Four stories I was interested in this week. There’s not a lot of light relief – sorry. The picture was taken on the fourth day of this year’s Sydney Test match against South Africa.
o As Australia teeters into recession, keep your eyes on whether or not regulators continue to ban the short-selling of financial stocks. If the ban is lifted, hedge funds will dive in and drive the share prices of our banks down, naturally making themselves a tidy profit in the process. The strength of our top four banks (all are in the world’s top twelve) is an important buffer against even more serious economic woes. Short-selling, in my view, is one of the great idiocies of the world economy and should be banned completely.
o There was a little bit of hoo-ha about airlines Qantas and Virgin Blue claiming the tax deduction on donations to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal made by their customers through them. Well, duh! Every company will be doing that. If you were dumb enough to donate through another company, you don’t deserve the tax deduction. Anyway kicking yourself about it ignores the point of what you were doing when you donated. You can still donate directly through the Red Cross.
o It’s looking increasingly likely that the proposed ‘Great Australian Firewall’ – the government filter to make ‘unwanted’ websites unavailable – is not going to get the support it needs in the Senate. Good. It’s a completely ridiculous idea, a gross invasion of personal freedom. I’ll be out on the streets protesting if it looks like getting up. Lazy parents get off your fat arses and take some responsibility – there are ways to control the web content your kids can access.
o Sport re-engaged with world politics with the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Pakistan. For some time now, the Sri Lanka has been the only cricketing nation willing to play in Pakistan, and now they’ve paid the price. A small price, you could say, compared to that being paid by the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, who are being run out of their homeland with barely a whimper from the international community. Like Sudan, there’s nothing Western governments can get out of Sri Lanka, so why should they give a toss?