Posted by: jkirkby8712 | November 3, 2010

Holiday forgotten as ‘job’ takes over

It doesn’t take long to almost forget that you have had a holiday, once you get back into the ‘swing’ of one’s normal workday/week. That’s what it felt like anyway, and with the weather the way it is at present, it still feels as though we are back in late Winter/early Spring, with quite a spell of cool weather with daily showers, etc, continung on from last weekend. Perhaps it a case of my feeling the cold a little more than usual after spending a week or so up in Queensland, where the climate is always considerably warmer. Needless to say, it won’t be long before we are complaining that it is too hot, although I did read somewhere recently that we can expect an unusually wet Summer – well, after 12 years of drought, any rain during summer would probably be called wet!!

In all the excitement of the Melbourne Cup yesterday, the Reserve Bank of Australia ambushed everybody with an increase in the interest rates, and almost before the day was out, one of our leading banks [the CBA] has almost doubled the RBA’s increase by raising it’s mortgage rates! As reported in one of this morning’s  papers ‘Under the cover of Melbourne Cup Day, the CBA, which has posted a record $6.1 billion profit, took 90 minutes to lift it’s standard variable rate by 45 basis points – almost double the official rise’ [proposed by the RBA]. During the course of today, most of the other major banks followed suite in one degree or another, while throughout the country, protests from various sectors, including even from the Federal Treasurer and the Commonwealth Government echoed from one end of the nation to the other. At the government level, there are in train proposals to boost competition among the banks.  A couple of interesting comments from the different sectors:

Treasurer Wayne Swan said that ‘This is a cynical cash grab by the Commonwealth [Bank]….It’s little wonder so many Australians are angry with our banks’

Opposition Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey was more politically blunt: ‘The banks are treating the Australian people with contempt because the Government is completely insipid and weak in standing up to the banks’ [though I can’t see that previous governments were any different!!].

A Consumer Group spokesman said: “The [CBA] have thumbed their nose at the Government, the Reserve Bank, and consumers to effectively say we are powerful enough to do this”.

And the CBA’s response – ‘even after the rise, the bank had not passed on to customers the full increase in its funding costs since the global financial crisis…We do continue to absorb some of that funding cost increase’  [ doesn’t seemed to have affected profit levels!!].

Australia’s Summer of Cricket: Limited Overs match at MCG today: Sri Lanka: 9/243 defeated Australia: 8/239 [won by 1 wicket]

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