The banks and other opponents of a royal commission into banking told us it would generate a lot of noise and expense without achieving anything of value. They'll probably still be claiming that when the just-announced inquiry has reported.
Ross Gittins is economics editor of the SMH and an economic columnist for The Age. His books include Gittins' Guide to Economics, Gittinomics and The Happy Economist.
It's the weak growth in wages that's giving people trouble balancing their household budgets.
Good old rich Uncle Mal has been to see his bank manager, got the overdraft extended, and is determined we'll all have a great Chrissie, no matter what.
It's a process that's gone on for so long few people have noticed it: the waning influence of the once-mighty federal Treasury.
We complain about the cost of it but most Australians are living more prosperous, even opulent lives than any generation before us. The problem is we can only continue living the high life for so long.
The Productivity Commission's search for "a new policy model" for reform offers better prospects for finally getting the budget under control.
If you don't have a chronic illness yet, you probably will.
The latest report on government spending on Indigenous people makes shocking reading. So let me explain it to you before some One Nation-type gives you her version.
The Productivity Commission has taken the initiative in proposing an agenda for economic improvement that's quite different to what we've had so far.
What has caused the rise in populism that's threatening the mainstream political parties around the developed world, including here?