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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 13:45 Source

Cross-posted from The Conversation: I’m not normally a fan of parliament hauling private sector executives before them and asking thorny questions. But when the Australian House of Representatives did so this week with the big banks it was both useful and instructive. And, to be perfectly frank, terrifying. Let’s start with Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer.

The post The spooky mortgage risk signs our bankers are ignoring appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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Renew Economy Friday, October 13, 2017 - 13:30 Source

The UK Government has announced an ambitious new Clean Growth Strategy to drastically cut carbon emissions and combat climate change.

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Renew Economy Friday, October 13, 2017 - 13:18 Source

UK-based Foresight Solar Fund Limited continues Australian buying spree, taking shares in three Queensland projects under development.

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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 13:10 Source

From Jessica Irvine: One in five recipients of a now abolished $5000 “new home grant” double-dipped on the scheme to receive multiple grants, including 1500 people and 1869 companies who pocketed more than five grants each. First home buyers were not eligible for the grants, which were introduced by the Baird government in 2012 and

The post NSW new home grant scheme widely rorted appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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Renew Economy Friday, October 13, 2017 - 13:05 Source

We will never have an effective broad-based emission reduction policy – no matter who is in government. Best to look at alternatives, like reverse auctions.

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Renew Economy Friday, October 13, 2017 - 13:00 Source

MPower tapped by Endeavour Energy to install 1MWh battery on network in NSW, in a trial hoped to save $1m a year on grid costs.

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Popular Science Friday, October 13, 2017 - 12:37 Source

Looks like we're going back to the moon. Last week, Vice President Mike Pence announced a new priority to put Americans on the lunar surface for the first time since 1972. If we do manage to return to our natural satellite—no budget or specific timeline was released during the announcement—then it will likely be for a longer period of time than the short Apollo missions, and will almost certainly involve longer moonwalks. That means more time for something to go wrong, and more of a need for plans and equipment ready in case of emergency.

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Popular Science Friday, October 13, 2017 - 12:37 Source

At its best, virtual reality is transportative: It will let you scale a simulated cliff face, or come face-to-teeth with a T-rex. You can have those experiences from your living room, but of course, you need a virtual reality headset, and for that, you have two broad categories to choose from—a low-end contraption that uses your smartphone, or a fancy rig that requires a PC.

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Popular Science Friday, October 13, 2017 - 12:37 Source

We have an abusive relationship with our smartphone cameras. We take them into dark bars, shoot them into blinding backlight at the beach, and refuse to wipe the pocket goo off their lenses. Then we blame the phone when our pictures don't look great. It's the equivalent of holding the phone upside-down, screaming into its earpiece, and then getting upset about sub-par sound quality.

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Popular Science Friday, October 13, 2017 - 12:37 Source

Hurricane Ophelia is an odd storm. It's a picture-perfect hurricane with winds around 90 MPH, but that's not the odd part, of course. What makes this storm weird is its location. It's way out in the Atlantic, where it's usually too cool for hurricanes to develop—much less survive. Ophelia is so far off the beaten path that instead of heading for the Americas (as so many storms have this season), the system will evolve and threaten Ireland and the United Kingdom early next week.

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Popular Science Friday, October 13, 2017 - 12:37 Source

Once upon a time, Tabasco sauce was considered spicy and a jalapeno hit the upper threshold of heat for the American palate. But that was before 2007, when the Bhut jolokia—an Indian chili better known as the ghost pepper—became the first to top a million Scolville Heat Units (SHU), the measure of spicy pain. While your typical sweet pepper weighs in at zero on the Scolville scale, the ghost pepper's 1 million SHUS make it 125 times hotter than your hottest jalapeno; between 200 and 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

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Popular Science Friday, October 13, 2017 - 12:37 Source

In the past couple of years, you've likely heard much talk about the bacteria that live inside your digestive system, what scientists and doctors now call the gut microbiome. All that buzz is for good reason. Researchers have found that these tiny bugs can have an influence on our health, though how much and in what ways is still unknown.

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Popular Science Friday, October 13, 2017 - 12:37 Source

In 1918, a ship beached on Lord Howe Island. It brought rodents to the lush, crescent-moon-shaped volcanic remnant in the Tasman Sea for the very first time. Without any predators to hold them back, the rats decimated native species of insects and birds.

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Popular Science Friday, October 13, 2017 - 12:37 Source

It only took 181 years to eradicate smallpox once we had a way to inoculate against it. That cocktail was the first successful vaccine, and the basis for most future immunizations. And we're still not really sure what was in it.

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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 12:19 Source

By Leith van Onselen Let’s recall Australia’s real estate treasurer, Scott Morrison’s, speech to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute in April, whereby he argued that negative gearing was being used primarily by ordinary “mum and dad” investors like teachers, and to restrict negative gearing would hurt lower income earners: Figures to be released

The post Scott Morrison’s negative gearing lie exposed appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 11:48 Source

By Leith van Onselen Australian Finance Group (AFG) has released its housing finance data for the September quarter, which registered a seasonal rise in mortgage applications, but a decline year-on-year. The number of mortgage applications rose by a seasonal 1.4% over the September quarter but was down by 3.4% over the year, whereas the value

The post AFG also shows rotation from investors to first home buyers appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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Renew Economy Friday, October 13, 2017 - 11:48 Source

Clock ticks down on Victoria government's plans to have two large scale battery storage projects in place by January 1, with the winners still not known.

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Renew Economy Friday, October 13, 2017 - 11:43 Source

China is to stop or delay work on 151 planned and under-construction coal plants as Beijing struggles to respond to a flat-lining of demand for coal power.

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Renew Economy Friday, October 13, 2017 - 11:28 Source

What do you get when you bring together some of Australia’s most fervent climate science deniers with anti-Islam activists, fledgling right-wing political groups, and an American “free market” Libertarian?

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Renew Economy Friday, October 13, 2017 - 11:28 Source

What do you get when you bring together some of Australia’s most fervent climate science deniers with anti-Islam activists, fledgling right-wing political groups, and an American “free market” Libertarian?

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Renew Economy Friday, October 13, 2017 - 11:01 Source

New polling shows two thirds of voters would prefer to see governments increasing energy conservation rather than building new power stations.

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xkcd.com Friday, October 13, 2017 - 11:00 Source

A schism between the pro-panhandle and anti-panhandle factions eventually led to war, but both sides spent too much time working on their flag designs to actually do much fighting.

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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 10:43 Source

By Leith van Onselen At the beginning of last month, Houses & Holes coined the term ‘Botox Boom’ to describe the current growth drivers of the Australian economy: We’ve lived the housing and mining booms. They’re over. Now it’s time for the Botox Boom. Yes, Australia is getting work done and it’s beginning to show.

The post Westpac does the Botox jobs boom appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Friday, October 13, 2017 - 10:17 Source

By Christian Marx Once again Murdoch attack dog, Rita Panahi has outdone herself with her article (pay-walled) on Harvey Weinstein. Weinstien is at the centre of a series of sex scandals and has been sacked from his own company. While Weinstein should be rightly condemned for his actions, it is the extreme partisan nonsense coming…

The post The bottom of the barrel appeared first on The AIM Network.

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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 10:08 Source

By Leith van Onselen Former treasurer Peter Costello has argued that compulsory superannuation contributions should be taken out of the hands of bank-run retail super funds and union-backed industry super funds, who are gouging members with excessive fees. The chairman of the $133 billion Future Fund contends that this money should instead be invested in

The post Costello attacks the super fee gouge appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 09:37 Source

By Leith van Onselen Australia’s poor mortgage underwriting standards have been well documented recently. The recent UBS survey on Australian mortgages concluded that brokers were loose with lending standards: One of the key areas of focus of the 2017 UBS Evidence Lab Australian Mortgages survey was to assess the level of factual accuracy in mortgagor’s

The post Citi: Aussie mortgage underwriting standards poor despite regulatory tightening appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 09:18 Source

By Chris Becker A pause in US stocks overnight as traders weighed up the latest oil inventory reports and the machinations in Europe regarding Brexit. European stocks put in scratch sessions as the Euro tumbled against USD which is slowly recovering after being under the weather all week against the majors and gold, although the

The post Macro Morning appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 08:44 Source

By Leith van Onselen The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has released a new report claiming that middle-income earners will bear the burden of bracket creep (aka ‘fiscal drag’) as wage rises push 1.8 million Australians into higher tax brackets: The PBO’s 2017–18 Budget medium-term projections report identified that the projected return to surplus in 2020–21

The post PBO: Bracket creep to punish middle-income earners appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 08:11 Source

By Leith van Onselen Commentators often talk about the electricity “death spiral”, which arises when demand for power declines, due in part to customers taking up solar, leading to higher prices to cover fixed network costs. That is, the more people that take-up solar power, the faster decline in electricity demand, and the more fixed

The post Coalition desperately tries to avert private health insurance ‘death spiral’ appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Friday, October 13, 2017 - 07:37 Source

By Leith van Onselen Turns out that Bloomberg is not done with its Crapstralia series. After already rubbishing Australia’s economic structure, productivity, the NBN, the housing bubble, the scrotum share market, the energy disaster, and toxic privatisations, now Satyajit Das has uquestioned Australia’s retirements system: Australians make up barely 0.3 percent of the globe’s population

The post Bloomies Crapstralia series targets Aussie retirement system appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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