Whatever would we do without a round of bank-bashing stories at this time of year, when all other news content is reduced to Basting Your Turkey, A How To and Top 10 Top Tens of 2011.
As Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer point out today, it was exactly this time last year that we were engaged in a debate about the big banks and how they pass on interest rate changes.
The papers have gone big on the Big Four’s refusal thus far to pass on the RBA rate cut (as we hit publish ANZ became the first to break ranks and agree to pass on the full cut), with News Limited tabloids stretching the Grinch imagery to epic proportions. Yes, we’re a little bit jealous of this; props to The Daily Telegraph Photoshop boffin responsible for this hideous/ridiculous/masterful piece of work:
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Besides the fact that the RBA will keep cutting rates until banks do, the additional fact that most of us don’t reduce our mortgage repayments when interest rates fall, and that other little inconvenient fact that savers stand to lose from falling interest rates, the real story here is business lending and the failure to cut there — that’s where the banks’ recalcitrance really hurts, because it directly affects business activity and employment.
And speaking of employment, the latest jobs figures are out, and they’re worse than expected, with the jobless rate rising to 5.3%. All of which should feed into the bigger picture, the bigger picture that a media appealing to angry householders and working families residing on Struggle Street, doesn’t quite cover off on.
|Every Thursday, Crikey editor Sophie Black and Crikey‘s Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane will talk the week’s events in the national capital. Visit the podcast page on our website (or via iTunes) at 4pm AEST to download or stream.|