inflation data will force the RBA to raise the cash rate up to two more times.

  • Updated
  • Michael Read
RBA governor Michele Bullock will consider an interest rate rise on November 7.

Inflation boosts chances of Cup Day interest rate rise

The jump in underlying inflation will be extremely hard for Michele Bullock to ignore as she tries to shore up the RBA’s credibility.

  • John Kehoe

This Month

Economist Max Corden at Giorgio’s Restaurant in Malvern.

Max Corden: Vale Australia’s prophet of prosperity

Max Corden established the intellectual, but then politically heretical, case for dismantling Australia’s protectionist tariff wall.

  • The AFR View
RBA governor Michele Bullock on Tuesday night.

Renters better off than in 2021: RBA’s Bullock

Strong income growth has shielded households without a mortgage from the worst of the cost-of-living crunch, the bank’s new governor says in her first speech.

  • Michael Read and John Kehoe
Former Australian ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, speaking in London

Ballooning debt could ‘come to a head’: Hockey

The former treasurer and ambassador to Washington worries that lax, spendthrift populism could turn unsustainable debt burdens into a default crisis.

  • Hans van Leeuwen
Everyone benefits when there is trade between specialisation.

Spurn trade, and make ourselves poorer

The world needs to update its ideas about free trade, not uproot them.

  • Richard Holden
The toppling of House speaker Kevin McCarthy, centre left, on October 3 has triggered the latest bout of instability in Washington.

Unsustainable US debt is now looming on the horizon

Neither Biden nor Trump will reassure bond investors that America can cure its spending habits in time to prevent a crisis.

  • Sam Wylie
US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.

Bank of America pushes US rate rise to December

Hedging their call for another interest rate increase, economists at the bank said they see “meaningful risks that the Fed” could be done altogether.

  • Timothy Moore
The Chanticleer podcast features James Thomson and Anthony Macdonald.

Rinehart changes Liontown’s game | Is Origin worth more? | Bullock’s oil price headache

In this week’s episode, James and Anthony look at two spicy takeover battles and celebrate the podcast’s first birthday with special guest Financial Review editor-in-chief, Michael Stutchbury.

Political leaders and parties urgently need to reconnect with voters on the economy and prosperity.

Vote yes for an aspirational Australian nation

The Voice referendum has once again shown traditional political parties unmoored from the electorate. That is a problem for our prosperity.

  • The AFR View
A sharp rise in the number of unemployed Gen Zers show the jobs market is softening, presenting a challenge for the RBA as it assesses the need for a rate rise.

Gen Z the ‘canary in the coal mine’ on job losses

A sharp rise in the number of unemployed Gen Zers show the jobs market is softening, presenting a challenge for the RBA as it assesses the need for another interest rate rise.

  • Michael Read
RBA governor Michele Bullock at a “fireside chat” on Thursday.

Michele Bullock’s million-dollar inflation question

The straight-talking new RBA governor is putting on her best poker face to condition people into believing prices will be brought under control. Will she succeed?

  • John Kehoe
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a meeting of the Economic Club of New York.

‘Inflation is still too high’: Federal Reserve chairman

Jerome Powell said the “resilience” of both economic growth and the labour market “could warrant further tightening of monetary policy”.

  • Updated
  • Matthew Cranston
RBA governor Michele Bullock and Treasurer Jim Chalmers.

RBA’s $43b in losses put pressure on Chalmers for bailout

The RBA’s huge financial losses from its pandemic stimulus measures have sunk its balance sheet deeper into negative equity.

  • John Kehoe
Joe Biden has staked his own authority on both keeping Israel secure and making sure it also acts with restraint.

Biden’s mission is to stop terrorism metastasising into regional war

The President is right to tell Israelis they must not copy America’s post-9/11 mistakes, driven by “all-consuming rage” that could ignite the region’s wider conflicts again.

  • The AFR View
Jim Chalmers has warned conflict in the Middle East could drive oil prices higher.

Chalmers warns Mid-East conflict to drive inflation

The treasurer warns the crisis could further drive up oil prices, as economists predict inflation figures may trigger another interest rate rise.

  • Updated
  • Michael Read
RBA governor Michele Bullock faces a tough decision next month.

War, house prices and Aussies with two jobs: big forces are colliding

Rising oil prices, higher bond yields and persistently high house prices are colliding with signs of economic pressure.

  • James Thomson