Neville Spencer

In an interview with Sky News on March 8, finance minister Matthias Cormann said, “The whole reason why it is important to have flexibility in the labour market … is … to ensure that wages can adjust in the context of economic conditions, is to avoid massive spikes in unemployment … That is a deliberate design feature of our economic architecture.”

Roma
Written & directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Starring Yalitza Aparicio & Marina de Tavira
In cinemas now

Roma is the latest film by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, who came to international prominence with his 2001 film Y Tu Mama Tambien.

This allowed him to break into the world of bigger budget, English-language films, directing Children of Men (2006) and Gravity (2013) which won seven Academy Awards including best director.

After Commissioner Kenneth Hayne released the banking royal commission’s interim report in September, many of the headlines and takeaway quotes focused on its claim that banks “put profits before people”.

 “Why did it happen?” the report asked. “Too often the answer seems to be greed — the pursuit of short term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty. How else is charging continuing advice fees to the dead to be explained?...

Modern Imperialism, Monopoly Finance Capital and Marx’s Law of Value
By Samir Amin
Monthly Review Press, 2018

One of the most obvious and abhorrent features of the global economy is the stark division of the world into a wealthy “North” and a poor “South”. Egyptian-born economist Samir Amin, who passed away in August, often referred to this divide as one of “centre” and “periphery”.

After its embarrassing failure to win either popular or Senate crossbench support for its proposed big business tax cuts, the Coalition government has instead opted to bring forward tax cuts for small and medium businesses by five years.

In 2009, economist Steve Keen walked from Canberra to Mount Kosciuszko after losing a bet that the Australian housing market would crash 40% after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). However, he had been one of the few economists who actually predicted the coming of the GFC. And he still maintains that a crash in the Australian housing market is coming.

The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of the Bankers
Ann Pettifor
Verso
London, 2017
192 pages
Fictitious Capital: How Finance is Appropriating Our Future
Cederic Durand
Translated by David Broder
Verso
London, 2017
176 pages

The Lucky Galah

By Tracy Sorensen

Picador

Sydney, 2018

279 pages, $29.99

The Lucky Galah is the first novel from Tracy Sorensen, tutor in media at Charles Sturt University, documentary maker and former Green Left Weekly journalist.

The novel is largely told from the perspective of a galah named Lucky. From her cage or perched on her owner’s shoulder, Lucky observes and narrates life with a degree of omniscience, yet lives life caged or restricted by clipped wings.

When I am out selling Green Left Weekly on the streets, I am often asked: “Where does the money go?” I have to tell people that it just goes to producing the next issue of the paper. The cover price is not nearly enough to make such a profit that we would have to decide what to do with it.

In fact, GLW would never have survived 25 years without huge ongoing efforts in appealing for donations and organising fundraisers to raise the additional money needed over what we get through sales and subscriptions.

An immigration department review into the forcible removal of Save the Children Fund workers from the Nauru immigration detention centre, released on January 15, recommended that they be paid compensation.

The nine charity workers were ordered to leave Nauru by the Australian government in October 2014 after they claimed that women and children at the detention centre were being sexually abused.

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