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Philip Lowe’s RBA term ends, new chief will be appointed



Lowe has overseen a controversial period of high interest rate rises

Philip Lowe, the current governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), will not be reappointed to his position.

The Cabinet is expected to meet today to decide on his replacement, with an announcement from Treasurer Jim Chalmers to follow.

While Chalmers holds Lowe in high regard, it is believed that the Cabinet will opt for a change.

Three individuals are considered front-runners for the role: Michele Bullock, the deputy governor of the RBA, Steven Kennedy, the Treasury secretary, and Jenny Wilkinson, the secretary of the Finance Department.

Lowe’s seven-year term was scheduled to end in September, but the decision not to reappoint him comes amidst criticism and calls for his resignation.

The RBA’s decision to repeatedly raise interest rates, from 0.1 percent to 4.1 percent over the past year, has drawn fury and discontent.

Lowe had previously indicated that rates would remain at the record low level until at least 2024 but faced criticism for not clearly conveying the caveats to that statement. Inflation, which has been running higher than the RBA’s target range of 2 to 3 percent, eased to 5.6 percent in the year to May.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has argued against considering Kennedy and Wilkinson for the position due to their existing relationships with the government in their current roles as department heads.

“We will support somebody who is independent, and that’s an absolutely essential criteria. You can’t have somebody who is in the pocket of the treasurer or the finance minister,” Mr Dutton told Channel Nine.

“You can’t have somebody who is tainted by an association or a friendship, or worked very closely with the treasurer, the finance minister and the prime minister.”

Having been appointed directly from Treasury, former RBA governor Bernie Fraser dismissed that suggestion as “silly”.

According to Mr Fraser, Mr Lowe had made a mistake in stating he didn’t expect interest rates to rise until 2024, but had handled the situation well.

“I think he’s done a very good job,” Mr Fraser said.

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Streaming wars: can Apple compete with Spotify?



Spotify’s 2023 Wrapped has dropped prompting listeners to review their top artists, genres, and songs of the year.

Many are taking to social media platforms to share their listening trends with family, friends, coworkers, and even other fans on the internet.

While Apple Music, a rival platform, has its own year-end campaign—it hasn’t quite ignited the same online response.

Seth Schachner, the Managing Director at StratAmericas and a former Sony Music Executive joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #Spotify #music #Apple #AppleMusic #SpotifyWrapped #streaming #featured #IN AMERICA TODAY

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What Australia can learn from NZ’s supermarket inquiry



Coles and Woolworths, two of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, are about to face a Senate inquiry that aims to scrutinise their market dominance and business practices.

The inquiry’s parallels with a past New Zealand investigation highlight the growing concern over the duopoly’s impact on consumers and smaller businesses.

The Senate inquiry, set to begin next month, comes as a response to mounting public pressure and allegations of anti-competitive behavior in the grocery sector.

New Zealand example

Similar concerns led New Zealand to conduct its own inquiry into the supermarket industry back in 2019, resulting in recommendations for increased regulation and transparency.

The central question here is whether Coles and Woolworths wield too much power in the Australian market, potentially stifling competition and limiting choices for consumers.

With the New Zealand example as a cautionary tale, many are wondering if this inquiry will result in meaningful changes to the Australian grocery landscape.

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Elon Musk: Nikki Haley’s ‘campaign is dead’



Elon Musk has thrown a verbal jab at former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, declaring her political campaign as “dead” on X.

The unexpected comment from the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has ignited a new wave of discussion within the political sphere, leaving many wondering about the implications for Haley’s political future.

In a tweet that garnered significant attention, Musk criticized Haley’s recent policy stance, writing, “Nikki Haley’s campaign is dead on arrival if she continues to ignore the urgency of climate change.

We need leaders who prioritize the planet’s future.” The tech mogul’s remarks come as Haley, a prominent Republican figure, has been exploring the possibility of running for president in the upcoming election cycle.

Musk’s statement has reignited the debate over climate change within the Republican Party, with many conservatives emphasizing economic interests over environmental concerns.

This raises questions about whether Musk’s endorsement or critique could influence the GOP’s stance on climate issues and potentially impact the 2024 presidential race.

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