Jessica Irvine

Tax reform is Australia's only option

Australia has relied on foreigners to buy its exports for too long -- and those days appear to be over.

A super swindle of our own making

Super returns are finally pushing higher, but Australians are extraordinarily reluctant to switch from underperforming funds.

Abbott's building bonanza must bridge the gaps

A new wave of public investment will help to diversify Australia's economy after the end of the mining boom. But the Coalition would be wise to spend more on railways, not just roads.

Toil and trouble, but no housing bubble

Thanks to low interest rates and growing house prices, talk of property bubbles is increasing. That's premature but first home buyers are certainly doing it tough.

Ten top tips for Treasurer Joe

Joe Hockey, your new job won't be easy... It's time to speak less, communicate more, and learn to say 'no' to Tony.

Testing times in the tapering camp

The mere mention of a tapering of the Fed’s bond-buying program sends the market into convulsions. Two sources rule in the search for a signal.

The recession we want to have?

With all the hue and cry about the state of the economy, you'd think we were already in recession. But the economic figures tell a very different tale.

Forty-three ways to boost productivity

It’s time to assuage the suspicion around productivity gains and get on with economy strengthening reform. There’s no shortage of places to start.

Regrets? The IMF has few

Anti-austerity advocates will be disappointed, but the IMF stands by its actions in Greece. Harsher spending cuts, it says, would have been even better.

Consumers wave the keys to a recovery vehicle

If you want growth it's the average spenders who can deliver it. Today, the Reserve Bank will be smiling at consumer stirring that could coalesce into the ‘new normal’.

Growth crusaders need a little faith

Relying on construction, housing and retail for growth is like stepping onto an as yet unseen bridge. But the latest data reinforces reasons for optimism.

How Australia can build the next boom

The government should cash in on the low interest rate by creating an independent agency, similar to the Reserve Bank, to nurture a new era of infrastructure construction.

Stop the rot on Treasury forecasts

Wayne Swan could have better explained the role of Treasury forecasts, but Joe Hockey's undermining of confidence in the department is just as bad.

Of Bernanke, robots and innovation

Whether shares continue to rise has much to do with new technology and innovation. For Ben Bernanke, we may still be in the early days of IT revolution.

Abbott's decision to plan is plan enough

Tony Abbott’s budget reply showed the Opposition leader changing tack at the right time, from negative strategy to a more ‘adult’, consultative attitude.

Fear and biscuits in the budget lock-up

The federal budget lock-up is a strange place where 'parameter variations' are king and phoneless journalists fight over warm sushi and moneyed cliches.

A budget to protect Labor's legacy

A surplus in the forward estimates will be the centerpiece of this year’s budget, because the alternative, in the long-term, would be even more painful for Labor.

Stevens’ ringing call on monetary policy

Either low interest rates are already working or monetary policy is broken. It's decision time for the Reserve Bank and its next move will have huge implications.

Through the looking glass and into Europe

Lending more is far from the only response Europe’s banks could take to negative interest rates. They could equally hoard paper, or pass the cost of negative rates on to customers.

Greeting the tax that must not be named

GST hikes are the Lord Voldemort of tax reform – seen by many as too awful to mention. But they’re the smartest option for any government that wants to get serious about the budget.