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The recession and consumer behaviour

Since 1990, household debt has risen from around 80 per cent of income to around 130 per cent. So household finances were badly stretched leading up to the middle of 2008. There has been very little change in ratio of total household net worth from post-war to 1990. But after 1990, there was a significant increase in household wealth in proportion to disposable income, i.e., we have more money to spend, and products cost less. This is then coupled with the fact that economy has been more stable since 1985, than in prior postwar recessions – recessions have been less frequent and also shorter and smaller. As our wealth has increased, we have saved less, because we don’t feel the need to save for a rainy day (because we believe that we will always have money). The optimism bias tells us that if times are good, we assume that times will continue to be good.

The “alcopops tax”.

Senator Fielding and the opposition acted destructively and against scientific evidence in blocking the “alcopops tax”.

Molan's nonsense

The war in Afghanistan was lost over 4 years ago. Given what has been dropped on and fired at them since late 2001, it is clear the Taliban cannot be eliminated: after all, they have nowhere else to go. There are no military solutions to the complex social, political and economic problems in the country. Victory cannot even be rationally or coherently defined by Western forces.

Time for a World Financial Authority

First proposed 10 years ago in John Eatwell & Lance Taylor, Global Finance at Risk: The Case For International Regulation (New Press, New York 2000), the time has come for the establishment of a global body to regulate cross-border finance. In fact it is long overdue. This is precisely what the G20 should be discussing now. The fact that it isn’t or won’t squanders a critical opportunity in world history.

Victorian Biodiversity in Crisis

Over 70 % of natural vegetation in Victoria has been cleared since European settlement. Hence Victoria has been ‘on the back foot’ throughout the last hundred years in attempting to protect its natural areas.

The Victoria Naturally alliance (composed of most of Victoria’s well known conservation groups) wanted to see Victorian biodiversity start to get the attention it warrants from the Victorian government and hence commissioned two reports carried out under the auspices of Deakin University to describe the problem and attempt to propose solutions.

On Tuesday night the second of these reports will be launched with presentations from the leader of the first study on what are the threats to Victorian biodiversity (led by Professor Andrew Bennett of the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University) and the leader of the second study on policy options for Victorian biodiversity (Associate Professor Geoff Wescott).

Congratulations, You’re Pre-Approved!

Consumer Action commissioned Dr Paul Harrison, Deakin Business School, Deakin University and Marta Massi, School of Marketing and Communication, Lumsa University (Rome), to study the psychological aspects of one form of credit marketing - unsolicited credit card limit-increase offers (UCCLIOs).

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