Robert Gottliebsen in The Australianexamines the business acumen of rival media outfit Fairfax, observing that while “most old, established companies” have been able to incorporate the new technologies into their business, Fairfax has made the mistake of “under-estimating the power of internet classifieds and trying to protect its own print business”.

The SMHand The Age report that flamboyant businessman Sir Richard Branson has flown into Sydney to talk up his plans to launch his second Australian carrier this year, set to focus on the US, China and Japan, “with the main target speculated to be the Qantas-dominated – and highly lucrative – Sydney to Los Angeles route”.

And with the Reserve Bank due to meet tomorrow, the SMHsays an Access Economics report has called on the Reserve board to hold off lifting rates because the economy has been “within a whisker of recession in recent months”. However, many economists believe the Reserve will lift interest rates by 0.25 percentage points anyway.

Meanwhile, with oil prices hitting another record on Friday – when the price for US light crude peaked at $US57.70 a barrel – the SMHreports that OPEC has decided to increase their production ceiling for oil from next month, by 500,000 barrels a day to 27.5 million barrels.

And the AFRreports that the government has rejected a recommendation from the joint parliamentary committee on corporations and financial services to regulate conflicts of interest in the stockbroking industry. The Fin says the move represents a backdown from the hardline stance flagged by the government in the wake of a string of corporate collapses and a crack down in the US that substantially increased compliance costs for stockbroking firms. It also puts the government at odds with ASIC, which says some conflicts are too serious to be “managed”.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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