Thursday, 13 May 2010


“It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy.” George Horace Lorimer

The weather in Brisbane today was beautiful – a lovely, sunny, warm day with blue skies and just the hint of a breeze. As we progress into the Southern Hemisphere winter, the weather in my home town Melbourne gets progressively colder and wetter and greyer, while in Brisbane, the subtropical dry season is beginning, with equable temperatures and a dry, warm climate. Many people living in the southern states of Australia have their holidays up in the North in the midst of winter, as a relief from the winter blues.

I had to attend a ministerial seminar and workshop today, which although informative was at a low level and reading a webpage would have given as much information. However, it was valuable in that I made some good contacts who will no doubt prove to be very useful in the future. One wonders how much money from the public purse is wasted on activities such as this where guest speakers and consultants (who are paid a fortune!) are invited to “educate” high level people in education who are themselves experts in many of the fields that are covered…

Walking back through the City after the seminar I was surprised by the very large number of people milling around the busy streets and shops, the huge amount of traffic and the considerable construction that was going on. We are fortunate here in Australia that the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has touched us but lightly and amongst the developed economies in the world we are doing very well. With about 5.5% unemployment and a moderate to low deficit, Australia seems to be an economic paradise when compared to the USA and some European countries. It seems we are still the “lucky country”, but for how long?

The latest budget delivered by our government has started some alarm bells ringing and the opposition is forecasting doom and gloom (but after all that is the job of the opposition, is it not?). The GFC is far from over and Australia’s healthy economic is about to take a beating according to some economists. Australia’s natural resources and its mining wealth seem to have been one factor that protected it from the worse of the crisis. Now with the new tax on mining some politicians are predicting dire financial effects. However, the tax on profits of multinational companies that exploit Australian resources before these profits leave the country seems only fair to the local population. Time will tell where these times are leading us, I just hope it’s not the case of “let’s start third world war in order to resolve all sorts of problems all at once”.

finance |ˈfīnans; fəˈnans| noun
The management of large amounts of money, esp. by governments or large companies.
• monetary support for an enterprise: Housing finance.
• ( finances) the monetary resources and affairs of a country, organization, or person: The finances of the school were causing serious concern.
verb [ trans. ]
Provide funding for (a person or enterprise): The city and county originally financed the project.
ORIGIN late Middle English: from Old French, from finer ‘make an end, settle a debt,’ from fin ‘end’. The original sense was [payment of a debt, compensation, or ransom]; later [taxation, revenue.] Current senses date from the 18th century, and reflect sense development in French.

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