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Articles by James Thomson

Crikeys 2012: who in business won (and lost) it all

Who deserves the title of best CEO? Which business has had the best comeback this year? Which was the business world’s biggest failure? The 2012 Crikeys continue …

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Billabong: how many waves will the stubborn surfie miss?

Billabong executive Paul Naude is set to lodge a firm bid for the company. But will investors take the money and run? Or will Gordon Merchant again hold out for more?

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Tinkler’s kingdom for a horse: racing empire sent to knackery

Nathan Tinkler’s empire is disappearing fast, but the sale of his best horse — the aptly named All Too Hard — will particularly sting. His meteoric rise is landing with a thud.

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Workers can’t sit down, so governments should stand up

The “no sitting” rule at a major WA gas project suggests our national productivity drive is seriously off track. Governments should be investing in helping business do better.

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What would a politically charged Rinehart do? Read the book

Gina Rinehart’s new self-published book offers some unique insights into the mining billionaire. What if she decided to spend more of her fortune on political activism?

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Govt agrees on GST for e-shopping — whatever you think

Whatever your view on applying GST to online purchases, Canberra supports it. Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury is trying to walk both sides of the street.

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A promise worth breaking: the surplus is slipping away

The government will need more cuts to protect its slim surplus, but is it really what the economy needs? The fetishism around returning to surplus is spooking business.

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Why does Gerry want to fix Qantas? Because he can’t help himself

Gerry Harvey’s apparent involvement in a plot to fix Qantas is another example of a billionaire trying to fix an iconic company. These people just can’t help themselves.

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Click frenzy, profit wait for local retailers

Australia’s big retailers are trying to jump on the Click Frenzy bandwagon, while Target is still fighting to make a profit online. The numbers for many simply don’t add up.

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Pratt extends the helping hand

Anthony Pratt’s subtle turn towards Asia marks an important strategic direction for Visy — plus it shows how structural change is changing the way business is done in key industries.

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Business confidence takes a punch to the face

The latest NAB business confidence survey shows business conditions have fallen to their weakest level in three years, driven down by declines in employment, profitability and trading conditions.

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New chief taxman looks like a winner for all sides

Chris Jordan looks a good appointment as Australia’s new commissioner of taxation. Seemingly everyone has applauded him as the first commissioner to come from outside the public service.

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RBA’s tale of two speeds: a non-cut will hurt many

The Reserve Bank has decided it can wait for the economy to weaken before cutting rates. Most Australian businesses — at least outside of the mining sector — wouldn’t agree.

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Mining for coal to develop drugs? Avexa’s bold play

What’s a pharmaceutical company to do when it needs $30-40 million to develop a new drug? Hitch onto the mining boom, of course. Avexa’s strategy is nothing but bold.

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A Rich List field of dreams: who’s behind the Cup stayers

Getting a horse in the Melbourne Cup field is an expensive business — even if racing idealists call the Cup an egalitarian race. James Thomson surveys the field of horse owners.

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Parts maker Autodom collides into a multi-car pile-up

As car parts marker Autodom collapses, a report suggests car sales figures have been inflated. So why did we continue to pour massive subsidies into the auto industry?

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Small business struggles to pay $14b in tax bills

Unpaid tax debts have jumped from $2.5 billion to $16.6 billion at the end of 2011-2012. The bulk of those are SMEs — and they’re in a very fragile state.

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Rich Lister Jan Cameron’s big retail misadventure

Jan Cameron seems to have tried to run her discount retail empire like a side project. It’s been a terrible mistake. How could she have made such a big one?

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‘Fuck, this must be a good business’: Packer on casinos, Kerry

James Packer has won over NSW politicians with his plan for a massive new casino and hotel development in Sydney. Last night he was sharing more of himself than ever.

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Tinkler v the world: Whitehaven play shows there’s fight left

Newcastle Rich Lister Nathan Tinkler’s demise has been roundly predicted for months. But recent moves show he’s still got some muscle to flex.

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Why nobody wants Billabong (or maybe retailers generally)

A second firm has walked away from negotiations to takeover the surfwear giant Billabong. Has TPG seen something bad in the books, or is this a story of retail declines?

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Rich List trappings and the life aquatic

With as much money as Australia’s Rich List members have, and the vast stretches of beautiful coastline to explore, is it any wonder they love to spend it on boats?

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The stings in the Reserve Bank’s rates decision

The rate cut is welcome news for consumers and businesses, but the question is: what comes next? There’s a few clues from the RBA …

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Dick Smith’s $400m fall: how a retail icon stumbled

Once a haven for CB radio builders and the like, Dick Smith eventually became a store that was not sure where it fitted in. And it has cost Woolworths dearly.

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Debt-ridden Tinkler falls to the true builders

Nathan Tinkler’s fall has come even quicker than his meteoric rise from electrician to billionaire. His spot at the top of the Young Rich List has been taken by an entrepreneurial pair with a great story.

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Womens Agenda

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Smart Company

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Property Observer

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