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Articles by Alan Kohler

Kohler: throw the Gaming Act at derivatives bookies

Most of the time derivatives aren’t financial hedges at all, but bets brokered by liars masquerading as advisers. Law makers should follow the Lehman judgement and label them accordingly.

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Fiscal incompetence? No, just not very good

Treasurer Wayne Swan delivered Australia’s 2012-11 financial year performance yesterday — with a bucket-load of spin. If only business CFOs could get away with it …

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The RBA must act on the dollar

The Reserve Bank has no choice but to join the currency debasement contest that’s now going on around the world, and to cut rates by another 1% in the coming 12 months.

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Kohler: the world has gone short

Ailing economies can stimulate and deregulate all they like, but unless they can attract capital investment it will be in vain. And capital won’t take long-term bets while deflation looms so large.

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Kohler: miners dig their own profit pit

Mining costs are blowing out and market share being lost because of a labour shortage that is only going to get worse. What are the companies doing?

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The coal industry’s new enemy: Campbell Newman

Queensland’s coal royalties decision is just one face of the sovereign risk confronting miners as governments struggle with budget logic. In the end, no one wins.

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Kohler: suffering China’s structural slowdown

The rapid fall in the iron ore price in the past few weeks has exposed the core risk to the Australian economy: the currency needs to fall, but the banks still need foreign funding.

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An IR cartoon, but Abbott’s not laughing

Tony Abbott likely advocates individual workplace contracts with a no disadvantage test. But the Coalition has turned national debate into such a caricature it’s impossible for anyone to state their true position.

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Can Labor win? Yes it can

As Labor begins the process of defusing carbon tax and asylum seeker policy as election issues, Tony Abbott’s task will become increasingly painful. Does Labor improve from here?

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Why you should stop moaning about electricity prices

Amongst the energetic debate about rising power prices a key point is being missed – they’re saving us from deflation.

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Exchanges innovating themselves to death

To compete with high-frequency algorithms, brokers are conducting trades in “dark pools”. It’s time for transparency across the bourse.

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Waiting for the safety bubble to pop

The end of 30 years of living high on debt is nigh. Unfortunately, when everyone has run for the exits there is nowhere left to hide.

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Kohler: structural change brings wolves to the door

Most of the difficulties facing businesses now are not the run-of-the-mill cyclic type. Long simmering structural changes have finally all come to the boil, and businesses are being burnt.

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Kohler: no rectitude please, we’re freaking out

With the world’s global debt clock ticking away, it’s somewhat ironic that the IMF is urging against too much fiscal rectitude. Despite the growth forecast revision, Europe, the US and China remain wildcards.

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Gillard shifts the boxing match to IR

After being walloped on climate change and refugee politics, Labor has wisely opted to move the political debate back to its strength, where it hopes to sideline the Greens and put Tony Abbott on the back foot.

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Tyre kickers and creeps … put up or shut up?

ASIC’s Greg Medcraft wants to change the rules for takeovers, but while a “put up or shut up” rule might reduce bear hugs such as that felt by Spotless, there’s no real problem to solve with new creep provisions.

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Kohler: depression debate mired in myopia

The problem with depressions is that you tend to get caught up in the minutiae of the moment — the gripping Libor-rigging scandal, the latest writhe in the agony of Europe, the latest twitch in the US economy.

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Banks and interest rates a world of manipulation

With global banking prices purposely massaged by both central and privately owned banks, we shouldn’t be surprised corruption sometimes sneaks in. But why don’t we question manipulation of the Australian cash rate?

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Kohler: how many journalists is enough?

As governments from both sides of politics work with Alcoa to save jobs, journalists are left to fend for themselves.

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Kohler: a new breed of retail letter bomb

The next wave of online retailing, far more dangerous for traditional store retailers than the first wave, is now upon us.

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Kohler: Gillard can’t sweet talk the economy

If only we could talk the economy up or down, the PM’s economic forum might have some effect. But it’s unlikely to change the disconnect between strong numbers and reality on the ground.

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Kohler: the elephant in the economic room

The Spanish bank bailout may have taken some heat out of the European crisis, but it’s likely to be short lived as Italy’s debt trap reminds the world why it should never have been admitted to the EMU.

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Kohler: politicians can’t hide the EMU’s foul stench

Central bankers and politicians, including Wayne Swan, are trying to spin low interest rates as a good thing in an effort to calm the markets. But the reality is the European Monetary Union doesn’t work.

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Kohler: how safe is Germany, really?

As the principal creditor to the eurozone, Germany is seriously exposed to the European monetary system, making a German exit from the eurozone perhaps more likely than a Greek or Spanish exit.

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Kohler: Gina the iron in Fairfax’s future

Below the surface of Gina Rinehart’s case to join the Fairfax board lies a fundamental misunderstanding of how media businesses are evolving — highlighting the need for Roger Corbett to bring in some digital natives.

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Womens Agenda

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Smart Company

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StartupSmart

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Property Observer

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