All key inflation indicators point downwards. The inflationary crisis seems to have passed Australia by with the key measurements that influence the Reserve Bank when it comes to fixing interest rates all pointing downwards.

While the headline All Groups CPI rose 0.4 percent in the September quarter when seasonally adjusted making 3.5% for the year, the trimmed mean and weighted median measures were up only a seasonally adjusted 0.3% for the quarter with annual rises of 2.3% and 2.6% respectively.

In the graph below I have plotted the course of these three seasonally adjusted measures of inflation with the quarterly figures shown at an annual rate.

Whichever one you look at, the trend is down.

The initial reaction of the market is that the Bank is now more likely to reduce interest rates than increase them whereas when I made a reduction of 0.25 percentage points my best bet for Melbourne Cup day the status quo was the clear favourite.

Seems like common sense to me. With all the fuss about corporate governance in the Murdoch media empire — not least of all in Crikey — this quote from Rich Greenfield, a Wall Street analyst with BTIG appealed to me:

“If you don’t like the Murdochs, you shouldn’t invest in News Corp.”

Personally I’m not the slightest bit concerned about the power Rupert and his family exercise over the shareholders who opened their wallets with their eyes open. What does concern me is the influence a corporation with dubious ethical standards has on public opinion in so many democracies world wide.

And the latest example. The headline prominently displayed on page one of The Australian on Tuesday:

And tucked away on page five today:

I’ll leave it to my colleagues at the Power Index to remind all us journalists of the risks involved in taking literally anything in a paper which regularly goes out of its way to put the slant it believes in on what someone else says.

One for an old tobacco lobbyist. It’s potentially against the law to do this in an Australia where doing anything to promote smoking can get you into trouble but what the hell!

As a once-upon-a-time election campaign manager and tobacco industry lobbyist I feel duty bound to give a run to this advertisement for Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. And it’s not as if watching it is likely to influence anyone to convert to smoking.

In fact it’s pretty hard to see just what the Cain campaign is hoping to achieve from it but here’s the official justification from the star himself appearing on Fox overnight:

Peter Fray

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