A little interest rate word of warning. Perhaps we should not get too carried away at the prospect of interest rates actually falling any time soon. The minutes of the last Reserve Bank board meeting made this comment about the future outlook:

Members were informed that, in Australia, market pricing prima facie pointed to expectations of large cuts in the cash rate by the end of the year, but a range of technical factors meant that market pricing might not be giving an accurate reading of the expectations in the current circumstances.

That “not be giving an accurate reading” bit sounds very cautionary to me.

Celebrating 50 years. Britain’s Private Eye magazine has turned 50 and a commemorative book of highlights is about to be published. My personal favourite:

Measuring a minerals boom. Minerals and energy exports are expected by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics to grow by 21% this financial year to a total of $215 billion:

The Bureau expects the growth to come from a combination of continuing high prices and increases in volume.

A new idea for the law-and-order politicians. London mayor Boris Johnson is promoting a new law-and-order idea that is bound to make an appearance here soon given the never ending search by our politicians to show how dedicated they are to tackling crime.

The Mayor wants a new strategy to combat alcohol abuse, which lies behind a disproportionate number of violent crimes, with drink-related violent offenders to be able to avoid prison if they stay sober. A twice-daily breath test at the local police station would be a condition of parole.

London’s Daily Telegraph reports that if the offender fails the breath test (or fails to take it), he is arrested and imprisoned. The cost of the tests would be borne by the criminal.

Peter Fray

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