Reserve Bank and government prepare fresh emergency measures as markets tumble

By Peter Martin, Visiting Fellow, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University The government is planning to deliver a second coronavirus economic support package within days, and the Reserve Bank will announce “further policy measures” to support the economy on Thursday. The bank sometimes uses the phrase “policy measures” to describe adjustments to its “policy…

Taking US oil in a global crisis sounds good on paper, but it won’t do much for Australia’s energy security

By Christian Downie, Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow, Australian National University The federal government this week signed a deal with the US to access their oil reserves should global supplies be disrupted and we eat into our meagre reserve. Oil security is a hot topic in Australia – we consume more than a decade ago, produce…

New infection frontier as COVID-19 wreaks havoc upon business

By Forum member Darren James, Partner, Commercial Disputes, Mills Oakley Many people have already been severely affected by the public health emergency caused by the novel corona virus (officially designated as COVID-19),. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the 3,400 people who are reported to have died following COVID-19 infection. Quarantine…

Vital Signs: Australian and US rate cuts underline seriousness of the coronavirus crisis

By Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW This week the Reserve Bank of Australia did something everyone expected and the US Federal Reserve did something almost nobody expected. Both are revealing. At its monthly meeting Australia’s central bank cut official interest rates by 25 basis points to a record low of 0.5%. The Fed cut…

Economic growth near an end as Treasury talks of prolonged coronavirus downturn

By Peter Martin, Visiting Fellow, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University Australia’s three-decade run of near continuous economic growth is set to end, with treasury warning of a hit to growth of “at least” 0.5% in the first quarter of this year, potentially followed by a “prolonged downturn”. If it came to pass,…