October 17, 2019

On Tuesday, 1st October 2019, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate to 0.75% in order to stimulate the economy. Their objective was to reduce the unemployment rate to 4.5% and to increase wages. Over dinner that night, my daughter Kate quizzed me and Frank about how that worked. It turns out that it is not as obvious as Dr. Lowe suggests.

Kate:

I see that the Reserve Bank has dropped the cash rate to 0.75%. What is the cash rate?

Frank:

It is the rate that the Reserve Bank charges the banks for overnight loans.

It is the basis on which other interest rates are set. For instance, if the ra...

September 11, 2019

I walked into Kate’s bedroom yesterday to find a new poster on her wall - a handsome young man in a blue tee-shirt and a tattooed right arm.

Later in the day, this led to a serious discussion about the rights of employers to constrain the activities and behaviour of their staff.

It's a much more complex issue than it seems at first glance.

Kate:                    

Isn’t he just divine?

Loretta:               

Who dear?

Kate:...

September 4, 2019

The other day I met my old friends Marcia and Ann for lunch at Babka in Brunswick Street. It was good to catch up again.

Babka is just a couple of blocks away from where Jack Irish’s mates reminisce about the Fitzroy Football Club. When Sasha Lewis and her partner Frieda sold Fitzsimons in Lonsdale Street in the late 80s, they paused briefly and then set up Babka.  Frieda has now retired, and Sasha runs it on her own. It has a cult following.

The menu has a Russian theme and the best bread in Melbourne is baked on the premises by Sasha’s son. There are no bookings and patrons wait in line for a...

August 30, 2019

I get on really well with my teenage daughter. She confides in me about everything – well almost everything.

I put it down to discipline when she was three. The other day we were having a chat about the recent spate of sexual harassment cases.

Kate:                    

Mum. What should I do if I am sexually harassed?

Loretta:               

Well it depends on what you mean by sexual harassment.

Kate:...

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