Om The Fin
A weekly podcast from The Australian Financial Review that examines the biggest stories in business, markets and politics, and why they matter, explained by the best financial journalists in the country.
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This week on The Fin, economics editor John Kehoe on why young Australians are at risk of a poorer future and what can be done to lighten their load. This podcast is sponsored by First Sentier Investors Further reading: Why younger Australians are at risk of a poorer future The nation will become older, more indebted, and tax working-age people more over coming decades unless something dramatic changes. The penny has finally dropped on income tax burden There are at least three achievable ways to alleviate the intergenerational inequities in the tax system to take pressure off workers and not harm economic growth. Tax system fails every test, says Ken Henry The federal-state tax system “fails” every test, including for economic growth and fairness to younger people, underlining the need for political leadership to deliver more than “mere tinkering”, former Treasury boss Ken Henry says. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin podcast, Europe correspondent Hans van Leeuwen on the war between Israel and Hamas and whether it could spread across the Middle East. And political editor Phillip Coorey on Australia’s complicated response. This podcast is sponsored by SAP. Further reading: Netanyahu's dilemma Israel, as ever, is caught between its hard-won capacity to fight militarily on its own terms, and its inability to achieve lasting security without the collusion of Washington, and the major Arab capitals too. Australia a small player in Middle East conflict Anthony Albanese has called for a sense of perspective regarding Australia’s ability to influence events in the Middle East, as he accused the Greens and Coalition of using the tragedy for political gain while the government was trying to minimise civil unrest. Wong's ceasefire call draws flak from both sides Foreign Minister Penny Wong is under fire on two fronts after she raised the prospect of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, with Opposition Leader Peter Dutton accusing her of being “reckless” for even broaching the topic while the pro-Palestinian lobby criticised her for not going far enough. (edited) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin podcast, technology reporter Jessica Sier and United States correspondent Matthew Cranston on the great unravelling of Sam Bankman-Fried, what it was like inside the courtroom and why his legal troubles aren’t yet over. This podcast is sponsored by SAP. Further reading: Sam Bankman-Fried: the villain in a cinema near you His defence lawyer said the government tried to show the jury “the movie of Sam the villain.” He might have been ahead of his time. Sam Bankman-Fried squirms under cross-examination While Bankman-Fried appeared almost chipper while answering questions from his defence lawyer, the mood turned quickly when the prosecution got started. Bankman-Fried brought to book Sitting in front of a freshly picked jury and a courtroom jammed with reporters, Sam Bankman-Fried’s trademark unruly curls had vanished after five weeks in a Brooklyn prison. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin podcast, political editor Phillip Coorey and North Asia correspondent Michael Smith on why Albanese’s China trip is so important, the challenges facing Xi Jinping at home and how China’s slowing economy is changing the game. This podcast is sponsored by SAP. Further reading: Taiwan warns Albanese - don't be blindsided by China Taiwan’s Foreign Minister has warned Anthony Albanese ahead of his visit to Beijing that China may take advantage of warmer ties with Western democracies to try to isolate Taipei and bring it under Communist rule. China sacks defence minister who disappeared two months ago China has sacked its Defence Minister, General Li Shangfu, who disappeared from public view two months ago in what experts believe is part of a purge of Xi Jinping’s top ranks. China denies Cheng was a political hostage Foreign Minister Penny Wong says Cheng Lei’s release was the result of the Albanese government’s “persistent” advocacy with the China, which allowed the former television anchor to return to Australia this week after three years in prison. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin podcast, resources reporters Peter Ker and Elouise Fowler on lithium’s rise and fall and rise again, why the Liontown deal collapsed and whether the critical mineral could become the next iron ore for Australia. This podcast is sponsored by SAP. Further reading: Can brains disrupt Australia's lithium mining brawn Some of the world’s biggest and smallest companies reckon technology can disrupt Australia’s lithium boom by unlocking vast new supplies and crushing prices. Deal off, Game on: The battle for Liontown is just beginning Less than five hours after Liontown Resources announced the withdrawal of Albemarle’s $6.6 billion takeover bid, the lithium junior’s biggest shareholder, Gina Rinehart, was busy setting up a new vehicle for her pivot towards critical minerals. Lithium takeovers ignite the Pilbara Deal fever has swept the Australian lithium, with Chilean giant Socieded Quimica Y Minera set to play a central role in two deals. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin, Joe Aston on his evolution from gossip columnist to campaigning journalist, what happened when he went too far and life after Rear Window. This podcast is sponsored by SAP. Further reading: Joe's farewell column Rear Window’s style evolved (and its rigour improved), but my primary motivation never really changed, and that was to entertain. Richard Goyder's pantomime swan song The Qantas chairman has elected to take an excruciating route to the inevitable. Sobering thoughts from Rehab Riviera Resisting alcohol is almost the easiest part of early sobriety. Vastly more daunting is the reconstruction of one’s interpersonal skills. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin podcast, political correspondent Tom McIlroy and political editor Phillip Coorey on what the result is likely to be, where the campaign will be won and lost and what happens next. This podcast is sponsored by Superloop Further reading: Albanese cries over Voice to parliament chance Anthony Albanese has urged Australians preparing to vote No in Saturday’s referendum on the Indigenous Voice to parliament to reconsider, saying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are “reaching out” to the rest of the community for their own survival. Albanese will walk away from Voice if voters say no Anthony Albanese says he will walk away from the Indigenous Voice to parliament proposal if voters defeat Saturday’s landmark referendum. Why middle Australia is leaning towards No Debate about the details, partisan bickering and indifference about Indigenous affairs are all continuing to hamper the Yes case. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin, senior writer Neil Chenoweth and Chanticleer columnist James Thomson explain how family politics within the Murdoch empire could shape politics at large in some of the world's major democracies. This podcast is sponsored by Superloop Further reading: https://www.afr.com/companies/media-and-marketing/the-murdoch-succession-saga-is-far-from-over-20230922-p5e6r5 https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/what-lachlan-murdoch-told-fundies-in-sydney-two-weeks-ago-20230922-p5e6t1 https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/there-may-not-be-another-mogul-like-rupert-murdoch-20230920-p5e6c3 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin podcast, media writers Sam Buckingham-Jones and Mark Di Stefano take us inside the crackdown on gambling advertisements, and what it could mean for the future of Australia's biggest sporting codes. This podcast is sponsored by Australian Unity. Further reading: https://www.afr.com/rear-window/sydney-swans-no-d-ckheads-policy-stretches-thin-20230807-p5dujr afr.com/companies/media-and-marketing/how-the-big-banks-help-australians-stop-themselves-from-gambling-20230404-p5cxv3 https://www.afr.com/companies/media-and-marketing/gambling-ad-ban-would-hurt-footy-and-media-sportsbet-20230512-p5d7zm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Follow The Australian Financial Review’s newest podcast offering called 15 Minutes with the Boss. It’s a weekly podcast, in which AFR’s Boss Editor Sally Patten sits down with one of the country's top CEOs and asks them to share all the valuable advice and wisdom they’ve gained during the course of their careers. They’ll chat about their successes and failures and everything in between. Here’s a little preview of episode 1 featuring AMP CEO Alexis George, where she chats about everything from her favourite podcasts, dealing with conflict and reveals the best piece of advice she has ever been given and much more. At the end of the preview, just search 15 Minutes with the Boss to hear the rest of the show. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin podcast, property editor Nick Lenaghan on the great divide in Australian housing, what the government and industry need to do to fix the supply problem and those explosive comments that made the AFR property summit news around the world. This podcast is sponsored by Australian Unity. Further reading: Developers scoff at 1.2 m new homes housing target A dysfunctional planning system and huge labour shortage will cripple the Albanese government’s target of 1.2 million new homes in the next five years, despite billions of dollars of public funding pouring into the sector, warn senior property industry figures. Something strange is happening in the housing market An economist, a lender and an investor walked into a property summit – and left everyone confused about where the heck the housing market is going next. We need pain in the economy: Tim Gurner An edited transcript of the conversation with property developer Tim Gurner at the Property summit. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week of The Fin, Brad Thompson and Peter Ker on what’s behind the executive churn at Fortescue, how it will affect the company's green energy reinvention and whether Andrew Forrest is just too hard to work for. This podcast is sponsored by Australian Unity. Further reading: Fortescue partied, then parted ways with its CEO Saturday was the party, Sunday was the departure of a chief executive of just six months. By Monday, hard questions were being asked. Fortescue Metals CFO quits Fortescue Metals has lost its chief financial officer, Christine Morris, the 11th executive to leave in three years. Fortescue Investors split over whether Forrest is wrecking or rescuing Fortescue Metals investors are split over whether Andrew Forrest is damaging its culture, with a former major shareholder selling down his stake over fears the company’s chairman might “wreck” the iron ore major. 'Flame Trees' as performed by Jimmy Barnes at the Fortescue 20th anniversary party was written by Steve Prestwich and Don Walker. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin, aviation reporter Ayesha de Kretser and Rear Window columnist Joe Aston on the early departure and legacy of Alan Joyce, who else should be held to account for the mess Qantas finds itself in and whether the government will have to revisit its decision on Qatar Airways. This podcast is sponsored by Australian Unity. Further reading: Hudson to focus on customers after Joyce exit Vanessa Hudson has vowed to focus on customers as she tries to repair the national carrier’s battered reputation after Alan Joyce abruptly quit as the chief executive of Qantas two months earlier than planned. Qantas U-turn on credits as ACCC sues over cancelled flights Qantas has scrapped the expiry date on $570 million of flight credits, as it faces allegations from the competition regulator that it sold tickets for thousands of services that had already been cancelled. Further reading: Profits and power: Qantas and the Qatar question The government’s decision to block the foreign operator from obtaining more slots has prompted many to query the power of the country’s biggest airline. What exactly is the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge, and how do you join? There’s much more to the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge than just free canapes and champagne. Here’s how to become a member and what’s on offer once you’re inside Alan Joyce puts Albo’s son in Qantas Chairman’s lounge It’s easy to forget that Anthony Albanese has been in Canberra for a very long time. Entitlement to largesse is a lifelong practice. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week in The Fin podcast, senior writer Neil Chenoweth, professional services editor Edmund Tadros and Rear Window columnist Joe Aston on the tax leaks scandal nine months on, why it can never be business as usual for the big four consulting firms and whether PwC’s Australian business can survive. Further reading: Why fixing PwC gets harder with every passing week The week in the tax leaks saga where it became clear the culture that had developed in PwC’s tax division over the past decade or so will have consequences that stretch far beyond the firm and will take years to play out. PwC’s Kevin Burrowes: an American agent on a Maldives holiday Before jetting off last week, Burrowes briefed retired PwC Australia partners on the firm’s global inquiry – being run by Allens Linklaters – into the involvement of PwC partners outside Australia in the tax leaks scandal. Expect a fierce response to Labor’s PwC reforms The plan to crack down on misconduct by tax advisers is ambitious. But it faces a long rocky road. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin, senior correspondent Jacob Greber on the intergenerational report, why Australia is far from full and what needs to change to make a bigger population work. Further reading: Why Australia needs millions more people - and is getting there fast Angst over house and rental prices is fracturing the fragile bigger-Australia consensus. Yet walking away from a larger population is not an option. Ageing population driving $140b blowout in spending A doubling of people older than 65 and a tripling of those 85 and over will present major economic challenges over the next 40 years and be a primary driver of increased government spending. Productivity leads to prosperity – here’s how to get there Treasury keeps betting that bipartisanship will help Australia to change in ways that are hard to do but much needed. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin, economics correspondent Michael Read on the changing of the guard at the RBA, whether interest rates have peaked and the number one problem for the economy. Further reading: Inside the downfall of a top central banker Philip Lowe joined the Reserve Bank straight from high school and went on to oversee a period of dramatically shifting economic fortunes. Until his time ran out. Lowe warns rent caps will make the housing shortage even worse Imposing rent controls to ease the housing crisis would make the shortage of homes even worse over the long term, outgoing RBA governor Philip Lowe warned on Friday, saying politicians should resist the push for such short-term solutions. Bullock to steady RBA after ‘regrettable’ Lowe departure Michele Bullock’s appointment as the next governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia was motivated by a need to restore the bank’s public image and reform its structures after the pandemic, while staying the course on monetary policy. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Ahead of the final two sentencings in the Plutus tax fraud case, David Marin-Guzman and Neil Chenoweth tell The Fin podcast why it was a Gen Y crime and how it almost never came to light. Further reading: Adam Cranston found guilty in Plutus tax fraud trial After a nine-month trial and almost two months of deliberation, a jury has found Adam Cranston and two of his key co-conspirators guilty of one of the biggest tax frauds in Australia’s corporate history. ATO tax fraud: Behind a $191m Gen Y crime wave This is the face of a Millennial crime wave: there's the party guy, there's the bovver boy and then there's Mr Invisible, the guy who leaves no tracks. Plutus ATO fraud Part 2: Sex, tax and Instagram The key to any successful fraud is not just to get your hands on the money, it's not leaving any fingerprints afterwards - so exactly when did "Mr Invisible", Adam Cranston, become involved in the Plutus Payroll scam allegations? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week in The Fin podcast, technology writer Nick Bonyhady and health editor Jill Margo on how Ozempic has upended the weight-loss industry, the companies trying to make money from it and the health risks threatening to derail its meteoric rise. Further reading: The weight loss cycle: out with Jenny Craig, in with Ozempic Depending who you ask, Ozempic is “phenomenal” for patients or a “dangerous” way of losing weight. Either way, its arrival heralds a new model of medicine. Eucalyptus changes tune and begins selling Ozempic Australia’s biggest weight loss drug selling start-up, Eucalyptus, has begun selling Ozempic after previously insisting it only sold medications specifically approved to help people shed kilograms. If this episode has raised any concerns for you, help is available. Call Lifeline on: 13 11 14 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week in The Fin podcast, resources reporter Peter Ker on the split in the Forrest empire, how it came to light and what it means for the iron ore giant and its green energy plans. Further reading: Andrew and Nicola Forrest to pursue separate lives Australia’s richest couple, Andrew and Nicola Forrest, have separated but insist the strategic direction of the mining giant they control, Fortescue Metals Group, will not be affected by their decision to pursue independent lives. Forrest split won’t destroy Fortescue, investors say Big investors in Fortescue Metals say the miner can sail through the breakdown of executive chairman Andrew Forrest’s marriage and the subsequent ownership reshuffle that has given Nicola Forrest control of the single biggest Fortescue stake. Anonymous Nic emerges from the Forrest split Anyone who thinks Nicola will just quietly go along with whatever Andrew says and does from now is likely mistaken, even if, in regard to Fortescue, they stay on a steady course. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week on The Fin, senior reporter Angela Macdonald-Smith and senior writer Ben Potter on the mammoth task ahead to re-engineer the country’s power system, why we are unlikely to meet those 2030 climate targets and how we can get back on track to reach-net zero by 2050. Further reading: Meeting 2030 climate targets close to ‘impossible’ Energy industry leaders are increasingly convinced that Australia will miss its 2030 climate targets, as the pace of adding renewable energy, back-up capacity and transmission falls further and further behind what is needed. Phased Eraring shutdown on cards as price worries mount Fortescue Future Industries director and former Reserve Bank deputy Guy Debelle warned that the lagging response in the supply of clean energy poses a risk for prices over the next 10 years as the economy transitions to low-carbon energy. Farmers revolt at Victorian power plan Australia hasn’t built transmission projects this large across farm country for decades. The projects are critical to the transition to net zero, but farmers say they’ve been ignored, taken for granted and patronised. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.