Thursday, October 6, 2011

Former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry appointed to board of National Australia Bank

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dead aged 56

Steve Jobs - often referred to as the Edison of his generation - has died aged 56 after a long battle with cancer.

The death of Apple's co-founder and former chief executive was announced in a statement by Apple.

The company's shares went into a trading halt on Wall Street in the leadup to the announcement.

Jobs leaves a legacy of technology that is now part of a global lifestyle, having developed the I-Mac, I-Pod, I-Phone and I-Pad.

Steve Jobs was a visionary who built the world's most successful technology company from a garage startup.

I looked at the Steve Jobs legacy on ABC News 24 with Joe O'Brien and ABC Science Online editor Darren Osborne.

To get a closer look at Steve Jobs' strategy on life and business, here's his 2005 commencement address at Stanford University:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Qantas dispute gets personal; Alan Joyce standing firm despite death threats

The industrial dispute at Qantas appears to be getting personal, as Australian Federal Police investigate threats made to the airline's chief executive Alan Joyce.

The AFP is investigating specific threats made in letters sent to Mr Joyce and other senior executives.

Mr Joyce says bullying and intimidation of Qantas management is abhorrent and unacceptable and will not force a back-down or change of policy by the airline.

In a memo sent to staff yesterday, Mr Joyce labelled the letters to senior executives "cowardly" and "deplorable" and linked them to unions who are fighting the national carrier's restructuring plans.

Unions which are currently in dispute with Qantas have denied being involved.

ABC News 24: Reserve Bank holds rates steady at 4.75 percent.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rates held steady at 4.75 percent. RBA says it will take more time to gauge effects of European/US turbulence.

The Reserve Bank today left interest rates on hold at 4.75 percent, saying it needs more time to gauge the impact of turbulence in Europe and the US on the Australian economy.

"It will take more time for evidence of any effects of the recent European and US financial turbulence on economic activity in other regions to emerge."

The decision marks the eleveth meeting that the cash rate has been kept steady.

Here's the RBA's statement released this afternoon.

Some other key quotes:

* The Board noted that financial conditions have been easing somewhat, with interest rates for some housing and business loans declining slightly due to increased competition and the fall in some funding costs in financial markets.

* The exchange rate has also declined from the very high levels of a few months ago. Credit growth remains low, however, and asset prices have declined.

* At today's meeting the Board judged the current cash rate remained appropriate. As always, the Board will continue to assess carefully the evolving outlook for growth and inflation.

Dollar falls below 95 US cents briefly; recovers after Australia's trade surplus doubles expectations

The Australian dollar took another hit in late morning trade as concerns remain that Greece will ultimately default on its debt obligations.
The currency briefly slipped just below 95 US cents to a low of 94.77 US cents as investors continue to rush to the safety of the US dollar and US Treasury bonds.

The demise of the A$ has been rapid, having fallen through the 96 US cent barrier only yesterday.

However, unexpectedly strong economic data trimmed the dollar's demise, prompting a recovery to 95.38 US cents just after noon eastern daylight saving time.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, building approvals for August rose by 11.4 percent when the market consensus had been for a one percent increase.

trade surplus in August created a brief bout of optimism coming in at $3.1 billion - the widest gap since June 2010.

The gain has been driven by a surge in coal experts confirming that demand from China and India continues to underpin the performance of the Australian economy.

Computer says sell - fat fingered algorithm strikes again

From "The Telegraph" in London 4 October 2011.

Reserve Bank to leave rates steady at 4.75 percent - but for how long?

By Business editor Peter Ryan

Interest rates are almost certain to be left on hold when the board of the Reserve Bank meets this morning.

But given the growing fears of a global recession emanating from a Greek debt default and almost daily sharemarket plunges, the big question is "for how long?".

Some economists believe an interest rate cut is inevitable by the end of the year and money markets are factoring in a 25 percent chance of a 1.5 percentage point reduction in the cash rate over the next year.

However, in its September board minutes, the RBA said those forecasts might not be accurate for "technical reasons".

Here's my analysis from this morning's "AM", yesterday's edition of "The World Today" and ABC News Online.